Lots of great advice, thanks everyone (more condensed and relevant than the "advice for a noob" thread I'd say). I do wish I had easier access to more dirt rather than gravel. I suppose I could just turn off the road and ride through grass, but 99% of the land is owned around here, so I doubt people would like that. I'm considering a move to the Raleigh, NC area within the next year. If anyone has a suggested area around there for great offroad riding, I'd appreciate it!
The brunt of winter has subsided and I've started riding my bicycle to work again. I should be out on the CRF more often as well. I'm also planning a ride with a fellow ADV'er at the end of the month. Lots of benefits to being part of the ADV community - happy to be a part of it.