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The bear went up the mountain April 18, 2008

Posted by eyegillian in change, communication, explore, language, life, world.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

After two-and-a-half hours of hiking, the top of Roy\'s Peak looked as far away as ever...

I regret to announce: “Exploratorium” will be no more.

But don’t worry, I’m not giving up my blog. You see, I’ve recently received a letter from the legal owners of the copyrighted name “Exploratorium”, and they don’t want to share. Apparently, people can own words these days. So, I will be changing my blog name shortly to something new.

The trouble is, I’m having difficulty imagining a new name, so I’m hoping you can help me. I’d like it to have something to do with exploring, seeing, and adventuring. I want to see what I can see.

I remember my grandmother singing that song, “The bear went up the mountain”, and to me it expresses something essential about exploring. I think that bear went up the mountain, not because he needed to conquer or own the mountain, but just because he wanted to have a good view.

Yes, I made it to the top of Roy\'s Peak, and here\'s the proof!

And I’ve been lucky enough to not only see some gorgeous mountains, but I’ve actually climbed to the top of a few (small) ones. I’ve stood on the second-highest peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine, and crossed the alpine zone at the top of Mount Mansfield in Vermont (and, no, I didn’t take the ski lift from the Stowe resort on the other side).

One of the most difficult climbs — to the top of Roy’s Peak in New Zealand — looked the easiest, but that long winding track took hours of hard slogging! In the first photo I’ve posted, we’re already half-a-day into the hike, and the peak looks no closer than when we started… (You can see a tiny pole, high over our heads? Well, that’s the one I’m standing beside in the photo to the left.)

Roy's Peak path

Anyway, that’s all to say that I’ve got to have a reason to climb the mountain, and not just because it’s there. I knew that the view would be incredible; I wanted to see the snow covered peaks of Mt. Aspiring National Park and the deep blue bays of Lake Wanaka from the best vantage point around, and I wanted that view enough to work hard (and almost quit several times) in order to get there. I think it was worth it… although I have to admit that if I knew how hard it would be, I might not have attempted it!

Mount Aspiring view

So, now I’m beginning to see this loss of my initial blog title as a chance to really describe my feeling of “wanting to know, wanting to see, wanting to describe the world”. And how on earth do I express all that in a blog title?



1. leafless - April 18, 2008

From what I see here, this is not a commercial site. I don’t think you infringe any copyright. But that’s just my opinion; I’m not a legal expert.

2. lavenderbay - April 19, 2008

I thought I was the one who kept wanting to stop ascending Roy’s Peak. And the final half-hour back to the car park, well –! You, on the other hand, were true to your New Zealand grandma’s memory, and kept on going.

Maybe you should hold a naming contest for your readers, like I did, and write an explicatorical entry on a topic of their choice as the prize.

3. eyegillian - April 19, 2008

Thanks for your comment, leafless — although it would be nice if you were right, I’m pretty sure copyright law does extend to everybody, it’s just that it’s usually just the commercial folks who get the big hit since it affects their business and they can’t ignore it as easily as some invisible pleb like me. Still, I’ll change it because I don’t want to be harrassed; besides, why do I want people getting my site confused with theirs?

And yes lavenderbay, I remember that you were most difficult to persuade all the way to the top of Roy’s Peak. But don’t think you were alone in wanting to quit. After the photo at the top was taken, I kept thinking to myself, “I’ll just get to the next corner and then I’ll turn back”. Then my thoughts were focused on just getting to the ridgeline so I could have a view of something! Maybe my contraryness — that is, my need to encourage you — was the secret ingredient in this success! [Speaking of secrets, in case anyone else hasn’t guessed it, lavenderbay is the person on the left in the first photo.]

4. Jack's mom - April 19, 2008


My suggestion: EXPLANATORIUM

Good Luck

5. eyegillian - April 20, 2008

Thanks for your suggestions, Jack’s mom and Jack! I’ll decide on my new name today.

6. goodbear - April 20, 2008

“wanting to know, wanting to see, wanting to describe the world” – it sounds like your goal for the blog is about perspective and helping other people see your perspective as well as their own…through your words and photographs. (which are beautiful, by the way)

i suggest you take your favorite journey into consideration and see what symbol comes of that. one of my friends recalls the first time he ever went on a solo hiking vacation. he remembers most clearly a single banyon tree, and now that sort of tree is sacred to him. i was looking at your flickr photos and wondering if any of those images held deep symbolism to you.

7. Richard - April 20, 2008

You scared me then Gillian with that first line! But I had calmed down again by the second line. Phew!

Sorry, I’m rubbish at thinking of new names for things. I’m sure whatever you pick will be fine – after all, what you write will be just as good whatever it’s called. 🙂

8. eyegillian - April 20, 2008

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, goodbear. I’m going to have to think about that one… so many journeys — and the photos that I’ve taken along the way — are special to me that I think it’s the journey itself that is symbolic. Hmm…. maybe that’s the key I need for the renaming…

Your comment made me smile, Richard — I’m glad you’ve calmed down now… Thanks for your loyal readership!

9. Shaw - April 20, 2008

Gillian, I love the fact that your blog is about sharing and not about making money. If breathing could be copyrighted, it would be by now. Behavior informed by greed and desperation makes me sad.

Names, names, names. I trust that the next one will shine on you, if it hasn’t done so already.

I look forward to more of your compassionate insights — your “blogsights.”

– Shaw

10. eyegillian - April 20, 2008

Thank you so much, Shaw, for your encouragment!

I appreciated all the ideas and suggestions from friends here on WordPress and at home, and especially my partner who helped me think through what my blog means to me and how I wanted to express it. I hope you like the new name!

(By the way, those of you who have me on your blogroll will need to change my blog title there. Thanks!)

11. The song of the unwound road « the unwound road - April 21, 2008

[…] recent (ahem) invitation to change my blog title (read my previous post for more on that) has given me a chance to think about what this blog has become, and where it is […]

12. Richard - April 24, 2008

By the way, I forgot to say how nice the photos are on this post. The last one in particular is just stunning – I’m not surprised you enjoyed yourself! 😉

13. eyegillian - April 25, 2008

Thanks, Richard — not that New Zealand needs my recommendation, but I think it’s the most beautiful country in the world!

14. 88mileshome - April 30, 2008

It’s a real shame you got snagged by the copyright thing, I like the suggestion from Jack – THE BLOG FORMERLY KNOWN AS EXPLORATORIUM. It makes a fair point. Logos and trademarks are an issue, but ownership of ‘word’…?

‘the unwound road’ is a great title. Are you planning to keep it? Conjures up mystery, exploration, and adventure. Stunning photos of mountain peaks by the way. Would love to feature them on my blog, with your permission, of course 😉 x

15. eyegillian - May 1, 2008

Thanks for your comment, 88mileshome, and yes, I’m hoping to be able to keep this title! I have no problem with you putting my photos on your blog, as long as you attribute them to me and/or use the click-through link from Flickr. I’m glad you like them!

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