I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget receiving three pallets of books on a snowy day six years ago. One of the pallets actually tipped over, and actually I’m lucky I didn’t get crushed. I don’t know which felt more daunting-the emergency of moving those cases of books out of the snow before they all were ruined before they even went on sale, or figuring out a way to sell them all without a distributor, a background in marketing books, or a huge advertising budget.
I sold them from card tables, in Costcos, at book-signings and on the Internet. I sold them in ones and in hundreds. I picked up two wholesalers and the greatest support from locally-owned retailers from Arizona to Montana. I was on the radio, and I even got to talk about my project in a room full of Ansel Adams originals and speculate on what he was doing in Manti when he made this photo. I met so many wonderful people on the road doing the project, and then even more interesting folks as I was peddling my books. A few people have told me they intended to use my book as a basis for their next road trip. Inspiring people to see and experience some of the greatest part of the American west was one of my goals, and those conversations made most everything I went through to get the book out the door worthwhile.
The sales have been winding down for a while. As the pile of books dwindled, I stopped producing but kept restocking my wholesalers. Then I got a big order this summer and went out to do inventory. And I was shocked to see that the massive hoard had almost completely disappeared.
So the book is now officially out of print. I won’t be restocking Amazon or any other retailers. I have a very few copies left for my own use, because I’m still giving a few speaking engagements and the like. You can still get the ebook version for Kindle” but unless another publisher wants to reissue it (hint, hint), there probably won’t be a reprint. I just don’t have time anymore with the ranch to be doing the shipping. I’m hanging on to Sagebrush Press, but its next product will be something else. I will treasure forever my time on Highway 89, but other highways are calling to my wanderlust heart these days.
The road goes on forever, but this chapter is closed.
I doubt this picture could be made today. The Montana Department of Construction has been doing road improvements to make the Dupuyer curves safer for high speed travel. When the road was built in the 1930s, top speeds where 25-30 mph. I photographed this image in 2008 and used it on the cover of my book.