There have been some exciting changes at the Bushwhacking Fool over the last few months. Hopefully these changes will enhance the enjoyment and usefulness of the information presented on this website. These enhancements include a greater visibility for trip photographs, more advertising opportunities, some changes to post formatting and an increased exposure for the Bushwhacking Fool.
The trip reports and other posts have always included photographs that were relevant to the text presented but now with the aide of the NextGEN gallery plugin a greater number of photographs will be available for the enjoyment of the Bushwhacking Fool audience. These photographs are located on the Photo page and are arranged in galleries each representing a different bushwhacking trip. Currently there are only two galleries, one for the Birdathon trip back in May and another for the Stillwater Reservoir to Cranberry Lake trip from late June/early July. The Birdathon gallery only has a few photographs now but I anticipate adding many more in the near future. The Stillwater Reservoir to Cranberry Lake gallery includes photographs for the first half of that trip. More photographs will be added for this trip after the day’s trip report has posted.
In addition to the photograph page there is also a random sample of photographs presented as thumbnails in a widget on the sidebar of the main page. By clicking any of these nine photographs you can view the picture within the gallery for the appropriate trip when the photograph was taken.
In the past I have had inquires about providing copies of specific photographs so I was overjoyed when Fotomoto was brought to my attention via Technorati. Fotomoto is an online web service that allows for the selling of photographs in either digital or print format. Note that under every photograph provided on the photo page there is a menu allowing for buying a print, a card or downloading a digital image. The billing for these services is done automatically through Fotomoto. Fotomoto accepts all major credit cards but unfortunately NOT PayPal. In addition, sharing the picture on a social networking website and sending the image as an eCard are available as free services. Now if you are interested in decorating the space above your mantle with one of my photographs then you are in luck. Just give Fotomoto a try.
Over the last few months I have added several different advertising banners, links and widgets to the website. My intention is not to have these ads be too intrusive on the content of the Bushwhacking Fool and hopefully I have accomplished this adequately. These advertisers include Amazon, Campmor and Duncraft.
Everyone should be familiar with the ubiquitous online retailer Amazon, where one can purchase everything from books to bushwhacking gear at typically low prices. Campmor is an outstanding online, catalog and brick-and-mortar outdoor recreation retailer offering everything from tents to ice climbing equipment. Duncraft provides bird-related products including feeders, houses, bird baths and bird food. I personally endorse these advertisers and have purchased gear and other products from both Amazon and Campmor numerous times. If you are in the market for new backpacking gear or bird-related products please give these advertisers your business.
One of the new Amazon widgets on the sidebar deserves special mentioning. The Recommended Bushwhacking Gear widget includes bushwhacking gear I own and would highly recommend. The dozen or so products include a GoLite Pinnacle Backpack, an Olympus Evolt E-420 digital SLR camera , a MontBell Ultralight Down Jacket , and a Leica 8×20 Ultravid Compact Binocular. I currently carry all of these products (except the ACR SARLink View 406 Personal Locator Beacon – I have an earlier model that is no longer available) on my bushwhacking trips. Take a closer look if you are in the market for some new bushwhacking/backpacking gear.
As you have probably noticed I have added an illustration of yours truly to the header of the Bushwhacking Fool. This caricature was done by my friend Dave Killius, who is also responsible for building my light-weight hiking poles (see post here). In addition, I have also changed the font of the title on the header page. At some point in the future I would like to provide products (e.g. t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.) with the sketch on them for sale for those brave enough to want them. Hopefully, they will be available by Christmas 2010 for you holiday purchasing pleasure.
Starting recently excerpts have been substituted for complete posts on the Bushwhacking Fool main page. The excerpts usually contain the first paragraph of the complete post and sometimes include a Google map or a photograph. This format permits a quick scan of the posts on the main page to determine which are of interest without having to move through so many pages. Currently with only a couple dozen posts this is not much of a issue but as the number of posts increase in the future this should make it easier for new viewers to navigate the website.
On all of the trip report posts I have added a link to a Google Maps prepared with the waypoints collected using my Garmin eTrex Legend HCx handheld GPS. Each map shows the waypoints for the day described in the post. Unfortunately Google does not provide numbered markers, so until I find or create some, you will have to click on a point to see the number referenced in the post. These maps should facilitate positioning the events on the landscape when noted in the text.
Finally, I recently started contributing material to the Adirondack Almanack website. Adirondack Almanack is a website devoted to everything about the Adirondacks, from its natural history to politics. I will be contributing a post every other Thursday starting September 9, 2010. So if you do not get enough of my writing here at the Bushwhacking Fool then take a look at the Adirondack Almanack. It contains a lot of fascinating information about the coming and goings within the Blue Line of the Adirondack State Park.
Please let me know what you think of these enhancements to the Bushwhacking Fool. And if you have any ideas about how to make the Bushwhacking Fool more enjoyable or useful then please pass them along as well.