I have been backpacking for 40 years, starting in the northeast in the Adirondacks, continuing in the Smokey Mtns on parts of the AT. Moved west when I was 21 and dropped anchor. Had already started a career of rock climbing, ice climbing, mixed climbing, winter mountaineering, backcountry skiing so living in Wyoming in the 70s was the place to be. Nothing more majestic than the Wind Rivers, winter peak ascents, climbs in the Cirque of the Towers. Spent a year living in a Jansport Mountain Dome on national forrest land.
A career shift resulted in a move to Boulder, CO in the 80s and the exploration of the Rocky Mtns. Rock climbing meccas such as Eldorado Canyon, Boulder Canyon, South Platte, and my favorite forever, Lumpy Ridge outside of Estes Park. Climbing has a way of taking its toll on a body; tendons and ligaments just don't tolerate finger tip pullups and overhangs year after year. Plus I walked away from a 220' fall attempting a winter mixed route on Mt. Meeker. Pulled out three pieces of pro on a zipper fall before my first piece ( a #1 Friend) held. I was back climbing five days later but with the awareness that something changed.
Descided on a major career change which took me to the southwest and new appreciation for "simple backpacking", mountain biking, canyoneering. A brief stint of three years in the Cascades was humbling. Was seriously challenged by the deep penetrating dampness of the northwest. Appreciated the magnificent beauty of the moss and waterfalls and got back into winter camping and snowshoeing. I experienced some amazing beauty, winter camping is bliss, no one else out there, wonderful hikes and climbs on Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams bring back fond memories.
Now I am back in the southwest with a surgically rebuilt right shoulder which has stopped me from climbing and a surgically rebuilt lumbar spine. Did that 220 footer in 1987 have anything to do with that? Rehabbing again with the intent to return to snowshoeing and telemark skiing and backpacking. Wish me success and I hope our paths cross somewhere beautiful and remote.