We humans are lazy creatures, by which I mean complacent in the face of habit. We do not need any particular reason to keep doing what we do on a regular basis, we need a rather particular reason to do anything else. Which is why it makes sense that Ryan got there first.
I’ve driven within 200 yards of the Wild Mile many times, and never really thought that the rowdy in spring run would be fantastic packrafting at lower flows. The word duh would be appropriate here.
The first principle which derives from the everyday implementation of human inertia is that locals often miss the best stuff in their area. After they’ve been around a while and been accultured into the melting pot of conventional wisdom, impetus to look at routine things in a new way is hard to find.
The second principle is that while living somewhere which makes you always want to travel is bad, living somewhere that is so good you never want to leave is worse. Even if you live in the best place in the country/world for your favored activity, too much time in the bubble will invariable diminish the quality of your experience. The phenomena is as inexorable as it is universal. This is why the out-of-towner climbs the long standing project, skis the plum line, pieces together the best backcountry route. The contempt engendered by familiarity is a fertile breeding ground for mediocrity.
So go somewhere new, and invite new folks to come visit your local stash.