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OR - HIKING TRAILS OF THE SMOKIES - Elizabeth Davis

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  • Elizabeth Davis
    Alright, here is another one. I actually wrote it a while ago, but I was waiting until I finished the pack one before I submitted it. Here is the HTML link:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 26, 2008
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      Alright, here is another one. I actually wrote it a while ago, but I
      was waiting until I finished the pack one before I submitted it.
      Here is the HTML link: http://tiny.cc/3ByR5
      Thanks in advance for the edits!
      Elizabeth Davis

      HIKING TRAILS OF THE SMOKIES
      OWNER REVIEW
      by ELIZABETH DAVIS
      July 26, 2008

      TESTER BIO
      Name: Elizabeth Davis
      Age: 18
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 4 in ( 1.63 m)
      Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
      Email address: elizrd AT gmail DOT com
      City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

      Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking occasionally since I
      was about eleven. During the last two years I have been hiking and
      backpacking every chance I get. I hike about twice a month, and more
      on holidays. I usually go on short backpacking trips of about
      two/three days and I enjoy wet, rugged conditions. I'd like to stay
      out longer in the future. My pack is usually fairly lightweight. Most
      of my trips are in the Southern Appalachians where temperatures range
      from 80 F (27 C) to 0 F (-18 C).

      PRODUCT INFORMATION
      Publisher: Great Smoky Mountains Association
      Copyright: 2003, 3rd edition
      ISBN: 0-937207-15-2
      Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
      Measured Dimensions: 4.5 in by 6 in by 1 in (11.4 cm by 15.2 cm by 2.5 cm)
      MSRP: US$19.99
      Product Description: This is a guidebook for all of the maintained
      trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was co-written
      by 17 hiker/writers, and is known to hikers in the area as the "brown
      book". It comes with a map which is great for planning trips but
      terrible for navigation.

      FIELD LOCATION/REVIEW

      I have used this guide for all of the hikes and backpacking trips of I
      have done in the Smokies for the last year and a half, which totals
      approximately 400 miles of use. This guide differs from the multitudes
      of hiking books about the Smokies for several reasons: it covers all
      of the maintained trails in the park, it has elevation charts for each
      trail, and it has the most accurate mileages available. This book has
      every trail individually described in its entirety. This means that,
      when armed with a map and this book, I can plan any trip I like and
      have information for all of the trail. Lovely. The elevation charts
      are simply continuous line graphs which show the change in elevation
      per mile. They also have markings to show some points of interest and
      any large unbridged stream crossings. They are very useful for gauging
      where I am in a hike, and for planning hikes with groups of
      individuals with varying abilities. I can also just read a USGS quad
      map and get the same information, but when a quad map isn't available,
      the elevation charts provide more detailed information than the basic
      topo map printed for the Smokies. The trail mileages given in this
      book are the most accurate mileages anywhere (including posted trail
      signs). Bob Lochbaum, one of the contributors for the book, wheeled
      each trail in the park at least twice prior to the books publication.
      While trail signs at either end of a trail will sometimes disagree
      with the book (or each other!), the book is correct. The map also has
      the correct mileage, but is not a topographic map. It has wiggly lines
      to indicate trails, and show the mileage between intersections. Do not
      buy this book for the map. However, if, for some reason you lose the
      map and want another one, it is available for $1.00 at most park
      ranger stations.

      The book is laid out with an introduction that includes helpful
      telephone numbers for planning trips, Leave No Trace regulations,
      notes on bears, snakebites, poison ivy, blisters, and other concerns,
      weather, and suggested loop routes. I would not rely on this book for
      a first aid manual as the descriptions are brief. After the
      introduction, the trail descriptions are arranged alphabetically.

      Each trail description has seven sections: Length, Highlights,
      Cautions, Map Key, Use, and Trailhead, and Narrative.
      Length: Just that. The length of the trail (given in miles) in its entirety.
      Highlights: Includes highlights such as "spring flowers", "winter
      views", "old homesites", "solitude", and "fringed polygala blooms in
      May"
      Cautions: Includes cautions such as "unbridged stream crossings",
      "icicles falling from Alum Cave bluff", and "exposed cliffs"
      Map Key: Gives the coordinates for the map supplied with the book,
      and the USGS quad.
      Use: Indicates hiking trail, horse and hiking trail, or, in the case
      of Trillium Gap Trail, horse and hiking and llama trail.
      Trailhead/Starting Point: Provides a brief description of how to get
      to the trail. This is the only part of the book I have ever had
      trouble with, and then only once. Once I spent an hour driving around
      on back roads trying to find Rich Mountain Road out of Tuckaleechee
      cove, and guess what? It's a dead end! The book fails to mention that
      Rich Mountain road has an imposing "dead end" sign at the beginning of
      it. We finally tried that direction as a last resort, and arrived at
      the trailhead. Really, I can hardly complain that a hiking guide book
      doesn't have great driving directions. After all, it is a hiking book.
      The last part of the trail description is the trail narrative. It
      begins at one end of the trail, and follows through, as though the
      author were hiking the trail. It includes interesting geological,
      historical, and botanical facts about the trail. Depending on the
      particular author, a trail narrative may focus on the story of some
      previous residents of the area, or describe some of the spring flowers
      and edible plants nearby. The trail narrative includes mileages for
      landmarks such as outstanding trees, campsites, and stream crossings.
      The narrative also includes detailed descriptions of campsites. The
      narratives are extremely well written, and are very interesting. They
      provide a great background for knowledge of the area through which I
      am hiking.

      The only complaint I have about this book is that it doesn't include
      references to manways or off-trail paths. I have seen previous
      editions of this book which included this information, and I think it
      is very interesting and incredibly useful (because I like off-trail
      hiking). However, the authors state in the introduction that they do
      not want to include manways, because the use of manways is more
      dangerous and has greater impact on park resources than the use of
      trails. Perhaps it is good that information about off-trail hikes is
      hard to access because it prevents all but the dedicated from
      venturing off-trail, which cuts down on cross-country travel.
      I really like this guide, and will continue to carry it for hikes in
      the Smokies.

      THINGS I LIKE
      It is a great size and weight to throw in a backpack
      It is thorough, and includes all the trails in the Smokies
      Well-written, informative, narratives
      Printed with soy ink on recycled paper with a sewn binding!
      Elevation charts

      THING I DON'T LIKE
      No manways or off-trail references
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 4, 2008
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you
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        Edit Administration Manager
      • AndrĂ© Corterier
        ... Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your Owner Review. My Edit, as you ve recently seen and in line with our Bylaws, takes the usual format: EDIT - something
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 5, 2008
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          > EDIT: OR - HIKING TRAILS OF THE SMOKIES - Elizabeth Davis

          Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your Owner Review. My Edit, as you've
          recently seen and in line with our Bylaws, takes the usual
          format: "EDIT" - something requiring a change due to a typo or BGT
          policy, "Edit" - something I suggest you think about changing though
          the call remains up to you, "Comment" - whatever else I felt like
          saying.

          Please see below.

          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Davis"
          <elizrd@...> wrote:
          >
          > Alright, here is another one. I actually wrote it a while ago, but I
          > was waiting until I finished the pack one before I submitted it.

          #### Comment: Well, good call, as uploading this one will garner you
          a shiny new brownie point. Are brownie points shiny? Maybe let's not
          go there ...

          <snip>
          > PRODUCT INFORMATION
          > Publisher: Great Smoky Mountains Association

          ### Edit: Whether a clickable hyperlink to a publisher is necessary
          is still under discussion. But as "http://www.smokiesstore.org/" is
          easy enough to provide, I suggest you include it. Saves possibly
          having to go back and redo it.

          > Copyright: 2003, 3rd edition
          > ISBN: 0-937207-15-2
          > Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
          > Measured Dimensions: 4.5 in by 6 in by 1 in (11.4 cm by 15.2 cm by
          2.5 cm)
          > MSRP: US$19.99

          ### EDIT: Please put a space between "US$" and "19.99"

          <snip>

          > FIELD LOCATION/REVIEW
          >
          > I have used this guide for all of the hikes and backpacking trips
          > of I have done in the Smokies for the last year and a half,

          ### EDIT: "that" I have done in the Smokies

          > which totals approximately 400 miles of use.

          ### Comment: Impressive.
          ### EDIT: metric conversion, please.

          <snip>
          > Bob Lochbaum, one of the contributors for the book, wheeled
          > each trail in the park at least twice prior to the books

          ### EDIT: book's
          ### Edit: Hm. This isn't really your own experience, is it? How
          about "The book states that Bob Lochbaum, ..."

          > publication.
          > While trail signs at either end of a trail will sometimes disagree
          > with the book (or each other!), the book is correct. The map also
          > has the correct mileage, but is not a topographic map.

          ### Edit: That part might also be rephrased. Maybe stating that when
          you've seen disagreements by signs, based on your topo maps you have
          found the book's mileage to be correct, or something similar which
          lets the reader understand the basis for your judgement call (and
          brings your affirmative statement more in line with reporting your
          own experience).

          > It has wiggly lines
          > to indicate trails, and show the mileage between intersections. Do
          not
          > buy this book for the map. However, if, for some reason you lose the
          > map and want another one, it is available for $1.00 at most park
          > ranger stations.

          ### EDIT: US$ 1.00
          ### Edit: I assume these are "Smoky Mountain park ranger stations".
          ### Comment: Yes, I can be that nitpicky. I have a reputation to
          uphold.
          :-)

          <snip>
          > Each trail description has seven sections: Length, Highlights,
          > Cautions, Map Key, Use, and Trailhead, and Narrative.

          ### Edit: I believe enumerations are supposed to use the word "and"
          only once, before the last item enumerated.

          <snip>
          > THINGS I LIKE
          > It is a great size and weight to throw in a backpack

          ### Comment: It weighs about as much as my cook kit. What exactly do
          you mean when you state that your pack is generally lightweight?
          :-P
          -----------------

          Elizabeth, I hope you take the slightly teasing comments above in the
          friendly spirit I assure you they are offered. Please repost with the
          word "REPOST" substituted for my "EDIT" in the subject line above.
          Please consider taking a picture of the book, or possibly a
          representative page - this would go some way to further improve the
          accessibility of your report. Which I've found quite accessible as
          written and you see that I haven't had much to edit, let alone EDIT.
          ;-)

          Kind regards,

          André
          OR Editor
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