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Signs, maps, and fallibility

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Signs, maps, and fallibility
September 19, 2012 11:57AM
On our last trip, we had some fun comparing data with reality. Let's start with the signs marking the various trails we hiked. At Twin Lakes, we started up towards Silliman Pass at a sign that indicated it was 1.3 miles away. Off we went.



When we got down to the other side of the pass, we found another sign. This one told us that Silliman Pass was 2.0 miles back up the trail...and that Twin Lakes was 3.0 miles away.



So at least in this case, 1.3 + 2.0 = 3.0. And we found other cases that were similar. It's almost as if the people making and placing the signs really never looked at what they were doing.



Too bad we can't use that kind of math to resolve the federal deficit. (By the way, our map had completely different mileages for each of these legs, so the real distance really is still anyone's guess.)



When you combine that with a beautifully maintained trail we took that wasn't on the map, and another trail we took that was on the map but was only a rough route that petered out completely on the ground; it all just serves to warn you that the difference between what you see on the maps and signs may not accurately reflect reality on the ground.



That's not to say you shouldn't take a map! We never travel with maps, and often with various scales and verions. On this trip we ended up using ours extensively to figure out how to get out of the deadfall mess that the missing trail had led us into.



And it worked.



And if it hadn't we could have still use the map to start a fire and keep warm.



Maps are good. You just can't always trust them.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Signs, maps, and fallibility
September 20, 2012 12:00PM
Quote
balzaccom

When you combine that with a beautifully maintained trail we took that wasn't on the map, and another trail we took that was on the map but was only a rough route that petered out completely on the ground; it all just serves to warn you that the difference between what you see on the maps and signs may not accurately reflect reality on the ground.

That's not to say you shouldn't take a map! We never travel with maps, and often with various scales and verions. On this trip we ended up using ours extensively to figure out how to get out of the deadfall mess that the missing trail had led us into.

And it worked. And if it hadn't we could have still use the map to start a fire and keep warm.

Maps are good. You just can't always trust them.

So which maps (from with company or organization) did you use on this trip?

.
Re: Signs, maps, and fallibility
September 23, 2012 02:15PM
Nat Geo Map indicated all of the trails, including the one out of Seville Lake to the North that no longer exists.

The 7.5 topo map from USGS also showed that trail, but didn't show the cut-off from Ranger Lake to Lost Lake that is now the main (and only ) trail between those points.

The silly little SEKI park brochure they hand you didn't show the trail out of Seville Lake that has disappeared, but it also still shows the same trails as the topo between Ranger and Lost Lakes.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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