A while back I decided I needed to take a step back and reduce my internet presence. I wrote about it here before. It was, in large part, to help me clear my mind of the clutter induced by social media, current events, and just the life-by-proxy nature that comes with interacting with people across thousands of miles.
Part of that effort included escaping to the forests and attempting to fit a weekly hike into my already packed schedule of television and video games. Believe it or not, in the eleven weeks since making that decision I’ve hiked thirteen separate trails to varying degrees of completion. So, so far, I’d say it’s been a resounding success.
I think it was about the fourth week of consecutive hiking that I decided that I wanted to share my experience with friends and family. The island of Oahu has some truly beautiful and unique scenery which I thought acquaintances both locally and afar might be interested in seeing. In addition to this, Hawaii is just dripping with history and folk-lore everywhere you look, and I wanted to share some of that as well.
And so began the Trailhead trail blog; my weekly write up of trails I’ve hiked on the island of Oahu. And it’s been good so far. It keeps the writing gears oiled and operational and, probably even better, when I come back from a hike with a phone full of photos I feel like I have something to write about. I don’t have to come up with a clever idea, or interesting characters or a plot twist or any of the other sometimes-burdensome conventions of fiction writing. Instead I can just tell my story with only mild exaggeration.
The “funny thing” is that I didn’t expect retreating to the forest to steer me back to the internet.
Though I withdrew in large part from Facebook, I increased my presence on Twitter. There’s a different vibe there which is just less intrusive to my thought process, and it’s better for networking and such which is how I stumbled upon High Peaks Hiking.
High Peaks Hiking is an online hiking and backpacking outfitter based out of Northern New York. Their mission is to help make hiking appealing and accessible to everyone by not only peddling high-quality gear at reasonable prices; but more so, just by reminding people that hiking is a thing you can totally do to get outside, get healthy, and get away from it all.
It’s an idea that really resonated with me, so when I saw a “Blogger Wanted” post on Twitter, I figured, “Why not?” I’m going to write this stuff and share my photos regardless of whether or not anyone reads it, why not get it seen by a wider audience? So, I shot them an email telling them a little about myself and linking them to the blog here.
A representative responded to me in a matter of hours saying they really liked what I was doing here and they would love to host my work as a guest blogger on their community page. We kicked about some details and, long-story-short, I’m a shill now!
Every few weeks or so, when I go on an especially satisfying hike, I’ll send it over to them, they put it on their site and I add a link to their site on my end. Mutually beneficial, just the way I like it. As of today they’ve accepted two of my trail blogs; the Ka’ena Point Trail and my newest, the Kaunala Loop Trail and it’s been great so far.
I’m really looking forward to continuing the trail blog and have some good ones coming up that I can’t wait to share, and High Peaks Hiking is helping me share them with a much wider audience. Also, I got a coupon code for 10% off on swag, so…
Oh, I’ve also been tinkering with some new fiction stuff too, but I don’t want to talk too much about that lest I convince myself I’ve already finished it; because apparently that’s a thing.