posted: December 3rd, 2006 | by:Bert
GLIMPSES—Journals From A North American Travel Odyseey
Bert Gildart: In order to better define the contents of our website and provide us with direction, we have given our website a name. The title helps us, and we hope it will point potential readers looking for insights into the American life, essentially derived from our extensive travels.
“Glimpses—Journals From a North American Travel Odyssey” is the combination of two newspaper endeavors in which I once engaged, and the first word derives from a weekly column I provided not only to several weekly newspapers but eventually to Montana Magazine.
I ended the column at a time when various aspects of my life were in flux and something had so give. Later, the magazine resumed the column using my title, and I believe they may still publish Glimpses. The point is that I am not copying the name of a column created by someone else; rather I am copying the title of something that was of my doing.
The word Journal derived from a quarterly outdoor journal that I provided to three different newspapers in the ‘80s. The insert was tabloid size, and over a period of about eight years, my journal covered subjects that ranged from bear management in Glacier National Park to features that generally focused on individuals whose lives I found interesting.
Other times, stories described travel in the Flathead Valley and always included pictures that I believe had impact. Because photography has always been one of my passions, and is now one of Janie’s, quality photography will always be a goal for “Glimpses,” and we hope we are succeeding.
Essentially, then, the previous components of my life (Glimpses, Travel Journal) seem to define the way our blog now seems to be evolving, so I guess the past is inserting itself into the present. It seems appropriate then to take themes that worked in the Flathead and apply them to our national and sometimes—international—travels; to our odyssey.
What we’ve discovered as we’ve been traveling these past five months is that our blog entries are “glimpses” of life in various parts of the country.
Examples suggesting the direction of our blog include entries on West Point, Kayaking to the Wreck of the Francisco Morazon, Grave Yard Tours, Border Crossings, The Arctic, and Shenandoah National Park. In other words, some of our entries provide glimpses of our personal lives; while others will provide information on destinations, and what we’ve discovered from our adventure travels.
With the passage of time we want our odyssey to create a body of work that will provide insights—or glimpses—on various parts of the country and often on the people associated with those areas.
Many of the people we are meeting are not only fascinating, but extraordinarily colorful, as was the pipe smoker along the Natchez Trace.
Finally, we want our blog to offer perspectives—or opinions—on life and our travels, for by definition that is often the function of a blog.
Along with the creation of a title, we have also added under categories, a section that will provide a schedule of our upcoming travels, even though that tends to go a little against my sense of freedom. For me, I enjoy life best when our travels are spontaneous, so the “schedule” will always be subject to change.
At the moment we’re in Tampa, Florida, and can tell you that we will be here for yet another month, as we have to stay put in order to turn out a number of stories, thereby fulfilling deadlines. Nevertheless, we will continue exploring while here, and will be making a number of day trips to surrounding areas. Soon, manatees will be leaving colder ocean waters and entering warm rivers. We want to greet them, and Tom Ulrich, a photographer friend, says he will loan me an underwater camera.
About mid January, we’ll depart Bay Bayou and then travel to the Everglades, about five hours south of us. Then, if we can figure out the logistics, we’ll be visiting the Dry Tortugas, a fascinating area located about 100 miles south of Key West.
Beyond that we just don’t know, and, furthermore, think it unhealthy for someone traveling as we’re traveling to be so rigid that they must known minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day, what they’ll be doing months down the line. Relax, slow down… Smell the roses.
Looking back, we believe the past five months have been productive, and comments and electronic blog counters seem to suggest that we are developing an audience. We hope our readers are finding something from our postings that might enrich their lives, however much, or however little.