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Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water

Trevathan, Kim

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1572331445 / ISBN 13: 9781572331440
Published by Univ of Tennessee Pr, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., 2001
Condition: Fine Soft cover
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About this Item

This is a fine first edition, second printing, trade paperback copy, pinkish. A long inscription on the half title page from the author to Kay Gibbons. I purchased this copy from Kaye. Bookseller Inventory # 035882

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on ...

Publisher: Univ of Tennessee Pr, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: wraps

Signed: Inscribed By Author

Edition: Second Printing

About this title


In late August 1998, Kim Trevathan and his dog, Jasper, set out by canoe on a long, slow trip down the 652 miles of the Tennessee River, the largest tributary of the Ohio. Trevathan wanted to experience the river in its entirety, from Knoxville’s narrow, winding channel, which flows past rocky bluffs, to the wide-open waters of Kentucky Lake at its lower end.

Over the course of the five-week voyage, Trevathan rediscovered the people and places that made history on the Tennessee’s banks. He crossed the path of the explorer Meriwether Lewis along the Natchez Trace, noted the sites of Ulysses S. Grant’s Civil War battles, and passed Hiwassee Island, the spot where a teenaged runaway named Sam Houston lived with Cherokee Chief Jolly.

Trevathan also came to know the modern river’s dwellers, including a towboat pilot, two couples who traded in their landlocked homes for life on the river, a campground owner, and a meteorologist for NASA. He placed his life in the hands of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock operators as he and Jasper navigated the river’s nine dams.

Paddling the Tennessee River is a powerful travel narrative that captures the river’s wild, turbulent, and defiant past and confronts what it has become—an overused and overdeveloped series of lakes. But first and foremost, the book is the story of a man and his dog, riding low enough to smell the water and to discover the promise of a slow river running through the southern heartland.

The Author: Kim Trevathan, who earned his M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of Alabama, works as a new media writer and producer and writes a column for the Maryville Daily Times. His essays and short stories have been published in The Distillery, New Millennium Writings, The Texas Review, New Delta Review, and Under the Sun. He lives in Rockford, Tennessee.

From the Author:

Most experienced canoeists shake their heads in puzzlement when I tell them I canoed the length of the Tennessee. With nine dams, little or no current, and heavy barge, jet ski, and cabin cruiser traffic, it is not the ideal river for canoeists. I conceived of the trip, from the outset, as a writing project about the Tennessee, and the canoe enabled me to write about the river from a perspective different from most other people. I was low to the water, close enough to touch it and smell it, and I was under my own power, which made it imperative that I constantly consult the navigational charts in detail to find shortcuts and mile markers. The biggest dangers to me on the Tennessee were not from the dams, the barges, snakes, or from "Deliverance" style villains out to get me. My dog Jasper and I were most often threatened by those unaware of our existence or of their effect upon us: cabin cruiser captains whose boats created four to five-foot high wakes.

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