Yes, short fields are going to be fun. So many of them have disappeared in the US, though.I'd do both.
From what've seen, the landscape will be fantastic at cruising altitude as well. I imagined flying around in a 747 to major airports, then discover the area by a smaller plane - endless roleplaying possibilities
If I were you I'd fly to some of the most difficult airports to land at.
Edit: what were you/are you flying?
Me too, I am looking forward to trace back many of my backpacking travels from 10+ years. I'll never forget some of the spectacular landings at the Cook Islands and the Faroes, for example.