I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some amazing place across the West, but one of the biggest conundrums I’m faced with is whether to actually tell people where these places are.
My job as a journalist is to share information with the public, but I’ve been threatened with being disowned by my family should I reveal certain prized locations. Far too often, I hear friends and family preface a story or statement with “Off the record.” Here’s a hint: Unless I’m actually interviewing you—standing there holding a notebook or a digital recorder—I’m not going to quote you. And, in the off chance that you say something interesting enough to go into print, I’ll check with you long before I actually publish something, and even then, I’ll probably go to other sources to get the story.
Digression aside, I’m once again faced with the same question: to name or not to name?
I spent Sunday, May 31, roaming the Owyhees with my family to celebrate my father’s birthday. It’s one of my father’s favorite places, and traveling through the area is like taking a geography course as he points out every knoll, canyon and draw by name, deftly navigating the maze of dirt roads to get to hidden locations. He was brought to the area by his parents, and in turn, took my sister and I into the high desert for nearly as long as I can remember.
Which leads to the conundrum. We spent the day in some stunning locations, but is it worth the loss of family to share them with readers?
In the name of familial harmony, I’ll just say I was in the Owyhees, not in Idaho, and share a unidentifiable image. Now, hopefully, family dinners won’t be a tense affair.