I’ve been writing this blog – albeit sporadically – for a few years now (umm, eight?). I started out on Blogger (where I wrote my first blog about the Nootka Trail) before moving to WordPress. The main reason for moving over was that WordPress had the ability to create fixed pages, and to set the posted date to something other than the date the entry was finished. (I believe that Blogger has that capability now, but it didn’t in 2007.) This allowed me to match the order of the articles with that of the trips themselves – yay!
My preferred format has been to tell the story of the trip – sometimes (often?) in great detail – as a way to remember as many things about the day(s) as possible. I’m detail-oriented, so I really like to re-read articles and be reminded of the small things that made the day – the weather, the sights, the smells, flora and fauna. My aim is to capture as many of those elements as possible to recreate the sense of being there, along with the journey that it took to get there. And I mean “being there” both in terms of remembering the visit to a particular place and in the sense of Being in that place (some may call it mindfulness, or presence). A quick summary just doesn’t cut it for me; I savour my time spent hiking and I want to do the same every time I look back on a trip.
I realize that my distinctly linear and detailed approach is the antithesis of “good” writing (which is partly why I’m changing things), but that’s just my style. I follow a number of enjoyable and well-written blogs that I admit are probably way more interesting for the average reader than my seemingly-endless verbiage. I’m OK with that.
OK, as may have been expected, this is getting long; here’s a photo to break up the text. This is me showing how happy I was to see Tundra Lake with my own eyes:
However, time constraints mean that it’s been difficult to keep up with the number of trips we do each year, and I often settle for a short summary of the day which I have written for the Live Trails web site. That’s all well and good, and keeps a steady stream of new articles appearing on the blog, but it’s not satisfying and it’s not why I started writing.
Also I realized that in being able to set the publish date to that of the trip that recently-written articles might never appear at the top of the blog, and therefore be invisible to any visiting readers. Now, I’m not writing for any particular audience and it was never my goal to be a recognized blogger – I’m doing this for my own records – but as I found more and more blogs I enjoyed reading, I wondered if anyone would actually be interested in reading my ramblings.
Here’s my plan. I’m going to try and have the best of both worlds – I will publish articles on the date I first have something that I’m happy to publish, and not necessarily in chronological order. This will usually be the “Live Trails” version of the trip, maybe with a photo. Then, as time and inclination allows, I will add the rest. Articles will now have three parts which I’ve called Opinion, Facts, and Story. In the first two I’m unashamedly copying the Copelands (whose writing I enjoy immensely) who divide their trip descriptions in the same way. The opinion section will contain some thoughts related to the hike on that day, and not limited to my opinion of the hike itself as these can be very different. My need for order will be satisfied by linking to each article on the relevant “Hikes” page. See? I can have my pie and eat it (I’m a pie convert, cake is but a poor substitute :-) I may even throw in the occasional editorial article if the mood takes me. Will I go back and redo all the old articles? Much as I’d like to, the answer is probably not.
And so with that it’s time to wrap up and let 2016’s hiking get under way! Personally, I can’t wait to see glacier lilies again :-) Long may my fellow hikers keep blogging! And if you see a pair of hikers each with an SLR (the one with an orange daypack is me) please say Hi :-)