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 419 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 (highlighted in gray text boxes). 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.
If you like travel quests, check out Questing App—the new mobile app I’m developing!
National & Global quests
Visiting all 419 units of the National Parks System—the quest I’m probably best known for.
COMPLETED IN JUNE 2019
Highest Points of Otherwise Flat States: visiting each of the country’s Drivable State Summits, aka the “Lazy Highpointers” quest.
National Monuments of the US: visiting each of our land-based national monuments
Visiting all 419 National Park units, 124 National Monuments, and 17 National Conservation Areas—a total of 478 places after accounting for overlap.
COMPLETED IN AUGUST 2019
National Conservation Lands: major areas protected under the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System.
All 50 States & the 5 major US Territories: visiting every state in the country and its 5 major territories, too. (Completed 2018)
#50by50: visiting 50 countries before I turn 50.
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)
Visiting the 10 “War Relocation Centers” where Japanese-Americans were confined during WWII
COMPLETED MAY 2019
Visiting all three of the World’s Largest Balls of Twine (completed 2013)
National Scenic & Historic Trails: visiting all 25 scenic and historic trails managed by the National Park Service. (completed 2018)
PAC-12 stadiums: seeing the football stadiums of each of the PAC-12’s teams.
Craft breweries of the US territories: visiting all of the craft breweries operating in the 5 outlying US territories (Completed 2018)
AZBeerQuest: visiting all of Arizona’s breweries (first completed 2016, but continuing to stay current)
Arizona State Parks: visiting all of Arizona’s State Parks
Arizona Wilderness Areas: visiting each of the designated Wilderness Areas in Arizona
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.
Kayaking each of the lakes surrounding metro Phoenix.
PhxBrewQuest: visiting all of metro Phoenix’s breweries (completed 2015)
Sketchy Chinese restaurants of downtown Phoenix: just…don’t ask. (completed 2015)
Attend a game of every professional sports team in Phoenix (completed 2019)
Phx Trail Quest: Hiking every mile of every official trail in the City of Phoenix
Every craft brewery in Washington, DC (completed 2019)
Quests I’m considering adopting
- Former National Park units
- National Natural & Historic Landmarks of Arizona
- “Culture Pass” locations in metro Phoenix
- National Scenic & Historic Trails
- Section hiking the Arizona Trail
- Section hiking the Maricopa Trail
Craft Breweries: keeping track of how many breweries I can visit since 2014
300/3000: reaching the 300 brewery and 3000 unique beer marks in Untappd by the end of 2019 (completed)