Looks like your adventure culminated in success. I really enjoyed the read. I was also interested in the many responses to this thread, though I don't think any of the subsequent responses could capture the spirit of adventure as well as the original post did.
My original post in this thread, a tongue in cheek response to Stephen's post above, apparently tripped the moderator switch. Sorry. To rephrase in a more politically correct way, adventure is where you make it. I can honestly say that my adventures in Michigan are no more tame than those anywhere else I've been (except maybe Alaska). We've got the entire Upper Peninsula for pete's sake, a vastly underpopulated expanse of wilderness, complete with bears, wolves, coyotes, wild boars, and mountain lions. A diversity of waterfalls, rivers, bogs, beaver swamps, rock formations, shoreline, etc. Most of my trip reports over the last 5 years have attempted to showcase the wonders this state has to offer. No real mountains, but a truly unique environment nonetheless.
My approach is similar to Art's. Step 1- pick a place I'd like to explore. New is better, but familiar can work if you accentuate step 2.
Step 2- pick a challenge. Distance, pace, navigation, or other skill (food procurement, doing without key gear like shelter) are all fair game. Anything that takes me, however briefly, out of my comfort zone.
How often- as often as I can get away without compromising my credibility as father, husband, or employee. For me, this generally translates to 4-5 days per month.
Why? Who knows what the future will hold. Maybe I'll live till a ripe old age, surrounded by family. Possibly I'll succumb to a brain tumor or accident in the next 5 years. Regardless of which of these eventualities finds me, I hope that at the end, my kids will be able to say of me that I didn't waste the time I was given, that I let myself really live. And hopefully by example, I will have instilled this value in them as well.