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10/15/2018

In 2005 I got myself all worked up and declared myself the unofficial "Adventure Tourism Promoter of Kentucky." (I never really verbalized, or even thought, that exactly, but in retrospect, that's really what I was doing.) I felt like the state had so much underappreciated hiking, cycling, climbing, kayaking, historic attractions, etc. that somebody needed to do it . . . and that it might as well be me. I knew countless climbers, hikers, cyclists, and kayakers to draw upon for proper direction. I taught myself Indesign, Photoshop, HTML, etc. and hopped to it. I started a publishing business to provide books "about Kentucky, by Kentuckians, for Kentuckians."

My first book, the Red River Gorge Trail Guide, was received with so much enthusiasm (by some at least) that it further stoked my creative juices, so I wrote guides to Mammoth Cave, Cave Run, and a cycling guide to central Kentucky. People and retailers who knew about such activities accepted my books without hesitation but over time things got weird. Natural Bridge State Park would never sell my books. (Although one creative manager was purchasing them surreptiously at one point.) Forest Service Visitor Centers weren't interested either and ditto for Mammoth Cave National Park. (And I consider my Mammoth Cave Guide my best book.) My most "local" bookstore (Jo Beth) went bankrupt and cleaned me out of a few hundred dollars while another outlet simply refused to pay. After getting burned several times, I went to a cash only system, which eventually prompted one of my best customers to drop my books. (It's my understanding that his employees were "misplacing" the cash, rather than any problem with my books.) To make matters worse, the Forest Service had difficulty keeping roads open, supposedly because of oscillating periods of rain and fire, while I would attempt to do research . . . . and now it rains nearly every day. The obstacles have seemed to increase rather than improve over time.

Well, all good things must come to an end, they say, and I suspect that the same is true of endeavors like mine. While I've been extremely excited about the new editions of both books, and planned to have newer editions of each for 2019, things haven't gone to plan. Unfortunately for me ($1600 unfortunate), I purchased a drone and had some cool photos to share in the next editions. (See Video page.) However, my longtime printer (Bookmasters) felt compelled to experiment and was suddenly unable to deliver the quality that I had come to expect. Rather than search for a new printer, I've decided that this is a good time to call it quits. Everyone told me to print my books in China, so the fault is with me, but I was foolishly determined to support local buinessnes. No matter. Thirteen years is long enough to know that things aren't going to improve. I'm selling the remainder of my stock ASAP and calling it quits. Thanks to everyone who has bought, sold, or positively reviewed one of my books. I'm out of here.

6/11/2018

While many trails in the Red are becoming rutted and worn from overuse, others are being reclaimed by the forest. The Poor Edgar Trail and the Swift Camp Creek Overlook Trail have already been lost. Quality hiking mileage is actually decreasing! While I'm generally a "the more forest the better" type guy, I also love cool trails. With this in mind, the Classic Crag Overlook Trail, the Left Flank Highride Trail, the Little East Fork Trail, the Raven's Rock Overlook Trail II (which I will be renaming the Daniel Boone Byway in the next edition), the Nowhere Trail, the ATV Freeway, and the Four Wheeled Wonderland Trail could all use more traffic . . . and some pruning. All but the Little East Fork Trail are very cool and even it could become so in time.

6/11/2018

I've added some photos to my site to illustrate both the similarities and differences between the official trails and the user-created ones. 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 . 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 more about extra weight and less about photo quality. Nonetheless, I believe that some readers will find them interesting.

5/26/2018

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.

4/23/2018

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. The new edition includes 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 make the cut. 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.

Red River Gorge Trail Guide

I have unfortunatly found some errors in the 2018 edition. While I apologize, these aren't really my fault. InDesign, the program I use to prepare my books, for whatever reason, can be rather finicky. It randomly misses searched for words, like page, and as a result when I did last minute checks on my page references, it failed to show me several instances. So it goes. Anyway, you can pencil in the following changes in your edition.

On page 285, 3rd line, Original Trail should be 159 instead of 123.

On page 290, 8th line, page 123 should be 159 and page 71 should be 97.

On page 299, under Cautions, page 75 should be page 39.

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 (2018 edition)

On page 231, 7 lines down, Raven's Rock Overlook Trail II should read Raven's Rock Overlook Trail I.

On page 10, 17 lines from bottom, "expectations" should read "exceptions"

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.

 

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