It wasn’t until the release of the book Happiness of Pursuit that I really started to think about the role that quests and goal-seeking had played in my life. Looking back, it’s always been a part of what I’ve done. It probably started with trips to the state parks of Michigan with my mom when I was a kid, as we sought refuge and tried to make the most of our annual park pass.
Of course, the most well-known and important of my quests is to visit all 417 units of the National Parks System—it’s my longest running quest and the one that’s hardest to accomplish.
But that’s not the only one I’m currently pursuing.
Below is a listing of quests currently in progress, as well as ones I’ve already completed. Some of them are “complete” only for awhile, while others are more static. It’s unlikely that we’ll end up with a new county high point, for example, while new breweries are opening every month or two. Still others, like the highest points of otherwise flat states, are more about just collecting as many as I can with no final number in mind.
National Parks Quest: visiting all 417 units of the National Parks System
PhxBrewQuest: visiting all of metro Phoenix’s breweries (completed 2015)
AZBeerQuest: visiting all of Arizona’s breweries (completed 2016)
Arizona State Parks: visiting all of Arizona’s State Parks
Visiting all three of the World’s Largest Balls of Twine (completed 2013)
Arizona Wilderness Areas: visiting all of the designated Wilderness Areas in Arizona
Highest Points of Otherwise Flat States: visiting each of the country’s Drivable State Summits, aka the “Lazy Highpointers” quest.
All 50 States: visiting every state in the country—and I’ve since added the 5 major territories, too. (Contiguous US completed 2016)
High Points of each of Arizona’s Counties: tackling the highest points in each county.
Visiting all of the locations designated as Phoenix Points of Pride.
Sketchy Chinese restaurants of downtown Phoenix: just…don’t ask. (completed 2015)
Craft Breweries: keeping track of how many breweries I can visit since 2014
Phx Trail Quest: Hiking every mile of every official trail in the City of Phoenix
#45by45: visiting 45 countries before I turn 45.
Manhattan Project: visiting the major sites associated with the development of our early nuclear weapons.
-Stein Brewery Quest: visiting every brewery in countries that end in “stein” (completed 2017)
Japanese Internment Camps: visiting the 10 “War Relocation Centers” where Japanese-Americans were confined during WWII.
Beer100: 100oz of beer on Phoenix’s Trail 100 (completed 2014)