Like clockwork, this time of the year has me dreaming of winters in the desert. Having spent 10 years with sand in my veins living in southern Arizona I still long for the desert. Now after 10 years in British Columbia and Portland, Oregon I still feel the magnetic pull towards the desert. Something internal pulls me there.
Maybe it is the same impulse and urge that signals numerous bird species to migrate south for the winter. In Arizona it was easy to be dismissive of snow birds of the human kind … retirees who'd spend winters in the desert. They’d make their journeys from places like Michigan and Alberta to escape the snow and cold. We all were relieved when the temperatures climbed and the snow birds would migrate back north. However, more than ever before the thought of becoming a snow bird is intoxicatingly appealing. I even had to think long and hard about an offer from a friend to buy on old miner’s shack in Bisbee, Arizona. I had visions of fixing it up and living there part of the year.
My social media feeds are full of photos of people riding in places like Virgin, Utah and Sedona, Arizona. Instead, with my bike looking at me wantonly I sit and look out the window as it snows. This time of the year finds me at the gym more often than on the trail. I don’t mind though as we all need to shake up our routine. But I notice I tend to daydream about desert riding …
But it’s really about discontentment and wanting what we don’t have, right? All of the years living in the desert what did I dream of? Cool temps, evergreen trees, moss, loamy trails, and the Pacific Northwest. I now know myself all too well. I’m like the child that simply wants what I don’t have. However, as soon as I feel like I’m at the breaking point I’ll head out for a ride. By the end I’m quickly reminded that I live in one of the most spectacular places on the planet. It’s not that other places are not equally better (or more) … but I have my hands full here. I know that wherever I live I’d always crave more.
And maybe that’s the point? We’re hard-wired to hunger and thirst for adventure. There’s adventure to be had out my own doorstep. I need to be mindful to keep mixing it up … where I ride, how I ride, and so on. So yes, while I’m desert dreaming I am also even more so dreaming about my next mountain bike adventure here in Oregon.
What are you dreaming of?
Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photos by Daniel Walden.