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High plains drifters,

Welcome to Rambler 10! We have officially broken double digits, firm handshakes all around. It’s a small victory but it starts to feel like you’re really doing something once you’ve hit publish a certain number of times. So we’ll celebrate it. Thanks for being here.

I mentioned it last time… but what the hell folks. Salt Lake City continues to impress. More on that at the end. This Rambler will heavily focus on sharing some updates from other work, so let’s dive in.
 

New galleries

I published two new photo galleries on my website. First, a spec shoot for Atlas packs, a camera backpack company. I put this together for as a pitch to work with them and photo exercise for me. The story was centered on getting up early to shoot a winter sunrise via backcountry skiing, a multi-disciplinary day made possible by their packs. I’m happy with how the work came out and to see it all live together on the site.

The second was a small collection of my favorite golden hour shots from Taos. There’s no main narrative here, just a collection of photos I feel are worth sharing together. 

I also updated and pruned my Space gallery, which is an ongoing project focusing on my living space. This series continues to grow. What started as just my Boulder home will turn into a mishmash of different living situations across the western US. I'm excited to watch it morph as my idea of space and home gets pushed around.

These galleries serve as ways to show my work, gather related photos together in ways that make sense, and give them more space to be viewed in full. I'm always watching for broader themes, connections, and ideas that could hold a larger project. These galleries give me something tangible to look at from a distance as opposed to my foldered archives.
 

SEO Experiments

I also published a guide to trail runs in Boulder. I’ve wanted to try some experiments to rank content on Google for a while and this is the first real attempt.

Narrative writing and photo essays will always be my main focus, but my personal site is going to be as broad as my interests. I’m not going to try and rank for things I wouldn’t want to write about anyway, but if I can build traffic to my site for relevant topics who knows where it can lead. I’ve been inspired by enough personal websites that have turned into interesting opportunities to go for it.

Right now we’re on the third page for ‘boulder trail runs’ and I’m still learning how to properly track everything. But it’s exciting to learn some technical skills alongside the writing I already enjoy doing. I’ll keep y’all updated on any fun wins here.
 

No time to waste

A byproduct of my time constraints in each place I visit is time-related pressure. I feel this urge to do as much as I can, to really know a place in the month or so I stay there. Naturally, this mindset causes a fair amount of unease and internal pressure. No day, especially weekends, can be wasted. And when that still inevitably happens the guilt sets in.

The question this brings up for me is, what does it mean to know a place?, or even more specifically, what does it mean for me to know a place?

My travel rules help steer this ship towards my interests: photography, writing, mountain sports, good coffee and beer. This helps, but the variety in my activities makes for some prioritization issues. For example, so far I’ve gotten three great ski days in here in Utah. I’ve skied some amazing terrain and it’s exciting to learn new resorts. I’ve also visited some great coffee shops and breweries. But I don’t feel like my photography has gotten the attention it deserves so I'm rushing to make up ground there. It’s a constant balance, and yes I know how first-world this problem is, but every week feels hectic when time is always running short.

Even with those feelings I’m on pace to meet every travel rule for SLC. I need to shoot one more sunrise/sunset and visit an art gallery or museum as the last two big ones.
 

Coming soon…

I’ll be taking Rambler international at the end of this month to Ireland and Scotland. I was in Ireland in 2020 right as COVID exploded, and the trip ended in tragilarious fashion. I’m out for redemption. Then I’ll turn 29 ideally with a dram of scotch and surrounded by indiscernible Glaswegian accents. I’m still figuring out my next moves once I’m back in the states.

I’m also whittling away on the San Juans backpacking essay. I may try and find a home for it outside my website to try out the publishing world. There are some larger themes there I think could prove worthy of a bigger home. If any of you have publishing tips for outdoor writing I’m all ears.

Thanks for reading. I'll leave you with one of my favorite buildings in the neighborhood.

—Al

This is Rambler, a bi-weekly postcard from the road. Share with your friends via this link.

Copyright © 2022 Alex Eaton, All rights reserved.



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