Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Milestone

Today we are writing blog Number 1000.

(While we review some of the history of the blog, we present a group of photos taken early one recent foggy morning between 6:40 and 8:00 around Lake Martin near Breaux Bridge, LA.)

Over the past 33 months, we have missed about seven days of preparing a daily entry. (Kate’s hos-pitalization moved her progress into the highest priority position during those days. The lake includes a swamp with alligators and a rookery with hundreds of birds.)

What started as a photographic journal of our travels that we could review when our traveling days are over has expanded to include a record of “Things we didn’t learn in school,” restaurant reviews, and observations on the lives of the people and local events of the communities we have encountered.

We began with entries that contained six photographs, and thanks to our friend Dennis, who converted these entries and photos into a web page of his, we were off and running. After about 11 entries, Dennis realized that this conversion process was going to take a lot of his time, so he guided us in establishing this blog. This was a wise move on his part because our daily reports have included many more photos--as many as twenty-one in some recent entries.

Just considering an average of 10 photos per entry, we have included 10,000 photos to date. Then there’s the number of photos that didn’t make the daily cut.... Also, many of our early blogs had about a page of text; some of the recent ones have approached three pages. With over two pages of text and 12-18 photos per entry, printing out each day's accounts would fill a small three-ring binder in short order.

Kate writes all the food-related entries and is able to focus on her work very intently, resulting in her completing an entry in relatively short order. “Short order” compared to the time it takes me. I am easily distracted—watching TV, playing with the cats, or snacking on pistachios or oyster crackers—and also a bit obsessive about details—I will spend long periods of time trying to find the precise date of an event (was it 1897, 1898, or 1899) rather than using a phrase like “the late 1890s.”

As a result of this approach to preparing entries, I will, on occasion, not complete my writing until 1:00 or 2:00 am. Also, proofreading at this time is just not effective. So, every morning, Kate’s first task is to proofread the previous evening’s writing. Hopefully, she completes this (usually around 5:30) before any early morning readers come across errors. Sometimes readers find the errors before we do. Fortunately, not often, but it does happen.

As we travel, we try to include examples of what we see from panoramas in our national parks to small, simple examples of everyday scenes (a flower, colorful doorways, or a rusty pipe). Looking for these small scenes slows down the rush to be “on the move” and makes us more observant of the beauty around us all the time.

There are days when we debate over whether to include some of the day’s places, events, or people in the accounts of our activities. Some end with: “Very few people will see this if they travel here, so put it in” and other discussions end with: “This may not make any sense or mean anything to any reader, but we thought it was neat.” So, if you are reading one of those accounts that seems a bit unusual, just mark it up to our odd thinking process.

While rare, it is interesting to hear from a museum director, a represen-tative for the local tourist information center, a local resident, or a fellow traveler about our comments on their community, or restaurant selections. Whether their comments are corrective or supportive of our writings, it’s always satisfying that people would take time to comment in some way.

On occasion, we find “The Wanderers” listed following a Google search on a topic. That’s a real hoot, and we wonder how many people check in—even once.

In the course of our travels, a couple of people have suggested that we contact our local paper(s) about having our blogs serve as a column in their travel section. While this is a boost to our egos, the thought of that responsibility moves the writing into the “work” category and out of the “fun” category. For now, we'll keep the focus on fun.

And be assured that we are pleased to have the many regular readers who comment on the entries, who refer to topics covered during phone conversations or visits, and who sent e-mails or called when we missed the daily accounts back in the fall of '09. Your interest is much appreciated.

1 comment:

Craig and Linda Stevenson said...

Congratulations on your 1000th blog. I thought the photos you included today were wonderful. I enjoy reading the blog and have added several destinations to my list of places to visit when Craig retires. Keep on blogging -- we love it!!