SUMMIT TO SHORE: Theologically and philosophically informed eclectic ruminations on everything between summit to shore, especially cycling, hiking and backpacking, kayaking, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, poetry, and creative writing by John Edward Harris, a progressive Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of the Word and Sacrament.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Summit to Shore Turns Four
There seems to
be some debate about the average lifespan of a blog. I have seen numbers as low as a few weeks and
as high as two to three years. Summit to Shore has apparently beaten
the odds. It turns four years old today!
I started Summit to Shore, and
blogging, on January 5, 2009. With a post entitled Ex-Nihlio, I entered the
Looking back over the past four years, I think I started
blogging for several reasons. First and
foremost, I wanted to learn about blogs and how to blog, as well as to learn
more about social media. In other words,
I wanted to keep up with the times and I believe that the best way to learn is
Yes, I read a
couple of books and on line articles about blogging but I more or less just
jumped into the blogosphere without much preparation. I have learned a lot along
the way. In good Socratic fashion, however,
I have also learned that when it comes to blogging and social media there is a
lot I do not know. It sometimes seems
that social media is changing so fast one must be working in it full time to
keep up with it. I use social media in my profession, but social media is not
my profession, just part of it, one tool in my professional toolbox. I therefore sometimes find it difficult to
keep up with all the trends and changes.
Nevertheless, I try.
I also entered
the blogosphere because I felt like I had something to say – not that anyone
would want read what I wrote. I may not
be the world’s best writer, but I like to write. I sometimes feel like there are words and
ideas within me that I have to write down, or else I will burst. Blogging offers me an outlet for some of my
creative energies. It also provides me a
forum for some of my ideas and opinions.
I have sailed
against the wind by not blogging about one particular topic. Summit
to Shore is certainly an eclectic blog, covering everything between, well,
summit to shore. In the beginning I had
intended to be eclectic, but to write more about mountains and summits than I
When I lived in
West Virginia, I spent a lot of my free time hiking and backpacking. I often hiked two to four days a month,
covering 8-16 miles a day hiking in some rough mountainous terrain at high altitude,
at least by eastern standards. After
moving to New York City five and a half years ago, I thought I would spentd a
lot more time climbing and hiking in the Gunks, Catskill’s and Adirondacks, but
the reality of traffic and tolls soon altered my ideas. It takes me at least an hour and a half and
over $10 in tolls just to drive up to the Gunks for a day of hiking or
climbing, and finding climbing partners whose skills and experience were compatible
with mine was not always easy.
I can drive from
my home to Jamaica Bay in half an hour and pay no tolls. With a sit-on-top kayak kept on Jamaica Bay
at the Sebago Canoe Club, where I can almost always find someone to
paddle with, I quickly found myself
drawn more to the shore than the summit.
Two and a half years ago my wife and I took sailing lessons and I bought a used C&C 24 sailboat, which I
also keep on Jamaica Bay. This past summer we sailed on average probably one
day a week. A year ago I acquired a Necky
Chatham 17 traditional kayak which I also keep on Jamaica Bay at the Sebago
Canoe Club. Is there any wonder, then, why
I have ended up posting more about sailing and kayaking than hiking and
climbing? I also often cross post many of my kayaking related posts to the Sebago Canoe Club Blog,
years ago I took on the “Lectionary Ruminations” Column on Presbyterian Bloggers and soon
started cross posting “Lectionary Ruminations” to my blog as well. While between 25-45 people read my “Lectionary
Ruminations” post every weak on Presbyterian
Bloggers, I will soon complete the
three year lectionary cycle and will no longer post on Presbyterian Bloggers, which seems to have outlived its lifespan. It has been six months since anyone else has
posted to Presbyterian Bloggers, so I
plan to update, expand, and edit my previous “Lectionary Ruminations” postings
and continue posting them exclusively on Summit to Shore.
For the first
two and three quarter years of Summit to Shore, I was working less than full time
and had free time to write. For the past
sixteen months I have been working two half-time jobs, or the equivalent of a
full time job, and have not had as much free time. Therefore I post less than I used to, devoting
most of my creative energies to “Lectionary Ruminations” with an occasional
post about sailing, kayaking, politics, culture, or anything else between
summit to shore..
Glancing at my BLOG
ARCHIVE suggests that I started blogging like a sprinter and over the past four years
have slowed down to a reduced but more manageable pace. Here are the numbers.
According to All
Time Stats, as of 10:40 AM this morning, there have been 53,598 pageviews and I
have made 535 posts, with eighteen followers (THANKS ONE AND ALL). These have
been the most popular posts.
We Sailed, posted August 27, 2012, has received 659
pageviews, nearly twice as many as the next most viewed post.
posted June 15, 2010, has received 317
At least one
post from each year made it into the top six.
Three of the top six posts, however, are from the most recent year. I suspect "We Sailed," "A Prayer for Newtown," and "Stuck" will continue receiving additional pageviews and that "A Prayer for Newtown" will eventually rise to second place while "Stuck" will eventually rise to third.
Summit to Shore, and may your best years be ahead of you.