5/11/2020

I have a new edition of Hinterlands out. You can find it here. I didn't get to update everything that I wanted before the Red was closed, but it's still pretty cool. I was initially pretty excited about it because it featured a bunch of new drone photos and some really cool new attractions, but the coronavirus has stolen my thunder. With the virus severely limiting recreation in the Red, I have hardly sold any; so my efforts to stay timely have pretty much become moot. I won't complain. I feel fortunate to be retired and able to ride this bizzare situation out with my guitar at home, but having the Red closed all the time sure makes it difficult to research and update books. Between fires, the now routine winter road closings, and this virus, getting into the Red is becoming trickier than getting into a Stones concert. I bet the Forest Service absolutey loves having no visitors, so at least someone is benefitting from the situation. Don't laugh. I'm not the only one, after all, who has seriously considered the possibility that they start fires just so that they can close things down and have short vacations. In fact, previous to the virus thingee, Tunnel Ridge Road had alreay been shut down again. Just sayin'. Heck of a lot of fires for such a small outdoor area, don't you think? And if they really saw fires as a problem they could simply outlaw campfires, I suppose. Silly me. There I go thinking logically again. Some people just never learn.

3/5/2020

I have a new edition of the Red River Gorge Trail Guide out. It has a new format, with less detail on each trail, but I think it's better suited to new visitors. Numerous aerial photographs expand reader's perspective on the region. You can find it here:

2/29/2020

I made a significant mistake on page 88 of Hinterlands 2019. Tunnel Ridge Road, shown on the map for Cherokee Arch, should instead be labeled Chimney Top Road. Both instances. Hopefully, everyone recognized the error, although nobody has contacted me about it. I apologize. I've corrected it now, so it's okay in 2019 editions going forward.

 10/19/2019

Fire has altered both Buzzard Roost Trails, especially Buzzard Roost North. It's a mess and I recommend that you stay away. The final descent on Buzzard Roost South is now a wide corridor instead of a rhodo thicket, but otherwise the trail still rocks.

 7/7/2019

While researching for the 2018 edition of Hinterlands I (again) attempted to navigate the entire Poor Edgar Trail and I (again) found it to be overgrown after just a short distance. This is a shame because the trail once led to a nice little overlook, and I discuss this in the book. Anyway, all my life I've read that you shouldn't blindly step over fallen logs, because of snakes, and for my entire hiking career this had been useless advice. I had never ever seen a snake on the opposite side of a log. Well, never say never, because on the above mentioned day, I peeped over a log and saw this:

Enlarge the photo if you need to. The only reason that I looked was because I had been watching some snake videos on YouTube and had consequently had a dream about snakes the previous night. I like to think that I'm not superstitious, but this kind of thing sort of makes one wonder.

6/2019 Signs of Life?

After sulking for a few months, and simultaneously taking a break from the rigorous demands of writing outdoor guides (joke), I've finally come up with a plan. It goes against many of my original objectives with my books, but ironically now jibes with them too. As I might have stated somewhere in the past, I originally sought to publish books "by Kentuckians, about Kentucky, for Kentuckians" and support all things "local." Sounded great until I came to understand that most Kentuckians don't have any desire to write books and that Kentucky really wasn't all that "into to me," as the TV show says. I attempted to support local businesses and institutions, by not selling my books online, only to have the outlets I needed most, like Natural Bridge State Park and Forest Service facilities, refuse to sell my books. Two local businesses cleaned me out of substantial amounts of cash and others make little effort to keep my books stocked, so I lose sales. More recently, I've attempted to locate a local printer and/or a publisher for my guides, but with no luck. People won't return my calls or emails. Even my feeble attempts to advertise ended similarly. I'm beginning to suspect that someone is spreading rumors that I'm a puppy killer or something. I don't surf social media, so that could actually be the case I suppose, but I prefer to think that I'm just jinxed. I garner more sympathy for myself that way. Whatever, I'll cut to the chase.

I'm attempting to publish my books via Amazon. While that initially seems the extreme opposite of local, it turns out that Amazon prints and ships these books right here in the Bluegrass. It also just happens that my neighbor directly across the street works for Amazon, doing precisely that. So, I'll be helping my neighbor, and former neighbors. (I no longer live in Lexington.) It also happens that Amazon publishes books for less than my former printer, which means that I get to keep more of my own money. Also, Amazon only prints after a sale, which means that I don't have to store books at home and pay property taxes on them each year. So, by using Amazon, I help my next door neighbor, myself, and I support local jobs. It doesn't get any more " local" than that. Go figure. It's sort of like buying a Camry made in Georgetown, where people I know work, as opposed to a GM product made by strangers in Canada. So . . . .

Now all I have to do is see what kind of quality I get from Amazon. If I like what I see, I'll go from there. I have new 2019 editions of both Red River Gorge books almost ready to go. Both will include more aerial photos, similar to this one:

This is an unnamed overlook that's visible from the Eagle Point Buttress Bonus Trail. I hope to explore more out that way in the future. Impressive aerial perspectives of Hanson's Point and Eagle Point Buttress will grace the back cover of Hinterlands 2019, if it materializes.

The first book is for sale online already, here, but I haven't seen an actual copy yet. I'm hopeful, but I've been hopeful before. If I like what I see, I'll go from there. New editions of Hinterlands will include Skyview Arch, Cherokee Arch, and more aerial photos. If everything works out, I also hope to have new editions of both guides for 2020. Newer (including the out of print 2018) editions of the Red River Gorge Trail Guide include directions to Powder Mill Arch, aerial photos, and some info about myself. I hope to have aerial photos of White's Branch Arch and many other attractions for the 2020 editions.

I apologize for any stress I caused anyone who couldn't find a copy of my guides or retailers that I've abandoned, but I'm simply trying to get books out with the least amount of stress for myself. And it isn't a done deal yet. Wish me luck.

While I have your attention, I'll mention that what I called the Raven Rock Overlook Trail II in the 2018 version of Hinterlands, is already overgrown. The relentless rain is to blame. I'm still going to include it in the new edition, under the name Daniel Boone Byway, deferring to what others are calling it. I still have hope for it . . . if it ever stops raining.

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.

 

Hinterlands (some 2019 editions)

On page 88, Tunnel Ridge Road, shown on the map for Cherokee Arch, should be labeled Chimney Top Road.

On page 246, first line. 2.4 miles should be .24 miles.

The route for the Angel Windows Extension Trail have changed somewhat from my description. My directions will still work, but they are no longer the best option. Follow the more obvious trail now for the section between the first and third campsites.

Red River Gorge Trail Guide 2018 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.

Red River Gorge Trail Guide 2012 Edition

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 edition of Hinterlands, and new errors will probably take their place.

Fire and subsequent erosion have made access to Indian Staircase 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 zigzag 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 older Hinterlands. It's in the Eagle Point Buttress area. It's subtle and corrected in new editions 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. I'm not bragging because the credit goes to my wife and other proofreaders. I can't say as much for the latter editions. Expect mistakes.

Contact information: info@lostbranch.com 

 

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