Hiking with Shawn
A Look Back and
a Look Forward.
Before we get into the Hiking with Shawn Rewind, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope 2022 is better for all of us humans, we need a better year. For the past couple of years, we’ve been plagued by an ongoing pandemic that has divided us, made many lose their religions, made many gain a new religion, and has taken lives in the process. Now is more important than ever to see just how precious life is. Hug your kids. Hug your parents. Hug your siblings. Hug your friends. And make peace with your foes – let’s make 2022 all about kindness and support for our species. Now let’s move on to the Hiking with Shawn Rewind. In the article, I’ll be looking back on 2021 and explaining moving forward during 2022 and what you can expect from Hiking with Shawn.
Hiking with Shawn Rewind: What a great start to 2021!
Let’s admit it, 2020 wasn’t that good of a year for most of humans. However, I did enjoy it at least for the sake of Hiking with Shawn and general outdoor recreation. The pandemic didn’t make me hike less, in fact, I hiked and biked more because it was an easy way to avoid the crowds and not be social without going insane. But when 2021 rolled around, outdoor, and brand wise, it got better. We started the year with a hike at Camp Ondessonk and it was waterfall central. It was probably one of the best waterfall days I’ve ever had, and I got to share that with Matt, Bryan, Michelle, Charlotte, and Old Goat in the Woods.
Me and Michelle also explored more new places in 2021 than we had in previous years. We went to old trails and a lot of off trail adventures happened as well. We saw a lot of rugged-to-get-to waterfalls and even found new rock formations, natural arches, and windows. We camped out in the wilderness and packed the wrong tent. We slept under the stars and still had a blast. We returned to Ozark National Scenic Riverways and of course camped again at Land Between the Lake, Kentucky. We even visited Elephant Rocks State Park for the first time which was amazing to say the least.
We enjoyed hiking with old friends like Two Bobs’ Adventures and meeting new friends as well like The Pathfinders. We continued to clean up trash and even did some volunteer invasive plant removal at a placed we’d never been to before, Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve. We led group hikes and even joined group hikes especially with our friends at the River-to-River Trail Society. I even learned a new skill, crosscutting which is a valuable skill to know when helping to maintain the wilderness areas we so enjoy. I even got the pleasure of creating a local tourism challenge partnering with local tourism, state government and federal government. I was even on a St. Louis radio station for that one!
I’ve been featured again on local news. I’ve been mentioned on local public radio. And I got another newspaper article written about me. I collaborated with the City of Carbondale. And I even got to collaborate with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for Tunnel Hill State Trail. Speaking of Tunnel Hill, I launched a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to the conservancy of Tunnel Hill State Trail. I am a board member of other non-profits that support local tourism, the Shawnee National Forest, Cache River, and the River-to-River Trail. Me and Michelle also celebrated 3 years of being together which is my favorite special moment for 2021. Life has become so much better since I’ve met her, and her family has become my family and family her family. Oh yeah, and a coffee was named after my word BLUFFAGE.
And to end the year, the last day of 2021, guess where we went? Camp Ondessonk with Two Bobs’ Adventures! What a place to go to! We started off 2021 chasing waterfalls and Camp O and ended 2021 chasing waterfalls at Camp O. If you want to visit Camp Ondessonk, they welcome visitors if you call ahead of time and get permission. It is private property after all, remember that when you visit. My advice is to go when wet for best results. Be sure to sign in (for safety of all things) and use common sense and safety first when exploring their property. They host the tallest free-falling waterfall in southern Illinois.
Hiking with Shawn Rewind: A Look into the Future
So, 2021 was cool but with any Hiking with Shawn rewind, all the years we’ve done this has been cool. By the way, 2021 was my 5th year of doing this. Hiking with Shawn is 5 years old. And with that, it started the second step of my 5-year business plan. My second phase (the next 5-years) will be all about turning Hiking with Shawn into a full-time business. Now, don’t let that scare you! You’re still getting videos (probably more than other years), photos, conversations, trail guides, articles, and resources from me – for free – like you have always got. But I have spent a lot of time, energy, and money on this, and I’d love to get some of it back.
In 2022, I’ll be starting a lot of business-sides of the organization. This includes guided hiking and biking services in the Shawnee National Forest and local state parks. I’m insured and I have permits to do this sort of thing now. I’ll also be provided an itinerary planning service for folks visiting the area that would like a plan of what to do. This will help them enjoy the forest while also spending time at our many mom-and-pop businesses and small communities that depend on visitors the most. I’ll also be adding new items to the Hiking with Shawn store for you all to enjoy. And plan on seeing more review videos from me that I’ll be filming on private property for the sake of being able to put advertisements on it. I do want to make money because I can do more with Hiking with Shawn if it profits. It’s a small business after all!
I’ll also be beefing up my Patreon service. Patreon is a service that allows you to give monthly contributions to me as a creator. Plans start at $3/month to $20/month. Whether you choose the lowest plan or the highest plan, you get the same features as all Patreons. I’ve created payment tiers for the purpose of letting you decide how much you want to contribute. I’m thankful for your contribution even if it is just $3 a month. It means a lot to me, either way. There is no risk – you can cancel anytime. And if you can’t contribute, don’t worry, I understand and there is still plenty of things I give away. For Patreons, the benefits include Patreon-only articles and guides, exclusive videos and photos, gifts from time to time, exclusive community posts and polls, and a mention in the description of all my YouTube videos. More features are being planned, too!
But like I said folks, a lot of free stuff is still going to happen! I be hosting a lot of free guided hikes where you pay with a can of food that we collect and donate to the hungry during a group hike. I’ll be doing more contests and giveaways to give you all fun free stuff if you win or get chosen. I’ll be hosting more live streams in 2022 and inviting you all to join in. I plan to launch a full-blown outdoor podcasting network and have a lot of awesome plans for that. Listening in will be free, too! I’m writing a series of new articles and guides for the blog. I’ll also be writing some eBooks which will be very affordable and on topics that I know you all will love. 2022 is going to be the start of a big and fun adventure with Hiking with Shawn and you get to be a part of it.
Hiking with Shawn Rewind: One Last Thing
Like I have mentioned during every Hiking with Shawn rewind I do – it’s because of you where I am today. I don’t want anyone to forget that. I may have worked hard to get to this point but without YOU, nothing would had come out of it. I owe all this to each of you who follow me. I really appreciate your support during all these years, and I really appreciate you. I don’t want to call you all fans or followers, I want to call you all Friends or better yet, family! You’re Hiking with Shawn family and I love y’all! So, with that being said – please be safe this New Year and please love each other. Until next time, we’ll be seeing you on the trail!
PLEASE SUPPORT HIKING WITH SHAWN
Alrighty folks, I hope you have enjoyed this content. I provide it for free and it takes a while to create. If you would be so kind enough to support my efforts, you can do so by sharing this post with others, especially on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see my latest videos, shorts and live streams. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for unique content that you will only find on those pages. You might also join my Southern Illinois Hiking & Outdoor Resources Group on Facebook, too!
You can also support me by becoming a Patreon Supporter for as little as $3/month and you can cancel anytime (no contracts or catches). Patreons get access to extra features, exclusive articles, sticker packs, gifts and more. Consider buying official Hiking with Shawn Merchandise as another way to support me. I spend a lot of money on Hiking with Shawn and because of extremely high public land permit fees, I make very little money in return so everything helps.
Thanks again for checking out another one of my articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!
Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. I hope you enjoy my website and I encourage you to interact with me!
Best of luck in 2022! Here is to you getting out to see a ton of Bluffage and continuing to grow your business. I love that you love what you are doing. You cannot beat that, I know you’ll crush it!
Thanks for the kind words, Mike! 😎