Murphy Shewcuk has long been the most active publisher/writer in Merritt, B.C., operating his own imprint called Sonotek Publishing. His career as a freelancer and photographer began in the 1960s in conjunction with Margaret 'Ma' Murray's Bridge River-Lillooet News. He was born in 1943 and educated in B.C. More than 300 of his magazine articles and 1000 of his photographs have been published since 1965 in such publications as: Adventure Travel, BC Outdoors, Camping Canada, Canadian Geographic, Field & Stream, MotorHome and Trailer Life. He was raised in the B.C. mining town of Pioneer Gold Mines, gaining his interests in outdoor exploring, photography and electronics. Following some time in the Royal Canadian Air Force in eastern Canada, he and his family returned to B.C. where he worked in electronics. In 1971, he came to Kamloops and began writing a weekly Outdoor Scene column for the Kamloops Sentinel. He increasingly turned his hand to freelance writing and photography, then publishing.

In 2008, Shewchuk released Cariboo Trips & Trails (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), a 406-page guidebook covering a wide variety of backroads trips and recreational trails in British Columbia's "Gold Rush" region from Hope north to Barkerville and from Yellowhead Highway 5 west to Bella Coola. Each chapter includes historical background, roadside points of interest and such basic information such as road conditions, trip length and reference maps. There are tables at the end of the chapters that include GPS waypoint data and kilometre references. The text is supplemented with 26 maps and 220 black & white photos.


Exploring Kamloops Country (1973) Back country exploring in the Kamloops area.
Fur, Gold & Opals (Hancock House, 1975) Rockhounding, history and back country exploring.
Exploring the Nicola Valley (1981) A guide to Merritt and the Nicola Valley.
The Craigmont Story (Hancock House, 1983) The history of a mid 20th century copper mine.
Backroads Explorer Vol. 1: Thompson-Cariboo (1985) Lytton to Barkerville.
Backroads Explorer Vol. 2: Similkameen & South Okanagan (Hancock House, 1988) Manning Park to Kelowna.
Coquihalla Country: An Outdoor Recreation Guide (1990) Hope - Merritt - Kamloops.
Okanagan Country: An Outdoor Recreation Guide. (1992) Osoyoos to the Shuswap.
Coquihalla Country: A Guide to the North Cascade Mountains and the Nicola Valley (Complete update - 1997).
Okanagan Trips & Trails A Guide to Backroads and Hiking Trails in BC's Okanagan-Similkameen Region (co-authored with Judie Steeves in 1999).
Cariboo Trips & Trails (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008) 978-1-55455-031-9 $22.95

[BCBW 2008] "Local History" "Outdoors"