Friends, have you perused our Trails Page recently? When we began in 2014, The Clearwater Trekkers set out to explore as much of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as we could, and we’ve made a pretty good show of it. On our Trails Page, we have 19 trails linked to descriptive blog posts about our adventures, but that doesn’t account for our early hikes that we never wrote blog posts about or all the times we revisited our favorite trails. Even still, we have managed to explore an average of 3 new trails each year, and the adventures only get better!
I really can’t say, “Thank you,” enough for being part of this journey. I’d like to think I’d still be getting out there to hike even if I didn’t have The Clearwater Trekkers to go with, but it certainly wouldn’t be as often or as dynamic. It has been fun to watch the group grow from its humble beginnings of PDF invites I used to mail out to my fellow prison staff members into what it has become today, and I can’t wait see where we go from here.
You may have noticed a new button on the website with a dancing mug that says, “Buy me a coffee.” Clicking that button will take you to my Ko-Fi profile page where you can support the work I am doing with Clearwater Trekker. I love doing this stuff; setting up hikes, blogging about our adventures, tracking our hikes on Gaia, and posting photos. I love sharing all that with you guys and I hope I get to continue doing it for a long time.
I thought for a while about creating a Patreon account, which allows supporters to sign up for monthly subscriptions, but I realized that I did not want to put anything behind a pay wall. The Clearwater Trekkers started out as a free, local, and open hiking club, and I want it to stay that way. I also didn’t want to have to create extra content for subscribers. I want to enjoy what we do and share it openly with everyone.
Patreon also takes a big cut of all donations on top of the merchant fees already in place, but Ko-Fi doesn’t do that. As a matter of fact, Ko-Fi is free to use and takes no cut from donations. Instead, they make money off of Gold Membership plans (which are currently only $6/month) and their own profile page where they receive donations to continue their work.
With Ko-Fi, supporters can “buy me a coffee” as a little form of Trail Magic with a one-time donation of $3. Of course, you can buy multiple cups of coffee at a time, too. I do like me some coffee, but the donations you make toward Clearwater Trekker will always go towards supporting our adventures, from web hosting and development to Gaia Maps and even specific goals that we can work towards together.
The first goal I set up on my Ko-Fi profile was to renew my Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification by the end of the year. This WFR certification helps keep me trained and ready to respond to an emergency situation in the back country.
Are there other things that you guys think might enhance the Clearwater Trekker experience? Would you like to see trail guides for our hikes? Would you benefit from YouTube videos made while I scouted a trail before taking the whole group on the hike? I think it would be cool to get a Clearwater Trekker banner so new hikers know who we are when meeting up at the trailhead. What ideas do you have?
I have shared some of my more visionary ideas with a few of you on trail. As you may know, I have a passion for mentoring and the journey of personal transformation. I have been developing these ideas as Discovery Treks and Go Journeys on Clearwater Trekker, and I am hoping to establish myself as an Idaho Outfitter who can legally and safely offer these treks within the Clearwater National Forest. I imagine offering intro to backpacking trips, wilderness-based rites of passages, and creating a base from which to organize international pilgrimages. Lofty ideas, no?
But I always want The Clearwater Trekkers to be a free, local, and open hiking club that explores the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and beyond just for the fun of it. Your participation alone fills me with gratitude and I hope you’ll continue to explore the Clearwater with us.
If you have enjoyed hiking with us and would like to support my work on Clearwater Trekker with a little Trail Magic, then please, Buy Me a Coffee!