Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Morning // Relaunch!

Over the last couple weeks there have been slight pulses of new life around here. As of today, I'm pleased to announce we've relaunched and will resume a regular posting schedule.

This whole thing started back in September in the Little Lakes Valley. More correctly, on the long car ride back to the Bay Area - from the Little Lakes Valley. Beylah was slumped over in the passenger’s seat blissfully sleeping her way over the Tioga Pass. I’d just lost the company of Tina Fey. The audio version of her book Bossypants had just ended. The iphone playing it, clutched in Beylah’s hands, was out of reach. And we were in that weird radio dead-zone on the border of San Joaquin and Tuolumne county that only plays NPR (radio lab was on, no thanks) and evangelical sermons (not my cup of tea).

little lakes valley

The Little Lakes Valley, a trip report will be forthcoming

In that moment of unintentional-but-not-unwelcome silence I remembered how much I genuinely missed writing about exactly these kinds of trips.

We returned to the Bay Area and unloaded all the gear from the trunk. We hosed off our dirt-caked skin and I finally had a chance to collapse into our couch at which point I pulled up the blog and also remembered exactly why I stopped writing. The old blog design was awful! The code was a mess and the problem was so overwhelming I didn't even know where to begin fixing it.

I’d been down this road a few times too. I’d get inspired to start writing again, look up at the mountain of poorly written code, broken links, and articles that needed editing and then back away slowly. In fact I have been repeating this process every two months for the last year and a half.

As you can probably guess though (since you’re reading this) this time was actually different. The solution was not to just write and deal with the problems as they come. There were just too many fixes that needed to be done to the old site. I needed a new approach and my best bet was to tear the whole thing down and start over. I learned CSS. I shot out draft after draft of the new site to trusted friends for feedback. I spent the better part of the fall and winter cruising other blogs to see what worked, and how they pulled it off. I built a new blog from scratch. I set the blog up on firm footing again and it was all really, really fun!

So I’m really excited to be relaunching now! I’ve had a lot of fun designing the site over the last few months and now I’m even more excited to be writing posts again. Here is a rundown of everything that’s going on with the new site.

Stuff that’s the same:

  1. All the old content is still there (some has been revamped to fit the new blog template)
  2. A few of the pages like “Gear” and “Tips” are basically the same
  3. I'm still here! No wait... keep reading!

New Stuff:

  1. We have a new name. I'll post more on it soon!
  2. The “Hike” page has been redesigned, hopefully it’s easier now to find the kind of hike you want
  3. A “Photography” page has been added with a number of new galleries (RSS followers might have seen those pop up last week!)
  4. The "About" page is all new and a, hopefully, more helpful FAQ has been added
  5. The “Read” page has been updated with links to some of my favorite resources and regular reading material.
  6. Oh, the name changed! (more on that tomorrow)

Stuff still to come:

  1. New Galleries, including favorite photos from 2012
  2. Lots of new posts including all new Trail Recipes
  3. Lots, Lots more, including some exciting surprises
I've very excited to be back. Thanks for reading.

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