Yes, I realize my blog needs a new name.
What I'd really like is a whole new blog. I'm a little tired of this circa-2002 Blogspot template with a sidebar I haven't updated in two years that still says I live in Juneau. Plus, this blog is now at 96 percent storage capacity, so realistically it only has a few more weeks in which it will even allow new content. But building a new blog from scratch, hopefully one that also holds the archives of my old blog, takes time and knowledge that I don't exactly have right now. In the meantime, I don't want to stop journaling just because I can't make a smooth transition. I will probably continue to publish posts under this header for a while longer.
It's been a good run for "Up in Alaska." I started this blog on Nov. 3, 2005, for the same reason most people start blogs - to keep my faraway friends and family updated on my new life in Alaska. Since then, it's hosted 1,182 posts, who knows how many photos, 992 "followers" and more than 2 million visitors. And it completely changed my life. While the blog didn't spark my interest in cycling and desire to enter the 2006 Susitna 100, it certainly helped me focus my efforts and sustain my motivation, which led to new passion, which led to many future cycling adventures. It reignited my love of writing and generated new interest in photography. And I'm pretty sure this blog has more clout in the eyes of my new employers than my bachelor's degree in journalism. Plus, I have this great record of the past five years of my life.
As to the new blog and new chapter, there is much yet to be determined. I feel like I'm entering a quieter period of my life, and I'm perfectly at peace with that. I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I left behind in Alaska, and I've realized that there was strikingly little that I couldn't take with me. Montana alone holds more beauty and possibility than I could possibly consume with my meager lifetime, and I'm certain that many new and intriguing adventures await for as long as I decide to stay. As for Missoula, it appears the geography was custom-built for mountain biking, and the craggy peaks of the kind of mountains I lust for are not far away. My new job is exciting; I still can't believe that actually landed in a career centered on bicycle travel.
I am sad about the end of "Up in Alaska" and all it implies. But if you had told me on Nov. 3, 2005, what my blog would hold in the next five years, I would have scarcely believed most of it. I can only hope the next five years hold just as much surprise.