Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Making the Cut in my Guidebooks

So-I am often asked:, when I'm putting together a guidebook and I have to decide what to include in it, what is the criteria I use? Well, obviously I am going to include popular trails (I can't possibly leave them out even though I may not care for a few of them!) and my own personal favorites as well as trails that are generally in decent shape and are easily accessible within the geographic area that I am covering. And of course I want to capture a wide array of trails and hikes ranging from easy to challenging-historic-alpine-lake shore-river side -forest-etc- Then I get to make some personal additions based on among other things-advocacy-Perhaps there is an area or trail that I believe is threatened and needs attention-I want to let you know about it-and I want to let you in on a few "secret trails" too that despite the criticism that I may take for it-I find that most people still go to the same trails over and over again and that the people who seek out different places deserve to be there! So, what doesn't make the cut? Generally paved and urban trails (but not always) because they offer more of a walk than a hike (but what is the fine line difference between those two activities?) and if a trail or road leading to it is dangerous, inconvenient or I would be cursed out for sending you there. The Boulder Lake Trail in the Glacier Peak Wilderness which was never officially built was going to go in my Day Hiking North Cascades Book-until the road leading to it washed out. Being user built and now requiring a long road walk or mountain bike to it, lead me to leave it out. Well, now the good news-the road has been reopened and is drivable for most vehicles and the trail has been greatly improved to almost official standards in places. So what does this mean as far as my books are concerned? Count on it being in the second edition of Day Hiking North Cascades. Matter of fact I plan on increasing the hikes in all of my day hiking books by 25 to 150! I will probably yank a few hikes out for various reasons -so count on having at least 20% new hikes in the new editions as well as updates on all the other trails and new extensions and variations. Of course I always welcome your suggestions-is there a trail I left out that you would like for me to cover? Let me know! In the meanwhile I continue to look for great trails throughout the state to share with you!

(Photo-despite the cold weather, Heather works in a nap at Boulder Lake)

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