As I immerse myself in this time honored Dirt Rag tradition of Brain Farting, I find myself flashing back to a warmer time. A time where I was slightly newer to Pittsburgh and beginning an adventure along a new trail.

Due to a roller coaster work relationship with a cultural non-for-profit north of here, most of my waking moments since mid-September have been spent staring at pixels and Bezier lines. I cherish the moments where I can escape the LCD glow and put some polarized lenses to good use. During those early days in a new city, I was always excited to get away from white keys and USB ports in exchange for some singletrack and burning lungs. Leaving the principles of design behind, the fresh air and new trails were a memorable spirit boost.

Getting lost on great singletrack was even possible when I knew the trails, and a two hour adventure in a largely unknown park, was just what I needed to remind myself of what a great place I was in. There’s something very therapeutic about riding. It’s like a focused meditation where it’s easy to forget everything else and simply react to the variety of stimuli. Away from the computer I began to realize that the machine is fast becoming more of a tool to me and less and less of a toy. As a child of Nintendo and Saga, and all their grandchildren, I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to sitting in front of a computer as recreation. While calming my burning lungs and appreciating the serenity of the woods, I became very thankful that the crazy paths I’ve chosen over several years have brought me to a park in Southwestern Pennsylvania where I sipped from my water bottle and watched a family of horned rats (I think they might have been deer).

I’m glad that what is increasingly becoming a passion in my life, is now the outlet for my professional skills. That passion for the subject of my work has also renewed an interest in design. It’s a circle I think too few experience.

At the heart of all this rambling the point might be simple: I encourage everyone to explore, get lost, make mistakes and poor decisions—at least once in awhile, because those paths might take you someplace you have never been. If you’re lucky, or fortune smiles on you, you may just like where you end up. Hopefully, what may seem like a wrong turn in fact leads to where you want to be. I think the stroke that separates simple and boring is the same width as the one which separates a wrong turn and adventure.