At first the slope was perfect (semi-steep) and the road was smooth. When it got rougher I got a bit discouraged, but then gradually got used to it and learned to like it. It does take some effort to see the benefits of rough roads.
But let's back up a step. I once had an outdoorsy friend who acknowledged that aerobic-exercise sports (e.g., hiking, bicycling, running, swimming) might be "good for you", but were dull and repetitive. He preferred sports, such as technical climbing, that emphasized skill and risk. He had a point that would probably help me if I would work harder on developing more technical mountain biking skills.
But there were times when it seemed like buying crap for his sport was the main attraction. There are many sports like that: they have their own glossy magazine that features an exotic and picturesque locale where one "needs" to go, once a year, to pursue a high-ranked version of the sport. (It would dishonor all that specialized equipment to go somewhere mediocre, you see.) A scuba-diver told me that the average enthusiast in his sport spent the whole year looking at glossy magazines, planning his annual trip, and trying to save enough money.
I experienced the same thing with sea kayaking, and gave it up before becoming a full time RVer. I didn't want the burden of carrying a kayak on the roof, nor did I want to be pinned down in the specialized locations that one needs to go to pursue an overly-specialized sport. And all that equipment!
Now you might say that I should have switched to whitewater kayaking. But once again, it pins you down in a few specialized locations. I was a full-time RVer, and wanted to pursue my sport just about anywhere. And how does a single individual spot a car at the take-out point?
What about kayaking small lakes? There is some interesting wildlife in the marshy edges of small lakes. But kayaking small lakes is slow, unexciting, and takes little skill.
What this is aiming towards is the issue of choosing the right sports and pursuing them in the right way in order for your full-time RVing lifestyle to be genuinely interesting. From the examples above, and many more that could be given, let's see if we can educe the main principles:
1. The sport should contain a balance of physical conditioning, great scenery, and ever-increasing skills. If the sport is about nothing more than physical conditioning, how is it going to stay interesting when you reach the physiological limits of your body, age, and health? Furthermore, a human being isn't just a body. They need something to do with their brain in their outdoor sports.
2. Although just about any sport is more fun with other people, you should be able to pursue it as an individual. Let's face it, if you are always negotiating with somebody else about Where and When, you will give up. The vast majority of men are not the masters of their own time and calendar.
3. Get a dog. Rather than pursue your sport in solitude, share it with a dog. If you haven't been infected with the enthusiasm of a dog on the loose, you have missed one of Life's great pleasures. (So then, why are so many hikers cat-owners? It's a mystery.)
|"I love this lifestyle, Pops!"|
4. Many locations should be good for the sport, and these locations need to be compatible with your camping. The sport shouldn't pin you down to places with crowds, fees, and camping restrictions.
5. A certain amount of speed, and therefore risk, is needed to keep the sport interesting. But the risk should be manageable. The excitement of taking risks should not become a drug addiction.
|It is non-trivial to choose land that lends itself to your outdoor sports. If you fail, the results can be over-crowding, accidents, or just plain boredom.|