Per my last blog post, you’re well aware that I already have my mind made up about New Year’s resolutions. In general, I’d say I’m satisfied with that list. It’s succinct, realistic, common-sense.
But you know me. I’m one of those annoying big-ideas type of people who could stay up into the wee hours talking about dreams and goals and never get anywhere with any of them but ride high on the energy of endless possibility for weeks after.
So what’s the big thing that’s missing from that list? The thing that keeps me up at night, wheels turning? The thing that distracts me from writing this blog as we speak?
Like the great American writer and filmmaker Susan Sontag, I’m of the mindset that, “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list.” I covered a lot of ground in 2014, from the coast of Carolina, to the cliffs of eastern Kentucky, to the highlands of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. But there are plenty of places I haven’t been, even in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
But, before I launch into a detailed description of all the places I’d like to visit this year and why, let’s set the mood with a little Dr. Seuss, shall we?
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And you are the guy who’ll
decide where to go.
You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great
tact and remember that
Life’s A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE
There. Much better. If that poem doesn’t give you a little burst of inspiration to go out and see the world, I’m not sure what will.
1. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Why? To revel in the beauty of some big-ass old growth trees.
2. Linville River
Why? To see the awe-inspiring, piss-your-pants rapids that are iconic of the gorge.
3. Blue Ridge, Georgia
Why? I mean, the name of the town is Blue Ridge. I gotta go there. I’m surprised I haven’t been yet, honestly. Plus, the cycling scene there is off the chain (no pun intended, maybe).
4. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Why? One word. Ponies.
5. Cumberland Island, Georgia
Why? I mean, it captured the fascination of my editor for over 20 years of his life, enough so that he decided to write a biography about the island’s lone protector, Carol Ruckdeschel. It has to be good. Plus I like turtles.
6. Edisto River, South Carolina
Why? If not for the scenic flatwater paddling, then definitely the treehouse lodging.
7. Everglades National Park, Florida
Why? I know, I know. It’s not “technically” the Blue Ridge, but shoot – neither is half our territory! Plus, how sweet would it be to spend a week sea kayaking around the Everglades, camping on pristine beaches, watching the sun set over the horizon each night…I can almost feel the salt rash on my bum and the sunburn on my face now.
8. Wilmington, N.C.
Why? To go on a history tour of the town…NOT. I want to surf. Duh.
9. The Fantastic Pit, Georgia
Why? Sounds dirty, and it is. Imagine a 586-foot vertical drop into Ellison’s Cave, the twelfth deepest cave in the United States.
10. State College, Penn.
Why? To get my ass kicked on a bike.
11. Seneca Rocks, W.Va.
Why? I’ve been there, seen it, but I actually want to climb that shit. It’s a classic.
That’s a good start, but I’d love to hear from you. Where should I go in 2015? Looking for adventure partners along the way!