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  1. #21
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    Cookerhiker, I'm curious whether you would choose to take a zero day in Silverton again or maybe zero in one of the other towns instead. I'm currently planning to take a zero day in Breckenridge, Salida, and Lake City. I've been planning to send a resupply package to the Molas Lake Campground but since Silverton is supposed to be an easy hitch maybe it is worth spending a night there or even taking a zero day if it looks like I'm running ahead of schedule. I definitely want to avoid spending more than one night in Durango before my scheduled flight because there seem to be few cheap lodging options in Durango especially since I'll be there at the start of Labor Day weekend.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  2. #22
    JMT 2012, 2013, CT July-Aug 2014
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    We are taking zeros in Salida and Creede. They seemed like cool towns. We are also ending the trip in Durango Labor Day weekend. But we are staying an extra day before we drive home. Only 51 more days!!!

  3. #23
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K6VOI View Post
    We are taking zeros in Salida and Creede. They seemed like cool towns. We are also ending the trip in Durango Labor Day weekend. But we are staying an extra day before we drive home. Only 51 more days!!!
    It's off topic here but are you doing any SOTA contacts while there.
    KK4VKZ -SOTA-SUMMITS ON THE AIR-
    SUPPORT LNT

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Cookerhiker, I'm curious whether you would choose to take a zero day in Silverton again or maybe zero in one of the other towns instead. I'm currently planning to take a zero day in Breckenridge, Salida, and Lake City. I've been planning to send a resupply package to the Molas Lake Campground but since Silverton is supposed to be an easy hitch maybe it is worth spending a night there or even taking a zero day if it looks like I'm running ahead of schedule. I definitely want to avoid spending more than one night in Durango before my scheduled flight because there seem to be few cheap lodging options in Durango especially since I'll be there at the start of Labor Day weekend.
    Were I doing the hike again, I'd likely take the 2 zeros in the same 2 locales: Salida and Silverton. Both were cool towns with hostels and a good selection of restaurants. Salida is the nearest town to the CT's halfway point and a logical place for a zero. Silverton was a welcome respite after extensive high elevation up and down. You're right about Silverton being an easy hitch (which you've seen if you've gotten to page 159).

    Another consideration is neros vs zeros. Our pace and camping locations were not conducive to a nero in Silverton but they were for neros in Breckenridge, Leadville and Creede. With a nero, you just hike a few miles and have sufficient time to shop, shower, do laundry, and rest.

    Since you're into my book, you've already seen that I was pretty down on Buffalo Creek as a resupply stop. I would definitely not stop there again. At the time, we wanted to start with light packs and only a few days worth of meals, so we chose to resupply at both Buffalo Creek and Jefferson.

  5. #25
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    Since I'm already planning on a zero in Lake City, I'm not sure that another zero in Silverton makes sense but maybe a nero is the right approach if I'm running ahead of schedule. Not having to send a resupply package to Molas Lake would be a positive since I could just resupply in town. That would mean that my only resupply package will be to Twin Lakes; the rest of the time I could resupply in towns.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  6. #26
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    I am also at a loss trying to plan nero's, which isn't a big deal given I dont have a deadline to finish.. I will probably adjust my speed around the availablilty of friends to bag some 14ers... as for double zero's that will depend on the availablity/quality of brew pubs....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    Were I doing the hike again, I'd likely take the 2 zeros in the same 2 locales: Salida and Silverton. Both were cool towns with hostels and a good selection of restaurants. Salida is the nearest town to the CT's halfway point and a logical place for a zero. Silverton was a welcome respite after extensive high elevation up and down. You're right about Silverton being an easy hitch (which you've seen if you've gotten to page 159).

    Another consideration is neros vs zeros. Our pace and camping locations were not conducive to a nero in Silverton but they were for neros in Breckenridge, Leadville and Creede. With a nero, you just hike a few miles and have sufficient time to shop, shower, do laundry, and rest.

    Since you're into my book, you've already seen that I was pretty down on Buffalo Creek as a resupply stop. I would definitely not stop there again. At the time, we wanted to start with light packs and only a few days worth of meals, so we chose to resupply at both Buffalo Creek and Jefferson.

  7. #27
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    If you can make a reservation on the Durango/Silverton train it is a fun trip. I advise only a one way on the train. I am considering a thru later this summer. Grew up in these mountains and just starting to hike them.
    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu Loose English Translation

  8. #28
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    I just wanted to say that I have finished the book and recommend it to anyone thinking about hiking the Colorado Trail. There aren't very many books covering the Colorado Trail and it was good to read one so close to my thru hike.

    I found the balance between personal anecdotes and the description of the trail to be good, and there is always a balance to be struck in that regard. Every thru hike is obviously going to be different and it is very interesting to see how others experienced the trail but it is also great to get some information regarding highlights, camp sites, water sources, etc. I frequently found myself referring to my CT data book as I read and noting areas where I may want to spend some time or possibly camp. I'm planning to loan the book to family members who may find it interesting or reassuring to read while I'm on the trail. Along with some maps and my SPOT check ins, that should provide a better sense of where I am at any given time.

    One feature that could have added a lot to the book would be color photos, and maybe more photos in general, but I'm sure that would be a very expensive proposition and increase the cost of book quite a bit. Actually, I was going to suggest that some photos on the web site would be a good idea but I just notice that a photo galley has already been added!
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  9. #29
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    I saw on his FB page that he held a signing, recently. Looked like a good turn out.
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I just wanted to say that I have finished the book and recommend it to anyone thinking about hiking the Colorado Trail. There aren't very many books covering the Colorado Trail and it was good to read one so close to my thru hike.

    I found the balance between personal anecdotes and the description of the trail to be good, and there is always a balance to be struck in that regard. Every thru hike is obviously going to be different and it is very interesting to see how others experienced the trail but it is also great to get some information regarding highlights, camp sites, water sources, etc. I frequently found myself referring to my CT data book as I read and noting areas where I may want to spend some time or possibly camp. I'm planning to loan the book to family members who may find it interesting or reassuring to read while I'm on the trail. Along with some maps and my SPOT check ins, that should provide a better sense of where I am at any given time.

    One feature that could have added a lot to the book would be color photos, and maybe more photos in general, but I'm sure that would be a very expensive proposition and increase the cost of book quite a bit. Actually, I was going to suggest that some photos on the web site would be a good idea but I just notice that a photo galley has already been added!
    Coffee, thank you for your very thoughtful comments. There is no one more disappointed than me that I couldn't do color photos. But you're quite correct - this would have been a $30+ book if I had used color. With this self-publisher (CreateSpace.com), the options for color are all or none. In other words, if I had only one color photograph (let's say the CT map in the front), the entire book would be considered "color." So it was actually an easy decision to go B&W because I doubted most hikers would pay $35 for a book relating a thruhike. Perhaps other self-publishing companies would have allowed a color section in the middle to keep the costs down. But frankly, CreateSpace's other advantages won out.

    Eventually there will be a Kindle edition in which the photos will be in color. And regarding the website, yes I have added a photo gallery which to-date only includes the first chapter of the book/hike: "Foothills and Forests." I must confess that working with and developing a website is new to me and I'm still learning! For example, I want the site to organize the photos into sub-galleries and as I receive reviews and comments, I want to reflect them in another section.

    My desire to show as much color as possible and my disappointment in not doing so is what led me to design the back cover as I did, to maximize for the reader the amount of color photos from different parts of the trail.

    Best of luck on your upcoming thru-hike!

    backcovera.JPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky&Jack View Post
    I saw on his FB page that he held a signing, recently. Looked like a good turn out.
    Yes Ricky, I don't have an exact count but about 36-37 people came. There were some I didn't know, always a good sign. Considering that this was held where I live (Lexington, KY, not exactly a "trail town although I have met a lot of hikers here), I was quite satisfied. Lexington's only major backpacking outfitter is allowing me to set up a table tomorrow in their store where I'll sell some more books.

  11. #31
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    are you able yet to give a rough number of how many you have 'sold', so far?

    I know a few people whop wrote books and self published (fiction, mostly) and they didn't appear to be doing half as good as you are. It's great you have such a compelling story.
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  12. #32

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    Ricky, I'm glad you asked for a "rough" number. I'm aware that I've sold 57 books, via (1) my website - link in signature line below; (2) the Amazon listing that links to my CreateSpace.com account (CreateSpace is an affiliate of Amazon); and (3) directly myself in person - some to individuals, some to outfitters at wholesale prices for the latter.

    If that sounds like a strange response, it's because I know that more have sold but I haven't seen the results yet. That's because CreateSpace.com has a so-called Expanded Distribution feature whereby they sell to distributors, wholesalers, etc. but I don't see the results for 60 days afterwards. And I know that such sales have been made, because:

    (1) a local bookstore here in Lexington confirmed that Ingram Distributors - a large distributor not affiliated with Amazon and utilized by many large and medium sized retailers - has purchased a block. As you can imagine, I've been hustling, contacting outfitters here and in Colorado. A great regional outfitter in Colorado has informed me that they've ordered my book from Ingram. BTW, this same outfitter has arranged for me to do a program and book signing at their store in July - details to follow.

    (2) If you go to Amazon, search books by typing the 4 words "shades" "gray" "splashes" "color," you'll see not only Amazon's listing (discounted, meaning it's cheaper to buy from them than directly from me), but other listings by other companies. Where did these companies get the book? It had to be through CreateSpace's Expanded Distribution feature.

    So in another 2 months or so, I've have a firmer idea of just how many copies are floating out there.
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 06-13-2014 at 17:54.

  13. #33

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    Here's where things stand on the book thus far:

    1. Sales - As of today, I've sold 100 books that I know of. I won't learn of sales through 3rd party distributors for at least a month yet. Thank to those of you who have purchased the book!

    2. Kindle version - I know many are interested in this. I began the process last week, starting by converting the hard-copy book file's photos to color (actually, a re-conversion). The new file has been loaded and the conversion is on-going. To save time, I purchased a service that does the conversion so I would think this would be finalized within 2 weeks. I don't anticipate any snags.

    3. Appearances - East - two upcoming appearances and book signings:
    a. Tomorrow, June 26, I'll be participating in a open mic reading sponsored by the Bluegrass Writers Studio, an affiliate of Eastern KY University. It occurs at Babylon Gyros restaurant on West Main St., downtown Richmond, KY.
    b. Monday, June 30 4-8 PM finds me at Campmor's store in Paramus, NJ. I've posted about it on this thread.
    c. Following the Campmor appearance, I'll make my way to Maryland and Virginia - contact me if you live in those areas and wish to directly purchase the book.

    4. Appearances - West - As you might expect, Colorado would be the prime market for this book. I'm heading to Denver around July 20 and thus far have one engagement lined up: a presentation (slideshow, the same one I've done at ALDHA and Southern Ruck) plus book signing at JAX Mercantile in Lafayette. I'm working on others as well, with a lot of irons in the fire. In general, I'm hoping to spend a week, maybe more in the Front Range, followed by a trip down the corridor to the trail towns (Breck, Frisco, Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida, Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Durango, and the smaller ones as well) where I'll market to local establishments, including outfitters.

    I hope to meet some of WB's Coloradans e.g. Bear Creek and Colorado Rob among others (I'll also see Mags).

    5. Appearances - Future - I have 3 appearance lined up for the fall plus I'll be at the ALDHA Gathering with the books of course. I'll provide another status update as the fall approaches. Looking further ahead, I'll have books at the Southern Ruck.

    Finally, for those of you thruhiking the Colorado Trail this year, send me a message if you want to swap phone numbers. It will be hit & miss, but I'll shuttle you from/to trailheads if I'm close to where you need a ride. I expect to be in the CT corridor roughly starting around August 1.

  14. #34
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    it's so good to know you are doing good with it.

    I had an interview yesterday at the Volkswagen plant. So Once I start getting $$ I will definitely order a copy. (Things are so bad right now, even $10 is considered a 2 day meal plan)
    Me: Ricky
    Husky: Jack
    Skeeter-Beeter Pro Hammock.
    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  15. #35

    Default Now available on Kindle!

    Yesterday, the Kindle version of Shades of Gray, Splashes of Color - A Thru-hike of The Colorado Trail, was published. Here's the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LEVIU4

    Unlike the hard-copy book, the Kindle version photos are in color.

  16. #36

    Default Heading to Colorado...

    For those of you living or hiking in Colorado, I'm heading out there tomorrow and will spend the rest of the summer with book activities. Two such scheduled activities are as follows:

    1. Presentation (25 minute slideshow with music), readings, and signing at JAX Mercantile in LaFayette (near Boulder) on Wednesday, July 23 at 6:30 PM. Here's the reference: http://www.jaxmercantile.com/events/ - scroll down to find the Lafayette store with my event listed.

    2. On August 12, I'll be participating in The Book Haven's Dies Librorum (Festival of Books). The Book Haven is in Salida.

    I expect to arrange other events as I visit establishments along the Front Range and the CT corridor.

    For those who enjoy browsing The Tattered Cover in Denver, the book is available at all three of their locations:
    http://www.tatteredcover.com/book/9781494785710

    The first review just got posted on Amazon.


    And to repeat an offer I made earlier, I might be able to offer shuttles and other assistance to those of you thruhiking the CT this year, depending on my schedule and your's. If you're interested, send me a PM with your phone number.

  17. #37
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Having read the book I will say it is well written, and is a must read for those aspiring to hike all /or parts of the Colorado Trail.
    The book is entertaining and is chock'-full of information/advice on undertaking the highs and lows,(both literally & figuratively)of such a diverse trail.
    If you enjoy reading trail journals of hikers amid their long distance journeys then you will unequivocally be captivated as a reader.

    Using baseball jargon, we fans of the game,(Bill is an avid one) will use the phrase, " hit a homerun " or "went yard " referring to a smashing success of something accomplished.

    Having said that,...

    you may then circle the bases Bill.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  18. #38

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    I've been in Colorado for 10 days now promoting the book in both the Front Range and some of the trail towns. If you click on my website from the signature line below, you'll note that 20 retail outlets - mostly, but not exclusively in Colorado - are now selling the book. One specific Colorado event is scheduled: an authors evening at The Book Haven in Salida on Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 PM.

    If anyone in Colorado wants a direct purchase (signed, of course), send me a PM. Right now I'm based in Evergreen (sponging off a friend!) making day trips to retail outlets and libraries within a reasonable drive. I have yet to hit the southern half of the CT corridor - Durango, Silverton, etc. and will likely start driving down there early next week.

    The website also displays reader feedback that I've received through e-mails, FB messages, and forum postings (e.g. WhiteBlaze).

    Here's the Amazon link. The book is also available on Kindle.

    I expect that the ALDHA fall newsletter will include a book review.

    Thanks to all those who've purchased the book and those who've offered their comments! Sales recently passed the 200 mark.

  19. #39
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    Yesterday, the Kindle version of Shades of Gray, Splashes of Color - A Thru-hike of The Colorado Trail, was published. Here's the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LEVIU4

    Unlike the hard-copy book, the Kindle version photos are in color.
    Finally wrapped up reading-
    A solid book and worth a read for:
    Anyone thinking of doing the CT.
    Anyone sick of reading trail journals from 22 year old's.
    Any of you Boomers wondering if Long Distance hiking is possible or worth it. (You don't have to go 2200 miles to Thru)

    Most importantly, his name is Bill. Bryson, Mason, Walker, and many others. If you want to write an outdoors book, having the name Bill is pretty important.

    And hey WB's- the kindle version is available, working, and does indeed have good color photos.
    Just as importantly; if you were looking to pay it forward, backward, or just help a fellow hiker out with an off trail effort- skip that $5 footlong today and pick up a copy for ONLY $6.
    You didn't really want another cold cut combo today anyway, did you?

    And if you really want to help out- post a review on amazon- even if you hate the book simply reviewing it helps an author out tremendously.

    Bill-
    If you do it again; write more about the thin parts.
    Guidebooks are books, good books serve as a guide to the good parts.
    Continued best of luck...

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Finally wrapped up reading-
    A solid book and worth a read for:
    Anyone thinking of doing the CT.
    Anyone sick of reading trail journals from 22 year old's.
    Any of you Boomers wondering if Long Distance hiking is possible or worth it. (You don't have to go 2200 miles to Thru)

    Most importantly, his name is Bill. Bryson, Mason, Walker, and many others. If you want to write an outdoors book, having the name Bill is pretty important.

    And hey WB's- the kindle version is available, working, and does indeed have good color photos.
    Just as importantly; if you were looking to pay it forward, backward, or just help a fellow hiker out with an off trail effort- skip that $5 footlong today and pick up a copy for ONLY $6.
    You didn't really want another cold cut combo today anyway, did you?

    And if you really want to help out- post a review on amazon- even if you hate the book simply reviewing it helps an author out tremendously.

    Bill-
    If you do it again; write more about the thin parts.
    Guidebooks are books, good books serve as a guide to the good parts.
    Continued best of luck...
    Bill, thanks for your comments and I particularly appreciate your encouraging more Amazon reviews.

    Right now, I'm in the Leadville hostel, having spent over 3 weeks in Colorado promoting (and selling) the book. The website has been improved and now lists all retailers and all libraries carrying the book, as well as a section titled "Reader Feedback" which will shortly be augmented by Just Bill's comments.

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