Somewhere down the road I hope I can look back toward the horizon which marks the spot where I'm standing now and smile knowingly.
Here are some schemes I'm rolling around in my big empty head:
Mickelson Trail bike-packing. In June the kids will be with the grandparents two time zones away and my wife and I are going to have a great time pedaling the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota. By then I expect that at least I will have an Xtracycle package for my Cannonball. There is a remote possibility that Mandy may have one by then too, but even if she doesn't we'll be able to make the trip. The big question is this: do we do the trail out and back (total of 228 miles) or do it one way and catch a shuttle? Options.
Mount Evans from home. Last summer I planned on a Mount Evans Century. I wanted to ride out my door and to the summit of Mount Evans and then return safely home. The events of the summer proved prohibitive. Moving into a new house and the complete destruction of my road bike by carport combined to thwart that goal. But the Cannonball X will be the perfect machine to make the climb. Away we go! Summer of 2011 is the summer for the BIG RIDE.
What might actually be a more ambitious ride, and a ride that might have to wait until I'm further along in my Leadville 100 training, is Kingston Peak from home by MTB. 80+ miles and over 6,000' of elevation gain with a good portion of the ride on roughshod forest service roads, much of them above treeline.
Solo overnight bike-packing trip. At some point over the summer I want to ride into the mountains and camp overnight and then return home the next day or the day after. Particular destination to be decided.
Family bike-packing trip. Again, I want to head somewhere with at least the kids, maybe Mandy as well, and do at least one night of camping by bike. We might revisit the Medicine Bow Trail to do the entire trail, or maybe we'll find another destination. Boreas Pass from Breckenridge comes to mind. Some currently unknown forest road may end up fitting the bill.
Once (or twice or a few times), many years ago I shouldered my Misty Mountain crashpad and took off from my apartment in Slade, Kentucky to boulder around the Red River Gorge. Now that once again have a crashpad and will soon have the longtail I want to make some bouldering and climbing trips by bike. I used to do it all the time. I can do it again, and I dream of strapping the sport rack and rope to the (future) X and throwing Boone on the back and heading for Golden Cliffs or Eldo, or maybe even as the kids get older a day trip to ramble around the Flatirons. I rode around the Red on the Cannonball when my undependable car let me down. Lack of motor vehicle should not a lonely climber make.
I don't want to do these things because I believe other people will be impressed or necessarily to have something to blog about, but to pick up where I left off way back in 1999 when I didn't even know where I was going. Where I was going was here. And I look back to that point, which is today a horizon and I smile knowingly. I smile knowing that if 1999 me could see 2011 me he would smile back. And he might faint from the shock.