Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walden on Wheels, the photographed edition

In my last post, for the fifth anniversary of my first book, I did a little reflecting on the sales history of Walden on Wheels. This got me thinking about the book and decisions I made when publishing it. If there were two things I could do over, I might have requested a hardback edition and I might have included a photo insert. I never gave a photo insert a thought, perhaps because, back then, I had neither a good camera nor magazine-quality photos of my journey.

But having just gone through my old photo files, I see that I do indeed have a few worthwhile images that would have put faces to names. It's arguable whether photos help or hurt a book (I'm not sure where I stand, though I lean toward featuring photos), but if I did have a photo insert, the following photos would be included. Consider this the "photo insert" that never was:

Chapter Two: Cheechako

Paul and I at beginning of New York to Coldfoot, AK, roadtrip

Life-long dream achieved: Drove to Alaska

Chapter Three: Applicant

Graduating from SUNY at Buffalo with $32K in debt

Chapter Four: Tour Guide 

Tour guide in Coldfoot, rafting down Koyukuk River

Coldfoot Camp trucker's cafe

 Chapter Five: Garbage Picker 

Friend Josh comes up to Alaska for work. Here we are cleaning trash at Yukon River Camp

Josh dominating Twelve-Mile Mountain in the Brooks Mountain Range

 Chapter Six: Night Cook 

Doing some aurora guiding in Wiseman, Alaska. Photo credit: Ed 

 Chapter Seven: Maintenance Worker

1980 Chevy Suburban, home to the James character

Jack Reakoff, Wiseman, Alaska, photo taken a few years later in 2011

 Chapter Eight: Hitchhiker

Coldfoot, AK. Photo credit: Josh Pruyn

Guy who drove me across British Columbia

British Columbian teens

Mexican immigrant who picked me up in Washington state

Oregon to Salt Lake City ride

 Chapter Nine: Voyageur

 Chapter Ten: Corpsmember

 Chapter Eleven: Son

Hitchhiking from Mississippi to NY

D.C. FDR Memorial

  Chapter Twelve: Ranger

 Chapter Fourteen: Purchase

1994 Ford Econoline featured on Craigslist for $1,500

 Chapter Fifteen: Renovation

 Chapter Sixteen: Acclimitization

  Chapter Eighteen: My First Guest

Friend Chuck visits the van

  Chapter Twenty: Ranger

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

Gates of the Arctic NP. Photo Credit: Whitney Root.

  Chapter Twenty-One: Pilgrim

Walden Pond, MA. Photo Credit: Chuck Johnston

  Chapter Twenty-Two: Graduate


Paul D said...

Love seeing the pics. My 2 cents on having a graphic/photo heavy publication - might be good for some books, but since a significant portion of your sales and marketing revolves around e-books...typically graphics and photos don't work real well with these devices. I use a Kindle Paperwhite and struggle to make sense of maps and graphs and such in the Kindle readers. I suppose that the price I pay for the convenience of an e-reader, but I do certainly enjoy seeing the pics on your blog.

Unknown said...

Great book! Love seeing the pictures too. Any suggestions on how one would become a park ranger today?

Taylor said...

These are great Ken. I just finished reading Walden on Wheels and really enjoyed it. It's interesting to see photos of the places and people described in the book.