We are a mobile society, and we have been for all of my life. My family and I lived away from our home town, the town where my grandparents lived and my parents had grown up, for most of my life. So, I spent a lot of time, in my youth, sitting in a car, looking out the window.
As I grew up, my time in the car never seemed to lessen. If I wasn’t traveling to visit someone, I was traveling for work. Many more hours were logged, looking out the window of moving car.
I have always been something of a history buff. Growing up in the South, I was fascinated by the Civil War, and the people who fought and/or lived through it. As we would drive past historical markers at the sites of skirmishes, or full-on battles, or drove through battlefield parks, I would look at my surroundings and try to imagine how things had been, a hundred years earlier. I looked at old warehouses and hotels, when we drove through towns, trying to imagine what they looked like in the heydays.
I still do that, particularly in the urban setting. But, having become a mountain biker, I look at the landscape a bit differently than I used to.
“That looks like an old mining road going up that hill,” I think to myself. “I wonder if I could get my bike up that slope.”
“That railroad grade would make a good way to get into the forest…”
“I wonder if I could follow that deer trail…”
I see the world as a place to be explored, now, as well as a place where others went before.