Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy 9th Birthday, Summit to Shore

            I started blogging nine years ago when I set up this blog and posted my first piece, entitled ex nihilo. I posted more than 210 times that first year.

            I recently searched for information about the lifespan of the average blog but was not able to find anything close to a definitive answer. Anil Agarwal, at, writes that most blogs are abandoned within three to six months. Others have opin that blogs are generally short lived, whatever that means. One thing it might mean is that Summit to Shore has survived longer than most blogs.

            Not long after I started Summit to Shore, I also started posting to a group blog called Presbyterian Bloggersan informal and unofficial gathering of PC(USA) Bloggers established in 2006. One blogger after another eventually stopped posting. Even the administrators drifted away. I was the last blogger posting and my last contribution appeared there in early 2013. That blog enjoyed a lifespan of less than seven years. Summit to Shore has now lived two years longer than that.

            I also used to post some of my creative writing to but it too ceased, its creator’s noting “After a good run, WritingFloor will no longer be in service. The usage of the site is unfortunately too infrequent to justify the expense of maintaining our servers and databases.” I do not know when WritingFloor started and forget when it ceased. Since Summit to Shore costs me nothing other than time, I do not see myself stopping posting here anytime soon.

            Over a year ago I started posting to The Trek,  an outdoor adventure blog dedicated to all things related to long distance backpacking, especially along the Appalachian Trail,  Pacific Crest Trail, and everything in between.” When I started posting there The Trek was titled Appalachian Trials but changed its name to better reflect its focus. As a Trek Writer I posted on The Trek twice a month for a year. I still occasionally post there but not as regularly.

            I started Summit to Shore primarily to force myself to learn more about social media, especially blogging, and as an outlet for some of my creative writing. I have posted original poetry, prose and photography. Barely a week has gone by that I have not posted at least once. Sometimes I post several times a week. I have never made a cent off any of it and never intended to.

            My first year blogging, 2009, was certainly the most prolific with 210 posts still remaining on the blog. 2013 was my least productive years as only 22 posts from that year remain up. Some from that year have been deleted.

            In my very first post, ex nihilo, I wrote that “My hope and prayer is that through this blog I might create a world in which to share my Philosophical and Theological thoughts, reflections, musing and opinions from a progressive perspective, and that readers might by chance, upon entering this world, catch a glimpse of something higher, deeper and more transcendent.” I think my hope and prayer have been somewhat fulfilled. What do you think?
            The most viewed post of all time is Chronological Linksto Cycling from DC to PGH Series of Blog PostsDuring the summer of 2015, a friend and I cycled along the C and O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh, PA. I wrote several posts about that trip, one post per day plus pre-trip and post-trip reflections. This most viewed posts offers links to that dispersed series.

            The second most viewed post is an August 2012 post entitled We Sailed. The post offers an original poem and photograph from back when I owned a C&C 24 that I sailed around Jamaica Bay and the waters around New York City. It is one of my favorite poems and posts. 

           Riding Solo Or With A Group, a recent post in which I reflect on the advantages of cycling alone compared with the advantages of cycling with a group, is the latests post to enter the most viewed list. This post is actually an edited section from a theological reflection paper I was required to write as part of the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

            Hiking, Cycling, and Kayaking NearWellsburg, WV, the 4th most viewed post, combines my love of three outdoor adventure sports and my ability to enjoy them within easy driving distance of my home town, which I moved back to a little over four years ago after being away for nearly forty years. It is also an early attempt at stretching my creative writing to embrace Outdoor Adventure Writing. 

           The fifth most viewed post, A Poem of Protest, is a free verse poem I wrote in response to gun violence. I post a link  to this poem on Face Book and twitter almost every time there is another senseless mass shooting.

            Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, November 13, 2016, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), is the sixth most viewed Summit to Shore post. In a sense, there is nothing special about it, but it does serve as an example of my most prolific type of posting. I have been writing a series of Lectionary Ruminations for five years or more but have started deleting older posts as I have updated and edited them as my original Lectionary Ruminations have morphed into Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 and is now Lectionary Ruminations 2.5. 

           Would I have been better off focusing my blog on a single topic or interest? Perhaps, but I have so many varied interests that I have needed a broadly focused, eclectic blog to serve as a platform for my creative writing. I think this broad focus will serve in the future as well. Do you agree?

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