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I've added some photos to my site to illustrate both the similarities and differences between the areas described in my books. Some of the photos were taken with high-end cameras while others, well, not so much. When I first began writing guides to the Red, I always carried a nice camera with me. I had intended at some point to possibly publish a book of photos. However, as the years passed and other things (like work) consumed my time, energy, and enthusiasm, the idea sort of fell to the wayside and I came to worry less about photo quality. Nontheless, I believe that some readers will find them interesting.
Because of their disturbing privacy "issues", I haven't used Google (or Facebook) much for years now, but when I recently searched for "Red River Gorge" and "Red River Gorge hiking" on Google, I was surprised to find that after a decade of writing trail guides to the area, my books don't even come up. After thinking about this for a while, I think I've figured out why. If everyone simply went to my books first, they wouldn't need to spend hours on the internet searching for scattered information about the Red, and therefore wouldn't need subsequent Google searches. They could instead just go out and hike. It's good business on Google's part I guess; they can put me out of business, while simultaneously encouraging the scattering of information sources far and wide. It's frightening how much power they have, but it certainly wouldn't give me much confidence if I routinely used their product.
You might notice that we're now selling William H. Patrick's arch guides on our site. You can combine these with a book order and save on shipping costs and since we don't offer free shipping, our prices are slightly less than you'll find on Bill's site.
I'm currently working on an update for the Red River Gorge Trail Guide. The new edition will include aerial photographs, better maps, and updated trail information. Powder Mill Arch and Wolf Pen Arch will make debut appearances as well. Look for it midsummer.
Okay, the new edition of Hinterlands is available and in the hands of several retailers. The old edition is out of print and I forsee no new printings. I'll have both editions available on my site until I run out completely and die-hard enthusiasts might want both. The new edition DOES NOT INCLUDE EVERY TRAIL IN THE 2008 EDITION--especially detailed descriptions of trails north of the Osborne Bend Trail or trails along Hatton Ridge and Spaas Creek roads. Given what I know (which isn't really all that much) I anticipate seeing the old edition actually increase in price as it becomes rare.
The new edition will include several new trails, along with better maps and photos, and I believe that there's enough new stuff to attract even those thoroughly familiar with the earlier editions. I rehiked every trail that's included in the new edition, along with many that didn't. One new trail leads to an overlook which, in my opinion, is alone worth a couple of sawbucks. I hope everyone likes the new edition. I'm personally happy with it, but it's not perfect. The first printing didn't fully meet my expectations, but since I don't know what the problem was, I may not be able to correct it. Only time will tell. Also, this edition is essentially a solo effort. Other than those mentioned in the book, who gave me advice and hiked with me, I did everything. . . . which means that there are probably typos. I apologize, but after 5, 6 or however many books I've written, I've worn all my friends out and feel bad about asking for assistance, again. I don't make enough money to repeatedly pay editors, proofreaders, etc. so this edition is raw. If the errors are too ubiquitous, I might correct them with a new edition. Or I might just leave them, like Tom Baugh (Starving the Monkeys), to irritate the publishers who weren't interested in my books and snobby OCD types. I read and reread countless times, but proofreading is tedious business. If you don't catch something on the first pass, you probably won't afterwards. We'll see. Knee issues might nullify the very possibility.
Red River Gorge Trail Guide
In the 1st and 2nd editions of the Red River Gorge Trail Guide I mistakenly referred to the Whistling Arch Trail as trail #224. It is actually #234, so you may want to mark this in your older copy. Seven years after publication this is the only typo or misprint I've discovered, or that has been brought to my attention, in those early editions! All credit goes to my proofreaders and editors. I've seen major publishing companies do unspeakably worse.
I can't say the same for my later (2012) edition. One error is on page 135, in the trail directions
for the Pebble Beach Trail. "See map on page 141" should read, "See map on
page 143". On page 261, Highlights: should read "Beautiful stream/forest settings." You'll also find some misspellings because some idiot (me) forgot to run the spell checker, or perhaps, my "dynamic" spell checker wasn't working properly . . . like it isn't now.
Hinterlands (2007 & 2008 editions)
While updating the Hanson's Point Trail for the new edition of Hinterlands I noticed two errors in the previous edition. In the first sentence of the last full paragraph on page 147, "continues west along" should read "continues east along." Additionally, the GPS coordinates given for Hanson's Point were actually for the campsite previous to the final overlook area and should read 17S 0268801 4188719. The latter mistake shouldn't cause any serious problems, but the former one could. Sorry. The Hanson's Point Trail has become an obstacle course. Recent fires have resulted in many fallen trees and a general decline in hiking quality. The views still kill, however.
In the description to the Swift Camp Creek Overlook Trail, on page 226, "The trail going straight ahead is the Turtle Back Arch Trail. Our trail turns left" should read more like "The trail going straight ahead is the Swift Camp Creek Overlook Trail while the Turtle Back Arch Trail turns right." Or something to that effect. I must have been looking at mapping software or something instead of my notes. Or maybe I just had one too many bourbon shots that night. Sorry. As mentioned previously however. The SCCO Trail is now obliterated by deadfall. Or at least it was when I tried to hike it a few months ago. This will all be corrected (hopefully) in the new edtition of Hinterlands, and new errors will probably take their place.
Fire and subsequent erosion have made access to Indian Staircasec considerably easier than it was when Hinterlands was first published. Follow directions in the book until you arrive at the small "obstacle," shown in the photo on page 161 and below, but rather than climbing the obstacle directly, move left to easier (less steep) terrain and zigag up ledges. It's less adventurous, but much safer.
On page 288 (Wildcat Bonus Trail), the directions end with "map page 297." That should read "map page 298."
A reader pointed out another mistake in Hinterlands. It's in the Eagle Point Buttress area. It's subtle, so I won't get into details, but let me know if you have any trouble navigating in the area. I still can't believe how few mistakes have been found in my books. It's not like I do this for a living, but I see tons of mistakes in books by people who do. Credit goes to my wife and other proofreaders.
In Hinterlands, I mentioned that I'd frequently stayed at the Red River Gorge Campground and wrote about Jim Shade (the proprietor) and his wonderful dog Wolf. Sadly, Jim is no longer with us and the last I heard, Wolf's health had necessitated a move to the city, where I can't imagine her, like myself, having nearly as much fun as she did running wild (unbridled) in the Red. Things change, I'm afraid, whether we want them to or not and that's a reality I'm forced to contend with more and more every day. As Phillip Roth noted, "Old age isn't a battle, it's a massacre." Thanks Jim and Wolf for the fine memories. I think of you both often. Jim's son now manages the campground, I believe, but I haven't visited it lately.