Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Offroading Home: "Thanks"

Offroading Home has dodged another years worth of bullets and will be around into the next riding season. If it's not the nasties who think that the best way to return the unicorns to the fields and phoenix to the skies is to attack and malign senior offroaders who want to visit Gold Butte; it's the web hosting services who bait and switch to improve their bottom lines.

What many of you don't know is that last year at this time our long time web host, ATT, gave notice that it was "getting out of the web hosting business" – at least for us "low yield" accounts; and, it was only through the magnanimous altruism of the Kokopelli ATV club that our hundreds of maps weren't banished to the isolated recesses of computer back-up disks, never to frolic free on the Internet trails to your computer screens again.

It should be obvious that the thousands of trails on our hundreds of maps have taken almost as many hours of programming and editing and are NOT thrown together willy-nilly by computer programs as done on most other sites. Nor do we take user submitted trails and make money off them. So far, we have still been able to keep the maps and sites fully open and free.

Thank You

We have begun saying "thanks" to people and clubs, who have helped keep Offroading Home alive on the web, over in the sidebar to the right -->. I hope you have noticed and would occasionally click to send them a "thank you-gram" when you find use for one of our maps. If you're interested in being a monthly or yearly paid-link supporter follow the "How do I say thanks?" link in the sidebar.

And, now that you mention it, there are a couple of other things you could do to help out a bit. The one thing about milestones like these is that: yes, it's nice to have made it through a year; but, now the slate is zeroed out and we start all over again!

Of the couple thousand visitors a month, several of you have clicked the "paypal" link to donate monetarily. That is more appreciated than you know; except that, now you will know because we are listing the latest two individual donors as well. These are people who recognize that our maps are not only more accurate but come (currently) without paid membership or purchasing "credits." [Please keep 'em coming]

How Can I Say Thanks?

Could I tell you a couple more ways that make it possible for every visitor to Offroading Home to assist, even those without the where-with-all for monetary donations? And, believe it or not, every one of these make a great deal of difference.

3- Be an "In Kind" Donor. Receiving a "surplus" GPS helps us be able to answer readers "how do I" questions. A printed map or trail book enables us to be able to digitize them into more maps! If needed we can return them when were done. See our "Amazon wish list" to see which books we have been lusting over.

4- Be a GPS Trail Submitter We know by our costs that visitor numbers have dramatically increased; but our trail submissions have remained fairly steady. I know you guys are riding, and most of you have GPS units. Please turn them on and merely attach it to an email to us. How tough is that? If you wonder how to do it, email me and I'll show you how easy it is.

5- Be an Offroading Home Link Referrer Unless you actually run a web yourself, you probably can't realize how much difference you can make by simply: a) sending our link to any ATV or offroad clubs, or offroading friends you know of. Or, ever better, b) putting our link into a comment you make on any other offroading site!

Honest true! As simple as it seems, Google's automatic listing algorithms actually give preference to sites whose names are spread all over the web instead of merely being the best quality. Merely cut and paste any of these links into an email or comment: www.offroadinghome.com — or, and help Google find us better.

6- Be a "link-clicker" This is the easiest, least painful way to help. All it means is that you choose any one of the sponsored links on the sidebars and "control-click" on it. That way it will open in a completely different page or tab so it can be simply closed with no effort. That's what I do. When I visit a site, before leaving I choose a link to control-click on. If it intrigues me, I read; if not, I bail – no fuss, no muss and it can double or triple the ad-payment Google will make to the site. [Like from a half-cent to 1 or 2 cents. Not earth shattering, but if enough do it, it can take the edge off expenses a bit.]

What's Ahead

We've got eight trails around the Mesquite–Gold Butte–Parashant area yet to be codified into trail maps. They should be completed within the next month and be posted about as soon as they are ready.

With the help of a generous offroader in, believe it or not: Switzerland, we've been spending a lot of time adding trails to the Southern California master map from regular trips he's taken there over the past several years (grandkids live there!) If fact, we're adding and upgrading so many trails in the Anza Borrego area that it just may need an entire map of its own.

Trail submissions in the Paiute, Arapeen and Moab trail systems still need writing about. And I'm told were still not done with trail submissions in the Lake Meade/Boulder City area either! These in addition to an extensive update to several areas in the Colorado Master Map.

I've got 20 other posts on the drawing board waiting for inspiration (or gumption) to bring them to completion. One about the "Cave of the Read Head Giants" which intrigues me, and "Hoodos" and "Deserts of the West" and "Pinyon Nuts" and … you get the picture.

Politically, I started a "Land Use 101" post about 5 months ago but silly trail rides keep getting in the way. Additionally, there's a post about the comparison between the BLM's Las Vegas, Havasu City and Pocatello Idaho field offices and how they have handled their recent Travel Management Plans and trail closures. Offroading Home is in a unique position to give insight because we have assisted locals in procuring "closure maps" for all three areas and been privy to the "fight" in all three areas.

Just to put it in perspective – consider the alternatives!

Learn A Little More

Speaking of surviving…

I remember a song, which has always stuck in my mind, written by a singer-entertainer who also happens to be a NASA employee (her day job.) Frankly, to me it seems better than anything they foist as "star material" on that "idol" show they've got going right now and making such a fuss about!

It's incredible to think about what NASA has done and will yet do, if it survives Obama's presidency.

Thank God Dreams Survive - Tina Swindell, Musical Artist, composer, NASA employee


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