A Tale of The Hayduke Trail; A Desert Journey
A Tale of The Hayduke Trail; A Desert Journey
A highly opinionated hybrid non-fiction/photography book about the desert, creating the Hayduke Trail, and my relationship with both.
A highly opinionated hybrid non-fiction/photography book about the desert, creating the Hayduke Trail, and my relationship with both. Read more
I'm seeking funding to self-publish a book (and e-book) about the unique experience of a New Jersey kid (me!) turned Utah ski-bum turned desert-rat who somehow ended up creating an 850-mile backcountry desert backpacking route...a book that will include somewhere around 200 stunning, full color landscape photographs. The final product will be a high quality, hardcover work of art worthy of even the most discriminating of coffee tables--and readers!
There are stories about travel adventures, including encounters with weather, wildlife, and humans, about the experience of creating an 850-mile wilderness route and of personal growth--and of course, as I am a professional backcountry guide--there's a heap of interpretive information about desert lore, geology, wildlife, and history, both recent and ancient.
sample text: "We were in hysterics at our situation. Sure, people use rivers to travel all the time. But we were doing it without a boat! It seemed so absurd that we had to laugh. Here we were, on the 96th day of our adventure, sitting on our therm-a-resters (air mattresses), with our somewhat buoyant backpacks on our laps, in the middle of Utah’s Green River. Evidently, even an ugly, bald headed turkey vulture couldn’t believe what he was seeing; he kept swooping down at us like he was expecting a meal. We were delighted to not only to be able to disappoint the vulture, but to be able to avoid all of the biting insects along the brush-choked river bank, which we also no longer needed to bushwhack through for the three or so miles that we had planned on.
We were just five days from Arches National Park, the conclusion of a 101-day, 600 mile long backpacking trek across southern Utah and northern Arizona. We had started our journey at Zion National Park, on March 12, 2000, in icy conditions. The air temperature as we floated the Green was over 100˚F; the winter conditions of the start seemed hardly more than a memory. We had seen not only the extremes of the thermometer, we had seen the extremes of what the Colorado Plateau had to offer. After all, that was the point."
This book has been simmering and fermenting for over fifteen years, I started writing a year ago and am finally satisfied with the text, the images have been collecting for two decades and have been sorted, permissions have been granted to use other writer's passages: now is the time to bring this project to completion!
All funds raised will be used to complete this project: I've already "created" a publishing company so that I can self-publish (Deep Desert Publishing), I need to consult with an editor to make sure the text is what I think it is and to keep the book as affordable as possible (it's going to be over 200 color-filled pages), and I need to consult with a graphic designer--not to lay out the book--but to make sure my layout is appropriate for printing. My funding goal will allow me to publish and market a minimum target of 500 copies of this book, which, when sold, will in turn fund a larger print run.
If I am able to raise more than my goal, I will have a larger number of books printed to reduce per item cost so more people can enjoy this hopefully compelling tale and the striking images that accompany the reader through this visual journey.
sample text: "I’ve learned to say that there’s only one species on earth that is crazy (or dumb) enough to be out in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, in the middle of the desert: the human species. Yet somehow I found myself stumbling on a hot, steep, deep sand covered trail, unable to breathe--not just catch my breath, but breathe. My lungs simply didn’t want to work, my feet had become lead; I couldn’t pick them up--all in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer--and of course, desperately far out in the middle of the desert.
This was a new and unnerving experience for me: I’ve walked thousands of miles with punishing loads on my back; the desert heat was familiar. I’ve explored much of the natural world; I’ve faced the depths of river canyons on foot and by boat, I’ve climbed mountains just to ski down, I was flying down dirt trails on mountain bikes before most people even knew what a mountain bike was. I’ve traveled to places that few have seen; I should be able to dance up this well used route. But at this point, all I could think of was I need to get home; because still a mile from my vehicle and almost forty miles from the nearest paved road, with the nearest reasonable medical care over one hundred miles beyond that; I was experiencing a heart attack."
I'm excited to bring this one-of-a-kind project to a conclusion.
I really appreciate your time and consideration--and don't forget: pledgers will receive some wonderful rewards for insuring that this book will be published! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
Risks and challenges
My text is written.
My images are selected.
Part of the layout is done--but I have to first confirm with the pros that I'm doing it right before I finish.
I've even received appropriate permissions from Copyright holders to use previously published passages in my book.
So the project is well under way.
My "real" job (guiding) gets busy for the season soon, so my time may be limited--hence the February 2015 projected finish date (though my hope is to have this all done by Thanksgiving).
I'm confident I can finish this journey as I've done with countless other ones!
- (33 days)