Welcome to my new, and very much still-under-development website. The intent of this site is to combine the best of my photography (verndewit.zenfolio.com) and my trip reports (explor8ion.com). Over the years, I’ve built myself a bit of a monster – or rather a pair of monsters – on both the Zenfolio and the Explor8ion sites. With over 650 peaks, hundreds of hikes, dozens of canoe trips and tens of thousands of images on both sites, the sheer amount of data is overwhelming and increasingly difficult to manage and present in an effective and modern manner. Since I started my blog (remember fresh-oxygen?) technologies have changed and images with a width of 665px are no longer very attractive on our 2436x1125px, 458ppi iPhone X screens, never mind our iPads, Chrome Books, Surface Pro’s, Mac Books, etc.
The goal of this new site, which will eventually use both the “explor8ion.com” and “verndewit.com” domains, is to allow me to efficiently store and manage my vast collection of photos in one location (Zenfolio), while storing my numerous trip reports in a modernized blog, also with photos double or more the size of my old ones. Unfortunately for you, there will be some confusion around where the source of truth is until the transition is completed, but I will try to make it obvious by adding links from the old to the new site wherever possible as I transfer content over. Please bear with me while I transition the sites, as it will likely take a couple of years to complete.
The way I’m planning to organize my trip reports here is by using a small subset of representative images (~10) along with text for the main trip report with a linked album to all my photos from the trip (20-100 or more depending on the trip length and size) embedded at the end of the report and linked to my Zenfolio site. Bear with me as I experiment with different ways to do this. Another reason to have photos stored both within the blog and without, is that if I lose the Zenfolio site for whatever reason, at least I’ll still have some key photos displaying inline with the text. Just as on the old site, I have organized trips by their date in descending order and by the areas that they are located in. Due to the number of photos loading from the Zenfolio site at the end of the reports, you might see a slight delay in bringing up some of my longer trip reports. Where there’s a ridiculous amount of photos (i.e. 10 day canoe trips with over 300 photos), I will only show a few photos in the blog but will link to the Zenfolio albums where you can browse through them all.
The new site is optimized for Retina, or high definition displays and will look better the bigger you view it, so don’t hold back! Go big screen, high definition and share in some of the spectacular sights that I’ve had the privilege of enjoying over the past 20 years or so, while reading about the adventures behind them.
I am going to be experimenting with different ideas, themes and photos over the next few months on this site, so please excuse any churn. I am also experimenting with different ways to monetize some of my work, either just on my Zenfolio site or possibly on both Zenfolio and Explor8ion, only to cover some of the operating costs of these sites which cost me hundreds of dollars per year. I will attempt to make the ads and buying options as unobtrusive as possible to allow you to enjoy the content of both sites without too many distractions. I remain fundamentally opposed to the idea of turning what I love doing in my spare time into a full-time career so have no fears about that happening any time soon. I can think of no better way to ruin my love of adventuring and the outdoors than turning it into a daily grind that has to feed my family and put my kids through college!