Looking Forward 2019

A few weeks ago I wrote my annual review post looking back over the previous year as a way to work through what went well and what didn’t.  This month I’d like to write about the coming year and my ideas for pushing this site and myself forward.  The site seems stable, I’ve gotten into a good groove of updating, and people are visiting!

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Black Pond from the Overlook on the Mattabessett

The biggest thing from my review post was engagement.  I’d like feedback on how ExploreCT is viewed by you and any ideas on how to make it more useful.  While this is a personal project, no site stands alone.  I’d love to hear other’s stories and try to weave them into the pages here.  I started a curated Instagram to share others’ photos and captures of the state’s beauty.  I also see it as a place find indefatigable explorers and others with great ideas for the state.  In the first two weeks I’ve already puzzled over a Grand Connecticut Trail (connecting blue blaze trails east to west) and planned a long distance hike for CT Trails Day in June.  I now tweet as well to share quick reactions of my adventures and to stay more up to date on things going on in the state.

I also created a signup for a monthly email newsletter, so far no takers (though the signup is out of the way at the bottom of the page).  Which is fine because I have barebones content and haven’t settled on a format.  ExploreCT’s newsletter would highlight explorations and recap new updates to old pages as well plan for the coming month.  

(Scroll to bottom of page for email signup form)

Beyond the site, I’m looking to return to the host of activities I’ve picked up at one time or another and have gotten away from.  Whether it was fishing with friends, backpacking with the Boy Scouts, or climbing in college (unintentional alliteration!).  So far my plans are to fly fish with my brother in law once the season starts, backpack with Mat Jobin from Reach Your Summit for CT Trails Day, and return to the climbing gym to at least boulder.  I have bigger plans for trips and activities but will withhold those as nice surprises down the road.

The less planned area of personal growth is education.  I have a mental picture of future me as a naturalist identifying my surroundings with ease.  I guess reaching that potential future hasn’t been a priority and I’ll never reach it if I don’t make it one.  So it seems the smart way to tackle this is to spend some deliberate time each hike identifying. I think this will be a good challenge in the field and improve the writing here. 

Recent photos on the exploreCTorg Instagram

I wouldn’t be acting on what I just wrote if I didn’t ask, what do you want to do, learn, and see?  Please send any news, feedback, backpacking gear, or Grand Connecticut Trail enthusiasm to matt@explorect.org

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