Appalachian Outdoor Journal: New Horizons

Renaming my blog has been a long time coming.

Sunset over the Susquehanna River, Rockville, Pa. August 2012.
Sunset over the Susquehanna River, Rockville, Pa. August 2012.

When I dedicated the blog to outdoors recreation in 2012, I really pondered a name change. However, I couldn’t think of anything good to call it at the time and I thought it should retain a link to its past.

Over the years, the name started to lose its connection to what I was writing about: being outdoors in the Appalachians. Whether it was rock climbing, camping with my sons, backpacking or fishing, I was doing it here in the Appalachian Mountains of the Eastern U.S.

The new name, Appalachian Outdoor Journal, reflects this, and it better illustrates what I’m doing with this blog: telling stories.

I’m a journalist. I tell people real-life stories that will (hopefully) interest, inspire, and inform them. And the name reflects that too.

When I started talking about the name change with my wife and a few good friends this summer, I was seeking ideas. Appalachian Outdoor Journal won, but mainly because it more broadly defines the recreational region I live in and write about.

The old Riverside Hooligans logo.
The old Riverside Hooligans logo.

One friend asked me: “What about Hooligans? Don’t you still want that link to ‘gonzo’ journalism?”

I look at it this way: there will always be room to use a bit of Gonzo, experiential journalism in modern storytelling and certainly on this blog. It’s still the life-blood — sometimes pooling in maroon glass puddles and drying into crusty flakes, depending on how bad I cut myself with the knife — of what AOJ is all about. Going out there, doing it yourself, taking the risk.

The other issue with the “Hooligans” name was its lingering connection to what I don’t write about here anymore: soccer. I love the sport and always will. I retired from play because of my knee injuries, but some of the best weekend fun I have now is coaching my sons. It’s just not what I write about.

So, check out some of the changes on Appalachian Outdoor Journal, including the new “About…” page. I’m working on a new logo for the blog, but it’s not done yet.

Until next time, get out there in the wilds of America.

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