This past summer I passed the decade mark of having a website of some sorts dedicated to the outdoors at all times. That first website was just a page (the painful memories of long ago technology….where for free all one got was a single page). I kept it as a list of my hikes and adventures – complete with small sized photos (you didn’t want to anger those on dial-up and the storage was minimal!). Cannot say I miss those days. When I started writing/developing the Freezer Bag Cooking website in the fall of 2004 blogging wasn’t what it is now. But I did like doing it and slowly I picked it up, adding it to the website constantly.
But I always wondered how much I could truly write about the outdoors? I’d say that having a run from 2004 to the present has been pretty phenomenal. Many give up in just a couple of months, some make it a year or two. But even I see myself petering for that first time in 7 or so years. My posts come farther apart, sometimes a month passes or longer. Mostly I realize I don’t have as much to talk about or dwell upon when it comes to the outdoors. My life changing has part of that to blame. I had kept a personal blog I wrote that after the birth of my second son, Walker, in March of 2010, became ever so slowly my choice of where I wrote. Mostly because my outdoor life isn’t separate from my everyday life – my family is part of that. As I wrote months ago I found I angered men who had read this blog that I talked about gear for babies, food items for babies, etc that was related to hiking. So I took all that to my personal blog where I could be a ‘mommy blogger’ and have a receptive audience (shockingly enough there are plenty of women and men who DO have an interest in that!) It left a sourness though to my outdoor writing, I felt cornered and that I couldn’t express myself, I waited after every post to see someone post negative remarks on Twitter that I was talking about babies again. I found myself even posting trip reports on my personal blog when I went hiking this past year. There I didn’t feel that someone would complain that I had *gasp* shown too many photos of my youngest giggling in his Deuter backpack.Or him walking up a trail on his own….
It just became easier to have a personal blog where I owed no one anything and if it bugged someone they didn’t have to read it. What I found was a warm group of readers who were trying to balance family and hobbies. My life changed more than I thought after I had Walker. When it was just Ford and I all those years ago, hiking all over, it was just that – hiking and being outside. He wasn’t a typical kid, he was a rare one, who liked hiking and didn’t question too often about why I dragged him everywhere. But as he entered his teen years I quit writing about him. I believe teens should have privacy. But once Kirk and I added another child (Walker) things changed. I calmed down a bit and found new hobbies in the outdoors. I found I could be just as happy pushing a jogger stroller on a paved rail to trail as I was doing a 20 mile day on the PCT. For me the simple act of being outdoors has always been what matters, not where I was. And being pregnant this fall has changed me more. I know that my life will change even more once our third child is here this winter. I will be limited where I go for another year unless Ford carries the burden of his brother and I am not sure I am willing to ask that of him. But I can happily push my stroller with my babies and my my oldest walking next to me down a moss lined trail in the Cascade mountains. And simply smell the air. Will I get back to where I was three years ago, backpacking constantly? I do not think so, at least for a couple of years. But again I am OK with it. My interest in tents and sleeping bags isn’t as high anymore, where as daypacks and jogger strollers are.
For now I give no promises on how often my blog posts here will come. I happily write my column for Washington Trails Association’s magazine, Wa Trails, and keep developing new recipes for the Trailcooking website. I am often posting items on the Facebook fan page as well – and love reading post from readers on FB. But as I get farther along with this baby my heart lies in blogging on Gazing In more and more. So if periodically being forced to look at photos of my children doesn’t cause gagging, please check out my writings. I warn though hiking is maybe 10% of it but you never know….you might enjoy the upcoming recipes of Candy-Fest 2011 (Candy-Fest 2010 was amazing I might add). Hah…….