I have two words for you: just two words ~are you listening?~ "Bike Camping"
When I gave up my car, I wondered if I would ever visit the wilderness again ~a far greater sacrifice in my mind than the forfeiture of continence, and ironic given that my primary reasons for going car-free were steeped in environmental responsibility. Time in wild places is, for me, akin to time spent breathing, and the longer I was away from the forest, the more I felt like those cows in that episode of Firefly: "They weren't cows inside. They were waiting to be, but they forgot. Now they see the sky and they remember what they are." I have been waiting to remember who I am for about 5 years, and because of everything that has happened in those 5 years, I didnt even realize it. Wouldn't you know it: once again it is Portland's cycling community that is coming to my rescue.
Several of my fellow SHIFTies have come together to create Cycle Wild, it's mission: "to reconnect people with nature via the bicycle"! Was this created especially for me or what?! These excursions are fully human powered (no SAG wagon) trips that take full advantage of the many wilderness areas within 75 miles of Portland, and the fact that -in many cases- we can utilize Light Rail to shorten that distance.
Now, granted, I have made an art of avoiding hills while riding in town, my son's extended hospital stays have left me less than athetic, and since returning to Portland I have not ridden more than about 15 miles in one sitting; but now I have a goal, as well as a reason to live.