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  • Writer's pictureTravis Stanley

Little Shepherd Trail. KY. June 21, 2020

Greetings fellow tourists and stakeholders,

I hope the early summer finds you well. Thanks for reading this first blog. It is a supplement to the YouTube channel video and will provide new information from a different perspective.

Here is the first of four videos

Are there similar roads like the Little Shepherd Trail in the other four states (NC, TN, VA, WV)?

I'm not sure, but it would be hard to find a 38 mile road that spends most of its time on the ridge line. Tarmac, then forest road, then tarmac again. Let me know if you have any ideas.

I was motivated to do this trip for a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to learn more about the Clinch Ranger District. The Clinch is a Gem in SWVA. This LST appears to be the only Jeep Trail in the entire District.

  2. I wanted to ride my new Motorcycle.

  3. I enjoy this type of nature based tourism greatly. Granted, the ultimate is trail building, because you get to hike in and out, network with others, learn and refresh skills, and improve the trail (community service).

  4. Learn more about Eastern KY and promote the area.

Things I learned from a video production perspective:

  1. Double and even triple check that everything is on right (GoPro). I forgot to plug in the mic adapter after my first battery stop and I lost a lot of footage due to wind noise. But this helped me with the next thing I learned.

  2. Less is more. Talk way less. If you are talking about something and the footage is great you sometimes have to mute to just get the footage. Instead, have a general idea of what the key things you want to record are, and the key things you want to talk about. It will make for less editing.

  3. Editing takes a very long time to do. Basically, the trip was one day, but it is about 2.5 days of editing to get everything up and on YouTube. For me, actually 3 full days because I’m new at this and I want it to look ok. I used the OpenShot video editor and is free and works ok.

One thing that is hard is wrestling with political sensitive information. This could cause some people to instantly turn off the video if it does not reinforce what they strongly believe.

Also, due to the atmospherics some potential employers would shy away from hiring me because they are looking for someone who is not as confrontational.

However, as stated before, I’m interested in working in the for-profit sector in a small business, not a public organization that is concerned with a politically correct format.

Lastly, it lets the average person know that I’m telling it like it is from my version of reality. Sadly, very early on, COVID-19 became very political. It's a gigantic liability risk and risk management nightmare. This is double trouble.

With the trip route, I had originally planned on going through Pennington Gap on the way north, but failed to make the turn. My directions that I made were not well done, and I did not review them before leaving. This took me way back out to the Cumberland Tunnel in TN!

I do not ride with a GPS because I would like to have some spontaneity and force myself to think more and use spatial awareness.

This worked out because once I finally got into KY, I took a break just after the Cumberland River where the 119 starts and talked to a couple of bikers. One pulled over to make sure I was ok. He was on a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, and a local out cruising. He told me about the spring (45 yards away) that I used to top off my two bottles of water. I drank all the water I could before doing so.

At the spring I talked to a person who bought a barely used Harley dyno 103 cubic inches and he was very friendly. He was 50 and had not ridden in nearly 13 year or so. He gave me directions to the LST. He told me a story of how he and some fellow riders bought a new front tyre, and later the tyre had a blow out and turned out the tube was pinched, so Wild Cat (London, KY) came out and fixed the bike no charge and said that they were at fault. I’m amazed that companies still admit any mistakes. Here is their link.

Not too far north of the water spring, The 119 had a sign up for the LST.

The person I talked to at the Creech Overlook was once a full-time reporter, and very friendly.

I’m not sure when I’ll do something like this again. I’m going to be busy up until mid October with a 400 hour Internship for my College Major.

Feel free to go to YouTube and post a comment and I’ll try and answer any questions.

Special thanks to family in Bristol who helped make this first blog happen.

Thanks again.

Travis Stanley

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