As ‘luck’ and perseverance has it, I’ve been able to travel a great deal. I usually travel with a plan to see as many trails and trail sights as I can on the way. Sometimes this involves pre-trip research and mapping with Google Earth and Garmin. Other times it involves reading forums of local hiking and mountain bike groups to find what I want, including joining local groups and fellow travelers for trail excursions. There are other times that I just find the trailhead and go for it, perhaps asking a passer by or two for suggestions or keeping to myself. Some of my favorite journeys have involved exploring trails with friends, on adventures we dubbed “odysseys” because they were often over twenty miles, usually involved new-to-us dirt, and for some time involved a Honda Odyssey that birthed miles of smiles.
The map below is still being populated, but gives a general sense of the depth and breadth of my trail travels.
As a trail user that is also a builder it’s hard for me not to identify the brilliance, as well as the mistakes, not to mention the sweat, in every trail’s birth and life. I’ve had the chance to experience thousands of miles of trail, usually 1,000-2,000 miles/year before moving east. My wide array of experiences has given me insight into the successful and unsuccessful elements of trails in various climates and soil conditions– its also been good for my heart and mind.