Our last blog entry was in January! And it feels like we’ve barely been on the trail since then. We did do a Big Eddy Trail day hike in February, a weekend trail maintenance project with the Hells Canyon Recreation Coalition in April, and an overnight hike on Kelly Creek in July, but none of those got blog posts. So what’s the deal?
The long, wet spring certainly played a part in keeping us off trail, but the truth is I ran out of space! Both on my calendar and on my website. Between the rain, moving to Cottonwood, and responsibilities at work, I simply wasn’t able to get out on the trail as much this season. On top of that, I ran out of storage space on my website, so I couldn’t post photos from any of our events.
Apparently, my web host has a 10GB limit on media files for shared plans, which I have. But I’d been posting photos of Clearwater Trekker hikes for 7 years! And, since I wanted those photos to look great, some of them are huge files. Needless to say, I was several gigabytes over their limit and risked getting Clearwater Trekker shut down if I didn’t clear it up.
This conundrum sent me on a quest to learn how to optimize photos for blogs using the simple tools I have. In the end, I spent weeks reformatting my photos and replacing them one at a time on each blog post. Yeah, that was as much fun as it sounds. In the process, I made an effort to clear out duplicates and unused media. The end result was that I brought my media capacity back into compliance with my host’s limits, but there may be some randomly missing photos from old blogs. And, I still don’t have any more space to upload new photos, hence no new blog posts.
I looked into extra storage options and various filing systems for WordPress. I tried to find a “YouTube for photos” where I could offload albums for each of our hikes, but I couldn’t find any free options. I seriously considered getting an account with SmugMug to host photo albums on, but eventually decided against it.
The answer ended up being much closer to home. Since I already use Apple iCloud to store my photos, I can create a shared album right in my Photos app and generate a web URL to that album which I can include in future blog posts. I plan on creating a photo album page on the website, too.
Here’s an example photo album:
I love the bold, mosaic layout and the fact that you can double-click on a photo to enlarge it and scroll through full size images. It was such a relief to find a simple solution for displaying quality photos of our adventures, but there is still work to do. In order to post more blogs with at least some photos from our hikes, I still need to downsize the galleries in the other posts. That’ll take some time, but I can start getting new blog posts up as soon as I can create some extra space.
In the meantime, we are still trying to get new hikes on the calendar and we’re still showcasing photos from our adventures on Facebook and Instagram. If any Clearwater Trekkers would like to share an upcoming hike with the group, we can facilitate that as a group event for you. Just let us know.
We are also continuing to build towards our greater vision of offering transformational wilderness and travel experiences in collaboration with local Ridgerunner Outfitters and Allies of the Transformational Travel Council. You can read descriptions of these trip ideas on our Discover and Go pages, and you can learn more about the heart of this work on our post, “Travel the PATH with HEART.”
Thank you, fellow Trekkers and readers, for being a part of this journey. We value your feedback and your participation. See you on the trail!