Looking Back and Forward to 2018

Greetings to a new year, welcome 2018.

This month my photos and movies are being featured in the Willimantic Food Cooperative’s cafe gallery. I built a small display from reclaimed pallet wood, had a few photos printed, and fixed a TV at the center to loop my collection of movies using a Raspberry Pi. It has gotten a great reaction so far!  Thank you for checking out exploreCT.org if the gallery brought you here.

ExploreCT display in the gallery at the Willimantic Food Cooperative

Looking Back

This time of year is for looking forward, but first I’d like to take a moment and recount how far this site has come. The first months of running this site have been a process of tiny steps from rough idea to the version in progress here. It has been a steep learning curve setting a domain and email, hosting my own server, and setting up a custom WordPress. Now that the structure is in place and all the elements are communicating together, I can endlessly tinker until my heart’s content.

In 2017, I added 159 locations to the map:

The current information layout evolved over the course of adding those entries and I’m sure it will continue to change as I get more comfortable in my descriptions and my research deepens. The layout echoes the process I used when I first started making my movies, figuring out where the hike was and then scanning sources for trails, descriptions, and interesting history. Perhaps if hikers begin to use this site, the information will change to suit greater needs than my own. I also have a vision for an “exploreCT 2.0” that is beyond my abilities currently but will be a fun second phase of this project.

Looking Forward

So far 2018 looks like it will be dedicated to filling in the map and exploring as much as I can. I’ve started with the Northeast corner of the state since I’m most familiar with the area, but in the coming months, the map should become more and more complete.

I also plan to start Explore Connecticut: Season One on YouTube.

I’m not certain on some of the details yet, but the rough idea is to do about 12 episodes, similar to my Sleeping Giant movie, highlighting the best hiking Connecticut has to offer.  The season will likely start later in the spring with Gillette Castle State Park.

As always feel free to send me an email at matt@explorect.org