2018: A year on the road and a new home

As with previous years, I enjoy using this blog post to look over the year and seeing the direction I  am taking in the year to come.

Thanks for indulging. 🙂

TL;DR version?   I traveled for most of 2018 and saw some awesome places. And starting in September of 2018, I left the Front Range of Colorado after nearly twenty-years and made a new home for myself in Moab, UT with Joan. 

A Year of Traveling

Back in Boulder for a brief time near the end of my sabbatical.

For the end of 2017 and most of 2018, I gave myself the gift of time.

I continued with my road trip and visited many places throughout the Southwest, the West Coast, and visited family and friends back East.  In June and July, I did some guiding for Andrew.  And then I finished my sabbatical by thru-hiking Canada’s Great Divide Trail.

I can’t complain about the experiences, sites, and the support of friends and family who helped me along the way!

A New Home

Enjoying a local hike less than four miles from our home.

And in September, I moved to Moab, UT.  I never expected to make a new home in this town.  But the relationship Joan and I developed over the year made moving to Moab an exciting prospect.

After many years of hard work, Joan achieved a permanent position with the NPS. We’ll be here for a while yet.

And though I knew the Moab area abounds with many outdoor opportunities, I did not expect how much I’d enjoy the town itself. Other than Moab itself and the front entrance of Arches National Park, Moab does not have the Front Range traffic and parking issues I “loved” in recent years.

Bu the outdoor opportunities; wow! We can be in the La Sals to hike or ski in thirty minutes.  Or be in red rock desert in thirty minutes the other way. Parts of the Colorado San Juans are three-hours or less away and so on.

The town itself has a tight community where people know one another, a library I enjoy,  some good events going on for local enjoyment, and is more laid back than my former home in Boulder.

 

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Ah… @ramblinghemlock knows me well. 🙂 .. #moab #utah @moablibrary

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I miss my friends, of course. And the craft beer selection!  But I am excited about the prospects of this new home.

Trip Highlights

So many fantastic memories from over the year. My road trip post alone lists many of them!

But to sum it up in a few photos.

Ancestral Puebloan exploration never gets old.

Seeing the redwoods and exploring California.

A mad dash to Rhode Island to see my family before my middle brother moved to the South.

And seeing family, old friends, and Joan down south.

Some post-road-trip highlights though?  Well, The Great Divide Trail thru-hike ranks high on that list, of course.

And getting in a backpacking trip in Colorado with friends before moving to Utah also ranks high. A trip a few days after returning from Canada, no less. 🙂

Then there are the many trips I’ve already done from being based in Moab.

Exploring the La Sals in the Fall…


Continuing to explore the Colorado Plateau very close to our abode…

 

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The Salt Creek Zone of Canyonlands National Park holds the highest concentration of ancient artifacts in the national park. An observant traveler can not only see the spots noted on the map but also hidden places along the south facing walls.  Ancient dwellings high on the cliff faces beckon. Petroglyph and pictograph panels are only found by word of mouth or happenstance and reveal themselves by patient observation and the occasional walk through thick brush. The walk is again that typical Colorado Plateau experience of walking through a museum where the canvas is red rock. And then there are the canyons themselves. Sheer cliffs of red and white as you walk along the canyon bottom.  The yellow cottonwoods line the path. And night, the Milky Way appears above the same cliffs as you sip your hot chocolate and again take delight in everything that brought you to this point in your life. … … #hiking #camping #backpacking #canyonlandsnationalpark #nps #nps100 #findyourpark #coloradplateau #utah #moab #petroglyphs #ancientpuebloan #rockart  #fremont

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And returning to favorite places a bit further afield when we have time. But places that always seem to call again and again.

 

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What is it about Chaco Canyon that always seems to beckon time and time again? It is the remoteness? Being in the middle of a cast canyon? The history and being able to explore the site of a civilization 1000 years old?  Being present at one of the most famous archeoastronomy sites in the world? Or seeing the night sky that is among the darkest in the United States? Or knowing the center of the Colorado Plateau is where I am standing? All I know Chaco is one of those special places. Where every time I go, I seem to discover more. And want to return yet again.  One visit is not enough to see everything there. Or even three. I’ll be back again. …. #newmexico  #newmexicotrue #landofenchanment #rockart #petroglyphs #ancientpuebloan #coloradoplateau #canyons #nps #findyourpark #publiclands #nationalparks #chacocanyon

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And then coming full circle to enjoy the La Sal mountains in winter and being able to enjoy the Nordic touring I enjoy so much.

 

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A good solid morning and afternoon of ski touring the in the La Sals! … #moab #utah #skiing #lasals #lasalmountains #winter

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I look forward to exploring the area even more in the months ahead!

The Website

The most popular articles for the year are the same top articles currently listed on my PMags Popular Posts sidebar:

In other words, mostly content I regularly update but nothing new. Most of my material is what web wonks call  “evergreen.”.  Apparently, this type of content is a good thing.  In my case, it means most of my writing tends to be pragmatic reference material and is not about the latest Top Ten Ttchotke You Don’t Need type material.

The one exception compared to the list on the sidebar  photo? My Talus vs. Scree articled ended up being my seventh most popular article this year. Again, pragmatic as opposed to flashy content.

The most popular new article (as opposed to a revised article) is my GDT Quick and Dirty guide. I see a trend!

My favorite articles that I wrote, at least new ones, tend to reflect my tendency to be perhaps a tad (?) sarcastic. I rather enjoyed writing a Top Ten Reasons Why Top Ten Gear Lists (Mostly) Suck article. Another article I wrote focused on a similar topic, too.

But I did give what I think is the most positively useful gear review article of all time!

Soooo…..in 2019, I expect more of a similar trend. My evergreen content will be updated and referenced a fair amount. And I’ll write some articles that may not be as popular, but will give me a chuckle at least.

One thing I’ve been doing more this year is microblogging, on Instagram in particular.

Paulie, what the hell is microblogging???

Short posts rather than long-form articles. I do not have the patience, skill set, or inclination to do YouTube videos. But I do love taking photos. And adding a 250 word or less blurb to a photo montage works well. And I can link to other content on my blog. A useful adjunct to my site and something that plays to my skills and enjoyment as a photographer. I’ve noticed topics with a microblog focus do rather well when linked to existing content on my site.

The Year Ahead

I am excited to be exploring more areas. My range is extended. Arizona jaunts are on tap, some San Juan exploration in the summer, and enjoying all the Colorado Plateau has to offer is a definite! And having a partner who enjoys the outdoors as much as I do to experience it all with is a joy!

It looks like I’ll be guiding a bit for Andrew again this year.

I have some possible hiking planned in September 2019 back in New England when I am there for my youngest brother’s wedding. Another cobbled together route including a portion through my home state of Rhode Island. More to come. 🙂

Gonna be a great 2019!

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5 Replies to “2018: A year on the road and a new home”

  1. Paul,

    I’m glad everything seems to be working out so well for you and Joan. Never had to do that cube thing, and definitely thankful for that. Thanks for the always interesting and informative posts. Much appreciated and always an enjoyable read.

    Marty

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