Winter 2021 Updates

Mountains in Montana
The mountains outside Chief Plenty Coups State Park in Montana. While I’m not certain, they might be the Pryor Mountains.

We’re now one week into 2021, and The Jaguar and Allies’ sixth full year of operation. In this post I’m going to briefly look back over 2020, and then describe what’s on the horizon for myself and this blog.

2020

I know that 2020 was a horrible year for most people, and I have the deepest sympathies for all those who lost loved ones, opportunities, or jobs to the pandemic.

But despite its challenges, 2020 was a surprisingly good year for me.

Let me clarify: 2020 was miserable from a financial standpoint. But I made it through, partially because Uncle Sam covered most of my living expenses during my AmeriCorps term.

Psychologically speaking, however, 2020 was one of the best years I’ve had in the past decade. This was largely thanks to my terrible yet brilliant decision to join AmeriCorps in the Spring.

I loved living in Boulder, Colorado, even though I couldn’t explore the city due to COVID. The mountains were spectacular, wildlife was everywhere, and Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department maintains an excellent system of trails.

A river surrounded by pine trees
A shot from Walker Ranch near Boulder, Colorado.

In fact, of all the places I’ve been to, Boulder came the closest to feeling like home – save Canada.

I also appreciated having limited internet access for 5 months.

It was great to be able to focus solely on my job and then have the rest of my time to myself. As much as I enjoy blogging and writing, working three jobs – one of which I don’t get paid for – is exhausting. Thus, my internet “problems” in Boulder were unexpectedly refreshing.

And even though I nearly abandoned this blog during my 5 months in Boulder, it performed exceedingly well. In fact, 2020 was The Jaguar and Allies’ best year for views.

I credit much of this blogs’ success in 2020 to the fact that I had several link-backs from university websites, and floods of traffic from those links during the time when students would’ve been working on papers.

To me, this indicates that professors and students are finding my content helpful, which is more than I could’ve hoped for when I started this site.

Encouraging though this is, 2021 might be a very different year for The Jaguar and myself.

2021

I welcomed the New Year by watching old episodes of Survivorman while in quarantine.

A Dutchmen trailer
My glamorous new home at Chief Plenty Coups State Park in Pryor, Montana.

I’ve just moved to the Crow Reservation in Montana for a second AmeriCorps term, and have chosen to put myself in quarantine for two weeks to avoid spreading COVID to people who may have limited resources to deal with it.

Unfortunately, I won’t have much to say about my new home until my quarantine’s over and I can explore a bit. However, I can already say that it’s vastly different from any place I’ve been before.

I’m technically living in Chief Plenty Coups State Park, which was the home of one of the greatest Crow Chiefs in living memory, Chief Plenty Coups.

I expect I’ll write about Chief Plenty Coups in the near future, although not on this blog.

Speaking of which…

The Future of The Jaguar and Allies

I haven’t the faintest idea what’s going to happen with this blog in 2021.

There are tons of posts that I’d like to write, but my top priority will be my job – not this blog.

My second priority will be archaeology. That’s become my chief hobby and intellectual outlet since I attended the field school in Belize, and if the pandemic lets up I want to try to get involved in archaeological field work in Montana.

Two spider monkeys that visited my archaeology team and I on June 8, 2017 in Belize.

Between my job and archaeology, I doubt I’ll have much time for The Jaguar.

I’m still toying with the idea of launching a second website, one that will be more heavily weighted towards archaeology, but I can’t commit to anything until I know how much free time I’ll have in 2021.

For that reason, you should all follow me on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be posting updates there that might not make it onto this blog, making those the best platforms on which to keep up with me.

What plans do you all have for 2021?

4 Thoughts

  1. Happy New Year Josh! I’m glad you didn’t have a bad 2020 like most of us did. 2020 has not been my worst year ever, but it certainly hasn’t been my best one either. This year I’m working more on hiking, fitness, an ebook and also growing my career. I applied for graduate school too. We’ll see how that goes. :) P.s. I followed on Instagram. Best wishes for all your 2021 goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. all the best Josh!!!
    Am super excited on your behalf hahaha
    I was thinking about what you mentioned and why not just add an archaeology category to this site as part of The Allies hahahaha dont mind us, we just afraid you might start a whole new blog and forget about us.
    ~B

    The home looks awesome I could live there for a bit as long I had internet hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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