I started this blog in 2008 and for years maintained an alternating format. However, that has changed in recent times.
As originally conceived, half of the posts were about personal experiences, containing topics such as the New England Hundred Highest, Colorado Fourteeners, rockhopping in the Smokies, and roadtrips across great expanses of the US.
The other half were about the outdoors and the subject of landscape viewed through the filter of history, literature, art, or philosophy. Topics included Nabokov’s imaginary version of Central Asia, wild animals in the Iliad, Ulysses S. Grant’s love of maps, orienteering in Wittgenstein, the Hercynian Forest of Germania, and the terrain of the Boer War.
I’ve always been interested in history. This year, after having a great old time doing an in-depth series about the Siege of Mafeking in South Africa, I realized that it might be a good idea to separate the hiking pieces from the history pieces—despite my personal philosophy that all of these things are connected.
With this in mind, I started a new blog, 1870 to 1918. It deals with the period when the world’s major empires reached their greatest extent and fell into the alliances and antagonisms that led inevitably to World War I. Readers of “Endless Streams and Forests” know that the Boer War is a major interest of mine, and that of course falls into the middle of this period. Topics there so far have included the Finnish Civil War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the Belgian atrocities in the Congo.
So from this point forward “Endless Streams and Forests” will be primarily about hiking—especially off-trail hiking—and most of the history pieces will be on “1870 to 1918.” However, I do not guarantee that other eccentric topics will not appear on this blog!