Sunday, June 10, 2007

Header beautification

Thanks to this helpful post from Paul Stamatiou, and this post from Tips For New Bloggers, I was able to crop a picture I shot from the Appalachian Trail of clouds floating above the Blue Ridge Mountains and paste it into my header as a background image.

The key was sizing the image correctly. To fit it inside the header boarders, I cropped the picture to 640 x 140, with a resolution of 180 pixels.

With only one week of school left, I will soon be able to dedicate more time to improving both the aesthetics and content of this blog. One of the things I'd like to do is upload the 12 or so newspaper columns I wrote about my attempted thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2001. When all was said and done, I hiked for three months and traversed 1,000 miles.

I have about 1,000 to go. Last summer I hiked 45 miles in Massachusetts and Vermont. This summer a friend and I will be doing another 70 in Mass. It is my hope that I can continue to log 50 to 100 miles each summer for the next 10-15 years, and finish the trail by the time I'm in my (gulp) early 40s.


a.k.a. Zooomabooma said...

Nice to see your enthusiasm for one day finishing every mile of the AT... but hey, you're a teacher? With summers off? In two summers you can easily get done the whole trail in two shebangs... or all in one summer if you really fly through. Yeah, a whole lot o' hikin' really quickly but tis a possibility! Two summers is more realistic and what a great story for the kids!

In any case -- Happy Trails!

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks for the comment Chris. Yes I am a teacher, but no, I don't have the summers "off," so to speak.

Teachers have a number of professional obligations (courses to take, PDPs to earn, curriculum review work, planning, committee work) that they must complete over the summer.

And then there are those teachers who need to work to make ends meet. I am currently fortunate that I don't need extra income to get by, but if I had a family I would definitely need a summer job.

Truthfully, I have a lot of things I'd like to do this summer (see this post here), and frankly don't want to spend all of it in the woods!

I'm content, at least at this point, to tackle the trail bit-by-bit.

Happy Trails to you too.

Jack said...

I think this is pretty cool Mr.BG.
You're going south it sounds like?
And if you're continuing through Mass, you've probably seen everything I have in the north.

Have fun going through the Berkshires, it may not be the greatest part of the AT, but it's sure something to enjoy. I don't know if you've gone through Greylock yet, but that's really an awesome view and a great reward for the hiking.

I think the best part about our state's segment is that it's not all just sky scraping mountains, but just a good diversity of hiking. Mass may not have the best to offer, but it's worth it.

Enjoy the time, and try not to let those professional obligations take too much time from your adventures on the Long Trail.

Mr. B-G said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement Jack. I am very much looking forward to doing some hiking and returning - if only temporarily - to a simpler way of living.

My friend Dan and I (whom I've known since fifth grade) are starting about 20 miles north of the CT/MA border, and ending at the top of Greylock.

Last summer I hiked about 25-30 miles from Greylock to Bennington, VT. I agree that the views from Greylock are to be savored.

I trust that you too will have your fair share of adventures this summer. Enjoy the time and keep in touch.

Dreamy said...

wow that is amazing. After I read "A Walk In the Woods" I really admire anyone who decides to undertake walking the length of the AT. It's not so much the length in distance, but the sheer amount of time it takes. I wonder though if there is some sort of personality thing that draws English teachers to traveling?

Mr. B-G said...

Walk in the Woods inspired me to hike the trail. I figured if Bill Bryson could make it nearly 300 miles, I could too.

I ended up hiking 800 miles in two-and-a-half months, eventually getting off the trail near Shenandoah National Park after two straight weeks of rain.

I had wanted to hike the trail since high school, and figured it would happen either in my early 20's or my early 60's.

Many of the English teachers I know enjoy thinking deeply about the joys and ills of our world. There's no better place to do that than in the woods, and eventually, like in Hesse's Siddhartha, clarity of mind comes.

When I was younger I viewed my life as some type of quest. Being in the woods helps me remember what it feels like to be moved, to have passion and desire, and to go after what is truly important.

It is so easy to become complacent.