Now comes a step both fun and difficult. A caution here: don’t get ahead of the process — this is not deciding the adventure or determining its “Epic Nature.” However, you do have to consider what you like to do to bring out the enjoyment. If you like to hike or kayak, then maybe focus your research in this step to those two areas. In this post, I will try to come at it with a broad view to capture as many options as possible — difficult.
First, a bit of background to help set the stage. I’ve had a job that has moved me all over the world–some places more exciting than others. However, I decided long ago that I would explore each of those local areas where I found myself–and I’m glad I did! There are exciting things to do everywhere. I also realized that many people don’t think about having a local adventure–I can’t recall how many times I spoke to people who had lived in an area their whole life and hadn’t visited something interesting that was 15 minutes from their home. Like I said, sometimes they just don’t think about it! So my approach on this Step is built on years of experience exploring my local areas. Earlier in my life (pre-internet), it usually consisted of buying a local map and a Michelin Guide. These two items together, with some work, usually allowed me to find items of interest close by. Now, with the internet, I’m able to use different search engines, maps, and webpages to find the items–to include using certain apps on my phone.
Ok — back to the second step … Art of the Possible!
With a quick view around google maps, I found five state parks in the search area. I also found four rivers, twelve lakes/reservoirs, six wildlife refuges, a couple of state recreation areas, several parks (city/regional), a multitude of golf courses (disc and ball), and plenty of country roads.
I see possibilities on the map for hiking, cycling (road/MTB), golf, hunting, fishing, running, kayaking, canoeing, birdwatching, sightseeing, camping, ATV … and more.
Also, there are a couple of larger towns in this area (Grand Island and Kearny, Nebraska)–so there are options for city activities. Just as an example, there are a couple of breweries in Grand Island — I also see some wineries in the surrounding area. Salina, Kansas also has a brewery …
A closer inspection of the map brings out several historical markers around this area — even to emphasize some literary sites. For instance, in Red Cloud, Nebraska is the childhood home of Willa Cather — an early 2oth century novelist.
I also found some caves — Faris Caves.
Switching to a couple of different websites (alltrails.com and trailforks.com), I’ll find hiking and cycling trails. Zooming in on the alltrails map, I see about 30 curated trails. Trailforks only offers up a couple of entries … there’s a Potter’s Pasture trail system for MTB’ing, but that’s near North Platte (about 140 miles) — outside our zone … but still in the realm of the possible.
Knowing the activities available, I can find other sites/entries that will zoom in on the activities in which I am interested. With just this rough mapping of the “Art of the Possible,” I’m now ready for Step 3: Decide Upon Your Adventure or Experience.