Tonight I am flying back from San Diego wrapping up my 103rd day (out of 243 days) on the road this year. I am not complaining, I have met a lot of great people working to solve some really hard problems. But traveling that much makes it hard to really explore where you live.
It is easy to get swept up in being new places and thinking about all of the places I still want to go and all of the events I want to do. I kept a browser tab open for weeks following the dots who raced across the United States during the Trans Am Bike Race. The same with the Tour Divide and Trans North Georgia Adventure. I have spent many late evenings in a hotel room researching what it would take to do a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim or the Tour du Mont Blanc. There are so many articles that keep drawing to new and exciting places in far off and distant places.
In reality, there are a ton of things close that I can be doing but am over looking BECAUSE they are close to home. I can do an overnight bikepacking trip through Montgomery County without having to load my gear into a car. Within an hour I can be at the start of a the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail and kick off a 10-day bikepacking trip through Shenandoah. There trails all over that I can run any length on any surface type I could want. For whitewater, I could be at Great Falls in 45 minutes and paddle in a wide variety of conditions.
But I am not.
I know the term ‘local’ is subjective as well. I still think of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as local, and I have a list of things I want to do up there. Run the AT across NJ. My all-time favorite creek, the Tohickon. Running the Batona Trail. Paddling the Savage or the Yough. And on, and on, and on…
But I am not…
As I am setting goals for next year, this thought has me thinking a lot about what and where I am going to play. Not saying trips to far off places are off the table, but I think I am going to look a little closer to home.