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The next step down the trail.

November 13, 2014

104So I have been doing this blog for over a year and a half (two years this coming March), and this will be my 76th post. (To see them all from the beginning, follow this link, or just click on “All Posts So Far” just above.) It has been a fun and satisfying hobby, and I plan to keep doing it, as it is an established part of my life at this point and there are still so many places to see. Just as I get a lot out of walking through the forest, or sitting by a campfire with friends, or waking up to the sounds of nature through the nylon walls of a tent…I get a lot out of doing this blog.

2014-04-27 12.16.18And I find myself struck with the question…what is the next step on the path? I know that I will continue to do this, but is there someplace I can take it, other than just writing about more of the places that I have gone to? The primary goal for me, with almost every post, is “what can I say about it to get people to go there?”. The sharing of information, and the attempt to inspire. That is the icing on the cake, beyond just being able to be creative. The idea that something I wrote about a place may have compelled a person, one of you, to go spend some time there. Pretty remarkable and humbling, from where I sit. But could I do more?

DSCF1767As I look at all the content I have created and the places I have been, I feel as though there could be a step beyond this…a next step…but I don’t know what it is yet. I would eventually love to publish a book. An actual book that you could take with you on your adventures. A compilation of the reviews of trails and campgrounds and sites to see that I have visited so far. Edited (maybe my writing has improved over time?), with some really nice pictures. That will always be on my mind until I have done it. But beyond that…I don’t know. Merchandising? Group hiking or camping trips? A more professional website with expanded content? I do know that if a door were to open that would allow me to do this sort of thing for a living, I would probably jump through it, given the chance.

20130406_140146And maybe there is no next step down the trail. Maybe this will be as far as it can go, and I should just continue to do what I have been doing. I don’t really know. I do know that it isn’t difficult to do something you love, and I love sharing my impressions of all these natural places.

Just something that has been on my mind. I welcome your thoughts and ideas, and as always, thank you for checking out the blog. Here’s to being on an adventure!

1106Gabe and Max, the adventure dog.



  1. I love your blog and how detailed your posts are! No matter what you decide, I hope you keep blogging!

    • THAT I will certainly keep doing. Just dipping my mental toe in the universal waters and trying to get a feel for what might be out there. Thank you!

  2. Well…
    #1. Keep going on this path! Love your blog. It’s up there with for me…
    #2. You have accomplished it! Since I stumbled upon your page and blog via facebook, you’ve gotten me off my rear and even racing rain and the setting sun at this place you suggested:
    #3. I agree you need a better camera. Things could be arranged! lol – actually not kidding.
    #4. If you can make a living doing what you love, how awesome! Maybe one day the staff at MDC will say, “Man we gotta get that Camping Missouri on our staff!” Or – this idea: If you can make a little extra $ doing what you love, why not? Maybe it’ll go in that direction where you can make a little extra change to offset the gas involved & little things like a better camera – to make this an even better experience for you – and, in turn, your fans.
    and #5. Just enjoy the ride. (which it seems you do!) Often the paths we take lead us to the most unexpected places!
    OH and #6. group hikes? You already kinda do that, don’t ya? 🙂

    • You are always full of good ideas, Michelle, and I appreciate that. I will likely be getting a decent point and shoot camera when I get my tax return when winter is past, and I will be looking for advice when that comes around. Nothing extravagant, but solid and useful.

      And I will continue to put myself out there. The dream would be something along the lines of what you mention. That someone in a position of authority and resources would contact me because they see worth in what I create here. Maybe one day!

      As for group hikes, I am referring to actually having events beyond just my friends on Facebook (which you are always welcome to come along on!). Not sure if I’m ready for that sort of thing…and I guess I’m trying to consider HOW it might be worth doing. If it just gets ONE person out into the woods, then I suppose it is worth it.

      Thanks, Michelle! You’re gonna have to come along one of these days!

      • It’s easy enough – create an “event” on your camping Missouri Facebook page & invite, as well as let others invite, too. We do it for Franklin County Area Photographers for photo walks & little photo challenges etc 🙂

        Any photo tips you need – I am your gal! Lol it’s kinda what I do 24/7 especially since I teach it. 🙂

        As for me joining – I want to – I am just very slow. Chubby & out of shape is my current situation after some serious setbacks starting in 2009 with foot
        things etc… But since I usually am stopping to click & look anyway that makes me even slower lol (unless I am dealing with a setting sun & panic spurs me on!)

        Be well & btw I did a list of my current 5 favorite blogs on my entry today – shockingly this one made the list! lol 🙂

        Happy trails! (Oh Denver today! Sigh…) – Michelle

  3. Gabe, in addition to waiting for someone at MDC or another publication to come around to you, you can always consider putting yourself out there! I attended the Professional Outdoor Media Association conference in St. Louis several years ago, and there were quite a few fishermen who had syndicated columns to their local newspapers. I bet you can do the same with hiking, or maybe get in on with the River Hills Traveler or Terrain Mag montlies.

    Another awesome way to share your passion is through classes and public speaking. Reach out to community groups to talk to them about outdoor opportunities, or teach a WordPress class at your local library. That way you can start to build an audience outside the ones you’re getting organically, and maybe build a nice hiking/camping group, to boot! Both are great ways to promote your potential book, as well.

    Good luck! I love reading your stuff, keep up the good work. And it’s ALWAYS so good to get motivated to go outdoors by other people. Thanks for that.

    • Those are some great ideas, Tina Thank you! I will have to do some research when I get a chance, to find out more about syndication. There is so much that I don’t know, and I am glad that people like you that are doing it professionally can share some insight. I am excited about what this may turn into one day, and until then I will keep letting this grow as it has been.

      If you’re ever going to be in St. Louis for an event, let me know. I would love to meet you and pick your brain a bit.
      Thank you again!

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