The mystique of Nike lies behind a berm near Beaverton, Oregon. It is there, where the Nike Worldwide Headquarters spreads across 286 acres and more than 75 buildings, that Jordan lovers can visit the lobby of the Jordan Building to peruse a collection of drool-worthy sneakers. Or maybe you want to check out that replica Pebble Beach #18 tee box and subsequent green a mere 315 yards away. Or tie back to a bit of Nike’s New England history and stop in the Boston Deli inside the Joan Benoit Samuelson Building, a deli-meets-sports bar with a treasure trove of signed athlete photos and memorabilia, much of it dedicated to Nike co-founder Phil Knight.

And that’s just a start.

In my many years covering Nike, writing for publications such as Sports Illustrated and Popular Mechanics,  I’ve had the pleasure of multiple invites onto the campus to interview athletes and designers and witness the creation process live in search of a better story. Whether with a group of other journalists in a coach weaving through the security-guarded entrance of the Tiger Woods Conference Center (my first official visit to campus), pulling up to the main entrance (past the 48 flags signifying the countries Nike did business with when it was founded), or even meeting a Nike employee on campus after meandering through a wooded walking path south of it that connects the local light rail line—and hundreds of employees using the stop—to the main campus, arriving at the site always offers an entry into what feels like a rarefied world.

Once there, I’ve tossed a football, kicked a soccer ball and fielded a lacrosse ball on Ronaldo Field, explored the Nike Museum in “Pre Hall,” chatted with Tobie Hatfield while overlooking the six-acre, seven-foot-deep manmade Lake Nike—the earth removed from the lake creates the berm that surrounds much of the campus, offering a physical and metaphorical barrier to the surrounding area—and toured the site multiple times, even jumping from interview to interview across campus and wishing I had a golf cart to quicken my pace.