29 March 2012

In the clouds

Now that's a cloud!

Back in the days of the dinosaurs, or at least what felt like forever ago, I kept all my trip reports and photography on a cloud called Geocities. Then I found a comfortable, big, fluffy cloud called ImageStation, and I moved my photography there. Geocities had size limitations. ImageStation did not.

I was in heaven. Both sites were free. I could share my adventures and the beauty of God's world without overloading email inboxes and without spending a dime more than processing the photos and keeping my computer, camera, bicycle, car and body running.

Just a touch of color

Then suddenly, ImageStation went away. Heartsick, I explored all the other photo sharing sites then available. And I do mean ALL. I have NINE photo-sharing accounts!!! I set up accounts at every single photo-sharing site and allowed my family and a couple of my closest friends to help me choose where I would store my online photos.

SmugMug was the winner, and I have no regrets. Yes, it costs, but it's unlimited and hopefully never going away. I still to this day enjoy using the site and wish I'd found it years earlier. The name Snowcatcher had come to me during a hike along the lower fringe of a mountain called Tater Heap, I kid you not.

I wanted to start a blog, but I was terrified of the time commitment. Geocities built a wading pool for budding bloggers, and I set up my first blog, but I struggled with lack of control over appearance. And didn't have time to fight with it. I posted a whole two blog entries, but I never shared them because I was embarrassed by the appearance. Sort of like stepping out into the sunshine in a swimsuit, and then realizing I forgot to shave my legs. And my underarms. Ick! It was ugly.

Sunset from My Front Yard

Later, I bought a domain, snowcatcherphotos.com, because the name Snowcatcher without "photos" was taken, although not being used. My new husband (The Lizard) and I experimented with a program my dad gave us (Dreamweaver) and tried to build a custom website. I had fun learning a bit of HTML and toying with Java, but I still did not have time I was willing to sacrifice to important webmaster duties such as growth, improvement, learning, designing, learning, creating, learning and taking risks. Oh, and lots of learning.

Suddenly, Geocities announced it was going away. Thank goodness they gave users time to figure out what to do next. I had time to back up the most important stuff, and many pages had been initially built in a word-processing program, so I had primitive backup. Somewhere. On one of those CDs stored in a tower of three-ring binders filled with CD-storage pages.

fenced-off clouds

After a couple of weeks of exploring the different blog services, I took The Leap. Snowcatcher was born. With a different purpose than what it has evolved into. I still have trip reports I haven't republished since Geocities shut down. Snowflakes, wildflowers, mountain goats and Photohop plug-ins get in the way. I just recently found other web pages I never republished. Rebuilt. Recoded. The prospect of recoding all that stuff still gives me the heebie jeebies. HTML tables. Bleh! But I can do it. I CAN do it. I will finish one day. Snowflakes and bicycles just have to stop getting in the way!

In addition to that ghost of a headache, I also want to one day rebuild what few pages I was able to save from The Lizard’s blog (because he unexpectedly deleted the entire blog one day without telling me!) and put them up on my website, just for safekeeping. And because I enjoyed them.

Mary Carter Greenway Sunrise

A few weeks ago, I accidentally stumbled upon Reocities, and I remembered web pages I have not yet rebuilt, web pages that, sadly, weren't captured by that massive and time-consuming volunteer effort (or at least not yet). Then I was drawn for this year's Ride the Rockies, and I remembered keeping an online training journal so other bewildered cyclists who weren't sure how much training is needed might have a helpful resource from an average, ordinary, everyday photographer/writer/needleworker/crafter/gardener who will never be famous for her novice cycling skills and absence of athletic prowess.

This year, I don't have to START training for Ride the Rockies because I never stopped training when winter started seizing control of Colorado last September. But I do have to get in shape, and I do want to keep track of how I did it. I do hope other cyclists out there somewhere benefit from one wannabe's attempt to imitate cycling idols.

And so, I took a very deep breath, I dove in, and I built a new training journal for this year. I painstakingly rebuilt the other three RtR training journals. And then I viewed the new pages on the new laptop.

My head is back in the clouds, right where it belongs.

Doesn't get any better than this!


  1. How wonderful for us that Snowcatcher was born ... such magificent pictures. Such a pleasure to stop by and marvel at the beauty you capture. Have a wonderful day Blessings.

  2. I quite agree with Glor! And how are your 'war wounds' doing? :)

  3. What an amazing time line! The bottom line for us on this end, is we're just happy you keep posting these lovely photos and fascinating stories!

  4. Love the swimsuit metaphor! :)

    I can remember reading your climbing journal a year or two back (when I was a lurker) and being astounded by it.

    You are a brave soul to tackle all that HTML. When I was building my blog, I just scavenged around for bits and pieces that other people had already worked out.

    Breathtaking photos as always! Mary Carter Greenway and the fenced-off clouds are my favourites, I think.

  5. Breathtaking! That last shot is magnificent.

  6. Thank you everyone! Typing is still a bear, but pain level is down to about 2-3 on a scale of 1-10 today, so I'm smiling big!

  7. I recognise lots of it. I should be all lost if blogger shot down.

    Have a nice weekend. :)


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