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AAA Washington

Journey’s Farewell

The print edition of Journey has been a labor of love for its editors, designers and writers for more than two decades. The origins of Journey go back even further to the foundation of the club that would become AAA Washington. AAA has always made it a priority to provide useful information and advice to its members. As times have changed and reader interests have evolved, so too has the format of that information. And this will continue.

Although we are ending the print edition of Journey, we have no intention of stopping the flow of entertaining articles and advice to our members. We continue to publish original travel articles, safety tips and other information useful to our members and motorists. Our shift to digital is merely the latest of many evolutions that go back to our founding.

November 1917


The first “Official Bulletin”

of Automobile Club of Western Washington announces the founding of the club under the title, “New Auto Club Gets Away With Flying Colors.” This club would later be renamed the Automobile Club of Washington and then AAA Washington. “Greetings, fellow members of the Automobile Club of Western Washington — the amalgamated automobile clubs that have heretofore existed in the different counties lying west of the Columbia river. “It is with great pride that the board of trustees offer you this, the first official bulletin, issued by the new organization. Watch it grow. Help it grow. Remember it is your property; owned by you as a member of the Club; and its popularity among the members and prospective members will be in direct proportion to the efforts put forth by you as individuals.”

August 1918


The club’s new “Monthly Bulletin” asks

all members to cut out a “Soldiers and Sailors Welcome to Ride” notice found on Page 13 and place it as a windshield sticker in their car that invites all soldiers and sailors in uniform to get a free lift.

December 1919


The Monthly “Western Washington Motorist” debuts as a 15-page booklet,

published in response “to the rapidly expanding ranks of the Automobile Club of Western Washington. To the supreme cause of good roads this magazine is dedicated; its mission is to wage an incessant fight for the betterment of motoring conditions; to urge laws and legislation for the good of the automobile fraternity; to promote the ideal of safety first; to exploit all of Western Washington as a tourist mecca unrivalled in the nation; to preserve the natural beauty of roadside timber and scenery; to oppose laws and restrictions injurious to the Western Washington motorist.”

June 1945


Publisher Douglas Shelor forecasts

that the end of the war in Europe and the imminent defeat of Japan will increase demand for cars at home. “The 200,000 new passenger cars, which the War Production Board on May 16 predicted will be manufactured late this year, will be only a driblet towards supplying tremendous needs and demands. “Odds against the average motorist obtaining one of the new cars that will begin to roll off assembly lines in the latter part of the year are 50-to-1, or higher, on the basis of the automotive industry’s estimate of a pent-up demand for from 8,000,000 to 11,000,000 passenger automobiles.” ~ Douglas Shelor

September 1997


The last edition of “Motorist” is published,

ending a 78-year run. The final 15-page edition spotlights Washington’s San Juan Islands, with tips on surviving an earthquake and a spotlight on Hawaiˈi.

November / December 1997


The first Journey editions are published

as “Puget Sound Journey” and “Washington Journey.” The combined circulation was 376,866. In a note to AAA members under the headline “A Journey Begins,” Publisher Charles Liekweg said the magazine was created in response to “a strong desire for a livelier, more topical format.” The 40-page edition under Executive Editor Janet Ray and Editor in Chief Gail Harrington published features on Northwest talk radio and Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta, plus shorter columns on the Olympic Peninsula, antiquing in Whidbey Island and how to beat airport bandits.

November / December 2001

slide jxx farewell 7

Charles Liekweg acknowledges the tragedy of 9/11 terrorist attacks

that cost thousands of American lives and widely disrupted travel in the U.S. “America will be changed forever as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. I am confident that all those things that make the United States what it is will ensure that the changes are for the better and, in the end, will make the country even stronger.” ~ Charles Liekweg

November / December 2002


On the five-year anniversary of the magazine,

Charles Liekweg announces the merger of AAA Washington and the Inland Automobile Association, forming a combined membership of 790,000 representing all of Washington and northern Idaho. “Washington Journey” would be renamed “Western Journey” in January 2003 to reflect this change.

January 2020


AAA Washington starts a digital blog

with more than 300 travel articles and press releases, as well as a digital reproduction of the printed version of Journey.

November / December 2020


Journey reaches homes near the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

that had already led to nearly a quarter of a million deaths in the U.S. and severely limited travel. AAA Washington’s then CEO Kirk R. Nelson says of the pandemic: “As we get closer to the holidays, we must recognize that despite the circumstances, most of us share similar goals that revolve around supporting each other and our communities during these trying times. And that also is something to remember about 2020.” ~ Kirk Nelson

January 2023


AAA Washington CEO Heather Snavely

announces that Journey will be discontinued after the Winter 2023 edition. “Over the years, Motorist evolved into Journey magazine, and now it’s time for us to evolve once again. After much careful consideration, we are sunsetting the print publication of Journey after this issue and expanding upon the robust content we offer online.” ~ Heather Snavely

— Compiled by Victor Whitman
— The information was sourced from AAA Washington’s archives, which were preserved and updated by former Journey Executive Editor and later Publisher Janet Ray, now retired.