2014 in the Rear View

The year in numbers with 2013 values in parentheses:

  • 7 (6) = Road trips reported
  • 80 (77) = Blog posts
  • 77 (57) = Days on the road
  • 1972 (1437) = Pictures posted — 384 (406) in the blog and 1588 (1031) in Road Trips

htv50s_cvrrWhen days on the road increase, an increase in pictures posted is sure to follow. Last year an additional twenty road days yielded an additional 557 road trip pictures. 35% more days resulted in 54% more photos. Blog pictures decreased slightly. In addition to the 52 regular weekly blog posts, there were 16 reviews, 7 road trip links, and 5 miscellaneous asynchronous posts. The number two and three blog posts from 2013 moved up to one and two. Last year’s most visited post stayed in the top five at number four leaving just two of the top five slots for new posts. The most popular item posted in 2014 was the review of an ebook.

Top Blog Posts:

  1. My Wheels – Chapter 1 1960 J. C. Higgins Flightliner
    When I started the My Wheels series of articles on vehicles I’ve owned, I really had cars and motorcycles in mind and started the series with a bicycle as something of a lark. It stands today as testament to just how bad a prognosticator I am. It was the most popular new post of 2013 and the second most popular overall. This year it moves on top. Hardly a day goes by without at least one visit to the article and there are usually several. Most are from search engines and I don’t believe many of the readers stick around for much of anything else but it appears that a lot of people had, have, or dreamed of having J. C. Higgins Flightliners.
  2. Route 66 Attractions
    This review appears in the top five for the third time moving from fifth to third to second. The subject is a GPS based product for tracing Route 66.
  3. How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips
    The most popular new post of 2014 was a review of a free ebook. Terri Weeks wrote the book partly to promote her website and a “real” book, Adventures Around Cincinnati, she co-wrote with Laura Hoevener. I suspect Terri and her friends sent as many readers to the post as the search engines did and that’s OK by me.
  4. Twenty Mile’s Last Stand
    After two years at number one, this article on an endangered historic building dropped to fourth. The building was demolished more than a year ago so I’m not surprised that the ranking dropped but I am a little surprised — and a lot delighted — that it still cracked the top five. I’d like to think it and the post on the demolition (Roadhouse Down) are being used as cautionary tales to help save other buildings. A gas station has been built on the corner where the building stood. There is absolutely nothing within the building’s actual footprint.
  5. Don’t Worry Be Hoppy — or Gene or Roy or…
    This is the report of my visit to the Hopalong Cassidy Festival in Cambridge, Ohio. I’m thinking that, like me, some of those Flightliner fans are also Hopalong fans.

Top Non-Blog Posts:

  1. Englewood
    For several years, an oddment page on a 2006 visit to the site of the town of Tadmor was the most popular pages on the site due largely to a reference in a Wikipedia article on ghost towns. The link never seemed all that appropriate (I had not placed it.) and I believe it has been removed. That post ranked seventh this year. This post describes a visit to Englewood Park that took place a week following my visit to Tadmor. Both parks contain dams on the National Road but I have no theory on why this post shot to the top in 1014.
  2. AMA Hall of Fame Museum
    This Oddment page covers a 2010 visit to the museum. I have no guesses as to what brought the increased interest this year. At four years old, it is the most recent item to make 2014’s non-blog top five list. Last year only one article from 2013 made the list. Does that mean I’ve already covered everything worth covering and that I might as well stop posting new journal entries? Maybe, but I won’t.
  3. Natchez Christmas
    This is the journal of my 2006 Christmas trip which included driving the full length of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Day 5, which involved a visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park seemed to be the main focus so the visits may have come from an interest in the Civil War.
  4. Kentucky Short Loop
    This was a rather spontaneous 2004 day trip to Kentucky with nothing in it that suggests why it became an attraction in 2014. There is, however, an odd coincidence connected to it. One of the things I do whenever I’m unable to post a new blog entry on Sunday is post a canned “Trip Peek”. These are short articles pointing to completed trips. On January 4, the first Sunday of the year when I should have posted this look back, I was on the road and had to use a canned article. Four days after these rankings were frozen and before I’d actually looked at them, the randomly selected article posted was the Kentucky Short Loop “Trip Peek”.
  5. Lincoln Highway West
    The 2009 trip on which I clinched the Lincoln Highway for the first time completes the top five and I’ve no idea why. The focus seemed to be on a day spent in Iowa and I’m pretty sure I can’t attribute that to Civil War interest.

Visits to the website increased to 248,033 from 170,809 last year and page views rose to 741,404 from 467,084. WordPress’ Jetpack reports 8,062 views (up from 6,863) for the blog in 2014.

The increases are modest. Heck, the total traffic is modest, but I’m happy with it. I wouldn’t object to a little more feedback but that’s not the same as being unhappy. I’m a little disappointed that nothing I added to the journal in 2014 generated more interest than stuff from 2010 and earlier but I’m definitely not unhappy about that. It’s rather nice, in fact, that four and more year old articles still get read. I made no structural changes in the website in 2014 and I anticipate none in 2015. From here, it looks like another non-jiggy year has just begun.

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