Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Checking In


I know I've been slow to update the blog, but rest assured I'm still here! I have still been hiking and plugging away at the 52 hike challenge, even though I feel I've already gleaned the motivation it was intended to provide. If there's anyone left reading, I have a few adventures to share with you, but first, wanted to discuss what's been going on in my head about the future of the blog itself.  

I just finished my first formal anthropology class and am moving on to physical anthropology and archaeology classes at the end of August. I am very, very excited to finally have a direction in life and have had some big consciousness shifts. The more I learn about archaeology, the less I feel I should be sharing on the blog and that's part of the reason why I haven't been writing. If you look at the 2017 tab on the home bar you'll see I've removed most of my archaeology related posts, putting them back into draft status until I figure out how to share without oversharing.

Let me explain: 
There are a few archaeology bloggers out there who write about sites like I do. Most, like me, try to be relatively vague about location in order to protect the sites they visit, but every now and then someone will give out more info than maybe they should. One of these bloggers was doing write ups about sites in Anza Borrego and she was putting out a lot of visual cues in her photos and videos. I enjoy her blog and thought maybe it would be OK for me to email her and give some outside perspective, as well as extend an offer to combine forces since I have some Anza Borrego experience, and let's face it, girl archaeology buffs are few and far between. My email, which I thought was well worded so as not to sound shitty, was met with relatively polite resistance tinged with hubris, which was fine; I have enough friends and I'm certainly not the blog police.  Funnily enough, it wasn't long after that discussion that I received a message from a prominent figure in the San Diego hiking community about the very same thing in my blog. It seems one of my posts was linked to a hiking forum on Facebook and he was concerned for the safety of the site. While I thought I was doing a good job at being vague, like I'm sure the other blogger did, I conceded that maybe I needed to reevaluate my writing as opposed to resisting the criticism, lest I become those I've criticized.

After conversations with Josh, I think I might try composing my archaeology posts in a collection and narrative style as opposed to an expository format. This means I would present several trips mixed into a story type post in order to make location information harder to discern. I'll still share photos but will do a better job at hiding visual location ques. I am actually kind of excited about this since it challenges me to write in the style of some of my most favorite non-fiction authors like Craig Childs and John Muir. Not saying I'd be even remotely as good as them but it's fun to try! I'm planning to take several writing courses over the next few semesters, so maybe these writings will just become embarrassing as I gain more education, who knows; "fail better", right?

Attempting this format style means my rigid 52 hike count may fall by the wayside, but as of mid-August I'm on hike #38 so I'm pretty sure I'll be done by January :-). I have a lot to say about things that don't fit into specific trip reports and I've never been a "modern hiker" type blogger. We'll see how it goes. I'm off to do some writing now...wish me luck!


  1. While I enjoy the archaeology parts of your blogs, I enjoy the hiking parts even more. That is to say, if you just blogged about hiking trips where you're not searching for sites, I'd still be reading. Since your hikes and your "finds" are so intertwined, I don't know how much material you'd have available, but I hope you find a way to keep this thing going! - CS

  2. Hi there! I just stumbled upon your comment on Daren's blog. I came over to check your blog out, I am SO happy that I did. As you already know, there aren't too many people who actually blog about Anza Borrego. Then when I got here, I was even more geeked out. You have posts about Anza Borrego, Joshua Tree, and Cuyamaca Rancho SP. I also have many posts relating to those three places. I am now officially following your blog. I understand what you are saying about giving out accidental hints relating to locations. I go as far as including "landscape" photos in the post, that are anywhere in the area of the archaeological site.

    1. Hi Pat! Thanks for reading and commenting on my posts! I am perusing your blog now as well. I should have the revamped posts up soon for the last year so check back soon. :-)