I've been doing a lot of prep work since December, and have been quietly blogging about it, but the planning is drawing to a close. I start walking north in 19 days and I've been thinking a lot about how connected I want to be during the hike. I've come to the conclusion that over the next several months that the curation of my various social media personae is something I'm just not interested in putting much effort into.
For the past few evenings I've been reading "The Pacific Crest Trail" by National Geographic, published in 1975 (40 years ago!), and these three sentences by Harvey Manning in the foreword really stood out:
In the 1960's a feeling grew all across our land that what we call "civilization" had run out of control, that the world was becoming so noisy and garish and nerve-jangling and spirit-smothering as to be downright hazardous to human life. In unprecedented numbers Americas sought the solace and healing of wilderness. Wiating for them was the dream of Clinton Clarke and his compatriots.
I very much agree.
I also ran across this quote from Daniel Griffen on his PCT Planner site about blogging and headspace during his 2013 PCT hike:
If I could have changed one thing about my 2013 hike would have been to go dark on my Facebook account.
Sounds like a plan, and his thoughts on that page really helped clarify my thinking on this matter. I don't feel the need to go completely dark, I do want to write down how I enjoy the trail and my experiences on it, much like I did during the nine months Chris and I spent driving around Australia. I'll sharing what I'l be doing, but I don't want to directly engage with people reading my blog or through Facebook or whatnot.
More importantly, I don't want to feel like I need to justify decisions (big or small), or feel like I have to explain this or that, or worse get in some argument over some quibble--and spend many trail hours refining my debating points, missing some of the most fantastic scenery on the planet.
So I'll be posting to my blog at dan.marmot.net and not Facebook (which is really a status feed and not a blog or a journal), and invite you all to read. If you really want to contact me you can easily figure out a way.
Ultimately, it's what's more important to me: my hike itself, or the social media representation of my hike?