Looking back at 2019

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?  Most of this year meant making a new home for myself in Moab with Joan.

A view from a local hike where the trailhead is three miles from my door.

Professionally, I guided both locally and for others and will do so both this spring and this summer in Escalante National Monument and Yosemite.

To flesh out my credentials, I completed my Wilderness First Responder certification and started my initial steps into working with the local Seach and Rescue Group.

Additionally, Joan and I started volunteering as archeological site stewards and further developed our shared interests in the outdoors, history, and Utah’s cultural past.

A lithic remnant from outside of Price, UT

Oh, and I published my first print book. And it seems to be doing well overall.

Outdoor Highlights

Too many too list!

I’ve enjoyed exploring my new home and seeing such storied places as The Maze, Comb Ridge, Canyonlands, Arches, etc. in addition to the lesser-known, but always interesting, places around our immediate home.

And, of course, spending much of it with my favorite trip partner. 🙂

Being able to combine my love of history with the outdoors and mix it all in a Cultural Geography stew makes for some rewarding outdoor pursuits.

And we’ve been fortunate to spend much of this outdoor time with many friends visiting us in Moab over the past year. Or even join them in nearby areas.

Other highlights include returning to “Range of Light” in Yosemite…

Guiding in Yosemite with Brian Robinson. The trip participants thought my Wrangler snap-button shirt looked stylish! ) Photo courtesy of Beth K.

Our two-week road trip to get ou there where we explored the beauty of Eastern Nevada.

And no outdoor report would be complete without making a note of my solo walkabout loop through one of my favorite places in the world: Northern New Mexico.

We rounded out 2019 by getting some skiing in at an accessible place with some very good touring.

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And Joan’s enjoying her first-time on these skis. Awesome!

Online Media

Instagram makes for an enjoyable way to post photos and write about them in a personal way beyond trip reports. This “micro-blogging” seems to resonate as my account cracked the 2000 follower mark and continues some steady growth.

As for the website itself, the evergreen content continues to be the most popular content overall. And almost identical to the articles popular last year.

The articles continue to show that people aren’t reading my website for me but rather the content they find via search engines.  And are of a practical and informational rather than aspirational nature. And aren’t focused on a specific piece of gear.

The most recent new article ended up being an accessible synopsis of the history of lightweight backpacking through a modern lens.

Articles that did not necessarily rank as high in terms of viewership, but that I am proud of included my “Thoughts of being wealthy,” another one on “Bearanoia,” and my three-pound super ultralight list for winter. 🙂  A mix of philosophical navel-gazing that I write for myself, some practical musings, and a bit of snark.  Go figure!

And this past year, I convinced Joan to write some articles. Now that she’s in the groove of her job, more materials should regularly come in 2020.

Ranger Joan with some happy students.

Looking Ahead

I am sporting the exp — weight polypro with my Sorrels in Escalante National Monument in 2003. I promise I won’t greet the clients like this when the time comes.

Who knows?  Other than some upcoming guiding gigs, another book might be on tap for 2020.  And I may or may not be writing some articles for a particular Onion-esque UL website. 😉

I have some ideas for another month-long hike, and of course, Joan and I plan on getting out as much as we can.

I think I’ll finally get off my virtual ass and do some YouTube videos. But more in a storytelling venue than yet another unboxing video of gear you don’t need.

Which often results in this common conundrum. From Mythbusters.

More details to come!

Thanks for reading along with me in 2019. Here’s to an outdoor filled 2020