Back in 1999 when I hiked the Appalachian Trail, I kept a journal on the Trailplace.com website, which at that time was hosting journals of anyone who wanted to keep one. I decided to do this because I very much enjoyed reading some of the 1998 Trailplace journals, and got a lot of useful information. So I thought my own journal would be a way of returning the favour.
My journal stayed on the Trailplace website for several years until I was asked to remove it to make space for new journals. Rather than remove it from the internet completely, I decided to provide a new home for it on a website of my own. This would be an interesting project and I would learn something about website design and programming at the same time. This was about the time I planned to take a voyage as a passenger on a container ship from Los Angeles to Auckland to do some tramping in New Zealand. A container ship doesn’t have any facilities to keep passengers occupied so this website project seemed ideal. I spent several interesting and sometimes frustrating days redoing my Trailplace journals using Microsoft Front Page and HTML. My plan at the time was eventually to transcribe all my hiking journals (not just the AT) onto this website.
The ship didn’t have any internet access so I couldn’t really see what it looked like until I got to Auckland. I wasn’t pleased with the results, but since I came to New Zealand to hike, not to fiddle around on a computer, I just put it up on the internet as it was, intending to get back to it sometime and work on uploading my other journals and hike write-ups.
The only hikes I added since were a 2003 hike I did on the Camino de Santiago, and of course that 2006 trip to New Zealand. And there it sits to this day. I never did add my other hikes or anything else come to that. Partly because I always seemed to have something more interesting to do, and partly because I found working with HTML and Front Page so kludgy, I could never get excited about the task.
Fairly recently I got to know something about Joomla as a result of a project to redo the website of our local hiking club. Joomla is a free website “Content Management System” or CMS, which makes light work of building and maintaining a website. I’m so impressed with its ease of use that I decided to have another go at finishing my own website.
The first thing I have to do is to transcribe my old website into this new one and that’s almost done. Then I’ll dig out my other journals and trip reports and add them. This time I hope I’ll stick to it and finish it.