Exploring the Eastern Smokies of TN and NC. - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Exploring the Eastern Smokies of TN and NC.

I finally got our blog post done on our recent trip to eastern Tennessee and North Carolina to explore an area of the Smoky Mountains we had overlooked in the past. I didn't get any pictures of the spots as it was pretty late in the day, but we did ultimately get to use (an needed to) 4LO. I also used the rear locker, but it was more of a "let's see if it works right" than a need to.

I have to say, I was both happy with and disappointed at the KLs performance. At times it seemed to be brilliant, and others the computer royally messed up and didn't know exactly how to handle the terrain we were on. It also became clear the transmission programming is about as good offroad as it is on the highway. The result was excessive transmission temps for the terrain and poor fuel consumption. At least the manual mode on shifting appeared to concede to my desires a bit more than on the interstate. This however only heightened my wish to have this very vehicle in a manual gearbox and can this auto.

Anyway, If you want to read or check it out here you go... http://sevenslotsyndicate.com/blog/e...-of-tn-and-nc/

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SS_Syndicate View Post
I finally got our blog post done on our recent trip to eastern Tennessee and North Carolina to explore an area of the Smoky Mountains we had overlooked in the past. I didn't get any pictures of the spots as it was pretty late in the day, but we did ultimately get to use (an needed to) 4LO. I also used the rear locker, but it was more of a "let's see if it works right" than a need to.

I have to say, I was both happy with and disappointed at the KLs performance. At times it seemed to be brilliant, and others the computer royally messed up and didn't know exactly how to handle the terrain we were on. It also became clear the transmission programming is about as good offroad as it is on the highway. The result was excessive transmission temps for the terrain and poor fuel consumption. At least the manual mode on shifting appeared to concede to my desires a bit more than on the interstate. This however only heightened my wish to have this very vehicle in a manual gearbox and can this auto.

Anyway, If you want to read or check it out here you go... http://sevenslotsyndicate.com/blog/e...-of-tn-and-nc/
You were here in my neck of the woods and didn't invite me?!?!?!

I've done quite a bit of off-road trips and exploration of forest service roads around here, including some spots that actually required the rear locker. Never noticed transmission issues or heat issues. And I normally watch the temps for that reason.

Where all did you go? I may have to go and play a bit! GPS tracks are wonderful if you got 'em!

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White 2016 KL Trailhawk 3.2 V6
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HazardSky 1.5" Lift * RRO Steprails * XenonDepot Xtreme HID (4300K Headlights) * 5000k LED Fog Lights * Bison 64" Cargo Basket * Lots of Pretty Lights!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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You were here in my neck of the woods and didn't invite me?!?!?!
Sorry, we didn't really invite anyone. Truth is, we were playing most of the day by ear and wanted to just enjoy our time out without much planning.

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Where all did you go? I may have to go and play a bit! GPS tracks are wonderful if you got 'em!
Normally we do record GPS tracks but we didn't this time. Actually, we grounded ourselves from all tech other than the two Instagram posts we made that day (One for my wife and one for me). This was for a few reasons. One; we needed a break and just wanted to live in the moment. Two; We wanted to work the day on maps and a compass. This may sound weird, but we like to keep our navigation skills honed for the hopefully never. We are also teaching our son these skills (A chore for a child born into tech). You can actually see one of the 4 maps we were working from in the picture below that didn't make the cut for the blog post.

We regularly plan trips and invite others along. This area will definitely be a place we revisit later in the year or possibly next fall. But these trips require planning and organisation we just didn't want to deal with this time around. I hope you understand.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 07:25 PM
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Normally we do record GPS tracks but we didn't this time.

Out of curiosity, what are you using to record your GPS tracks?

Great blog, btw, been lurking it since you bought the KL.



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 08:20 PM
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Sorry, we didn't really invite anyone. Truth is, we were playing most of the day by ear and wanted to just enjoy our time out without much planning.



Normally we do record GPS tracks but we didn't this time. Actually, we grounded ourselves from all tech other than the two Instagram posts we made that day (One for my wife and one for me). This was for a few reasons. One; we needed a break and just wanted to live in the moment. Two; We wanted to work the day on maps and a compass. This may sound weird, but we like to keep our navigation skills honed for the hopefully never. We are also teaching our son these skills (A chore for a child born into tech). You can actually see one of the 4 maps we were working from in the picture below that didn't make the cut for the blog post.

We regularly plan trips and invite others along. This area will definitely be a place we revisit later in the year or possibly next fall. But these trips require planning and organisation we just didn't want to deal with this time around. I hope you understand.
Lol, no offense taken! And I actually understand the idea of separating from tech and going back to the basics of a map and compass.

I would really be interested in trying out some of the areas you were in. Lol, if you have a paper map that shows, or if you could send me POI names/landmarks.

Also, if you are in the area again, definitely hit me up! Doesn't have to be a big planned event or anything. Gatlinburg is only a little while away. Good day trip for a TH expo!

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White 2016 KL Trailhawk 3.2 V6
SafetyTec and Tech Packs * Factory Tow * CommandView Panoramic Sunroof * 9 Speakers With Sub * Black Painted Aluminum Wheels * uConnect 8.4 NAV

~Mods List~ (In Progress!)
HazardSky 1.5" Lift * RRO Steprails * XenonDepot Xtreme HID (4300K Headlights) * 5000k LED Fog Lights * Bison 64" Cargo Basket * Lots of Pretty Lights!

The First Family Member...
Brilliant Black 2015 KL Latitude 3.2 V6, ADI
See HERE for Mod List!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Out of curiosity, what are you using to record your GPS tracks?
Yes.... LOL We use several. The cleanest, most efficient, and easiest we have used is GPS Logger for Android. It doesn't support any rerouting or track following though. We have had several blog followers try to swing us to use Gaia GPS. It has all the tools to be amazing but in reality isn't... It is also only as good as the maps you have preloaded unless you have data (not likely in the backcountry). When we were scouting over breakfast at Mel's Dinner in Pigeon Forge we noticed Gaia didn't show several roads and trails we knew existed (some paved). This is unacceptable. We are highly considering HEMA Maps, but don't want to put money there right now with the overland trailer project we have going.

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Great blog, btw, been lurking it since you bought the KL.
Thank you! Feel free to comment on anything here or there. My wife and I really do appreciate feedback. Sometimes we feel like we are doing it all for nothing. (In truth, we only do it for ourselves anyway... we enjoy helping and sharing.)

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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if you have a paper map that shows, or if you could send me POI names/landmarks.
By far the best map (and the one we used most of the day) was one we purchased at the convenience store across from Mel's after discovering the Gaia Maps issue. ^^^ Read above

It was a National Geographic Map of "Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, Trails Illustrated Topographic Map" Since that's a mouth-full the UPC is 4971701229. It was $11.95 US

I will add that this area is really a hiker's delight. Most of the roads are really only to get you to amazing hiking. If you really want to explore the area it's best to plan doing so on foot.

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