ENTS Gathering:  Pine Flats GSMNP  

TOPIC: ENTS Gathering_Pine Flats

== 1 of 2 ==
Date: Sat, Apr 26 2008 8:21 pm
From: James Parton


I arrived at the Gloryland Lodge at Camp Rockmont with my wife Joy, about 12:30pm on 4/18/08. Bob & Monica Leverett, Anthony Kelly and Carl Harting were already there and I introduced Joy and Myself. Bob had already been out measuring trees. Will had gone after food. As time went on other members gradually came in. Bob Leverett helped Larry Tucei and I with laser calibration and the basics of tree measuring. It was a real pleasure meeting Bob and Monica. Joy could only stay the evening because she had to work the following day. She really liked Monica and wished she would have had more time to socialize with her. She also enjoyed meeting Will Blozan's wife Heidi and thought Will's little girl was adorable! She was also impressed that Ed greeted her by name. She was impressed by the ENTS croud as a whole. Joy & I along with Larry Tucei and Carl Harting walked around looking for interesting trees in the nearby area. Larry was impressed by the height of the trees compared
with his home area in Mississippi. Later Bob Van Pelt grilled out. Boy he can really cook!

During the entmoot several video slideshows were presented. Bob Van Pelt's exploits in the forests of the Pacific Northwest was a treat. And it was Saturday Night ( I Think ) that David Huff showed us some overflight footage of Cataloochee Valley which some will be used in the upcoming " Vanishing Hemlock " documentary. It is so sad to see the extent of hemlock death in the smokies. Before the entmoot, Will & Van Pelt and a few other ents went into Mckee Branch in Cataloochee and into Nellie Cove to visit the now dead Usis Hemlock. A new possible record hemlock was found on McKee Branch. I eagerly await the info on this giant and the Usis tree that Blozan & Van Pelt are doing. Larry & Will presented slideshows as well.

ENTSPineFlats.JPG (92344 bytes)

On Saturday morning after a good breakfast we visited Pine Flats in Cataloochee Valley ( aka, The Valley of the Giants ). They were about 10 of us on the outing. Blozan in the lead. Setting out was easy since we followed trails from people fishing Cataloochee Creek. But after visiting a decent sized hemlock we are bushwacking off trail along Cataloochee Creek to Pine Flats. Rhodo and Doghobble abound. I remember Will stopping, waiting for everyone to catch up and someone said " Who is in the back? There was an answer " Lowland Larry! " Naturally I laughed. 

Larry_WhitePine.JPG (94362 bytes) Larry Tucei and White Pine

Larry found the rhododendron thick but beautiful. It is not present in his homeland of Mississippi. Pine Flats itself is a fairly small area along Cataloochee Creek a few miles above Waterville Reservoir. The White Pines here are not especially of large girth but are of exceptional height. We remeasured " Dale's Demise " to 182 feet. I commonly measured pines here between 150-170 feet. What amazed me the most is that Bob Van Pelt can appreciate such a forest. Dispite being tall for White Pines they are nothing against some of those western giants he is used to visiting. The largest girthed pines I measured in the grove was 9' 1 1/4" and 9' 8 1/4". Nothing compared to a giant Redwood. It was an honor to share the same stretch of forest with BVP!

WillMeasuringMountainMama.JPG (78347 bytes) Will measuring the Mountain Mama 

Afterwards we visited an old growth pine located on a hillside above Pine Flats. Will stated that Pine Flats was about 130 years old. The older trees destroyed by a flood and the current ones are the regrowth afterwards. There are no old logging roads evident here. The hillside pine, a White Pine dubbed " Mountain Mama is much older. Perhaps 300 years old! Will measured it to be 12' 5" in girth and measured to be 168.82 feet tall.

Upon arriving back at the cars we found that " lowland " Larry Tucei had lost his camera! He went back in to try to find it while we waited and our four tree climbing experts has a throwing contest on who could get the set line highest in the tree. Will Blozan won with a throw of 101 feet!

Larry came out without his camera so we went in as a team effort to find it. Will had it sniffed out in a few minutes. Larry was naturally grateful.

This is a very brief summary of the first part of the entmoot and the Pine Flats hike. Tomorrow I will do one on Biltmore.


James Parton

>  Pine Flats by Larry Tucei.JPG
> 95KViewDownload
>  ENTS in Pine Flats.JPG
> 169KViewDownload
>  Larry & White Pine.JPG
> 174KViewDownload
>  Will Measuring Mountain Mama.JPG
> 179KViewDownload

== 3 of 4 ==
Date: Sun, Apr 27 2008 7:23 am
From: James Parton


It was an experience! The best thing about the whole gathering was
meeting many of the folks that we correspond with on the list.

Again, thanks for the measuring tips. I still have both of those
formulas you drawn out for me.

James P.

On Apr 27, 8:42 am, dbhg...@comcast.net wrote:
> Ed asked me if Monica and I write up Baxter Creek, which we'll do in a couple of days. I want to let the whole experience sink in a few more days before getting back to writing.  Bob

TOPIC: Pine Flats

== 1 of 3 ==
Date: Mon, Apr 28 2008 7:20 pm
From: Larry

ENTS, First let me say I enjoyed my visit to N.C., thanks to
everyone, especially Will and Heidi for letting me stay at there house
on Sunday night. The lodge at Camp Rockmount was really a cool and
relaxing place to stay. Everyone was very friendly and I felt like I
had already met you all. 

LodgeCampRockmount.jpg (49551 bytes) Camp Rockmount 

Thanks Bob, for the calibration tips. After a
great night of getting aquainted with everyone and Awesome hamburgers,
thanks to BVP, I hit the sack, anticipating the adventure to come

PineFlatsCrew.jpg (72236 bytes) Pine Flats Crew

Slept like a baby, that morning, we climbed into 3 cars
and away we went, destined for Pine Flats on the Cataloochee. First we
stopped on an overlook to get a feel of what we were going to be in.

CataloocheeValleyOverlook.jpg (45669 bytes) Cataloochee Overlook

Awesome view! Will pointed out the Valley and layed the plan out for
our hike. We hiked almost a mile into the valley, along the creek for
the first several hundred yards then up over a steep Rhodo laden
hillside for several more hundred yards. I was glad to get over that
ridge, finally after dropping back down for a couple hundred more
yards we reached our goal, Pine Flats! 

PineFlats1.JPG (72095 bytes) Pine Flats PineFlats.jpg (103634 bytes)

What an Awesome place, White
Pine averaged over 150', as did Tulip Poplar. Will and Carl measured
Dales Demise 182' ( Wow!) the tallest tree I'd ever seen, in fact this
was the tallest Forest I'd ever seen! Everyone was busy looking,
Photographing and measuring. I kinda ran around just taking it all in,
I got lots of photos and felt a Peace at this place. We then all had a
light lunch before we proceeded to Mountain Momma. 

WillMeasuringMountainMama1.jpg (94515 bytes)
 Will at Mountain Mama Pine
MamasCrown.jpg (111176 bytes)
 Mountain mama Crown


Will is one heck of
a woodsman, and just the brief time I spent with him I could tell he
really loves the Forest as did everyone there. After a couple hours
we headed back, I asked if he didn't mind flanking the creek back,
Wills like sure. So away we went, walking on downed trees and climbing
through the ole Rhodo. 

WillandCarlatDalesDemise.jpg (102739 bytes) Will and Carl at Dale's Demise

When we made it back to the cars I realized that
my Camera was missing. I thought I left it on a big rock we stopped at
by the creek, so I said I'll go get it. 40 minutes later I returned
with no Camera, everyone was like lets go find it. We didn't go 300
yards when Will yelled here it is. It had fallen out of my pack when
I went under a large downed tree. Thanks everyone, especially Will.
I'll post some photos on the File page cause my computer won't let me
attach them to this post.

Anthony, Carl, James, BVP, David, Bob, Will, Toby, had a great hike
with you guys lets do it again!

== 2 of 3 ==
Date: Mon, Apr 28 2008 8:23 pm
From: James Parton


I probably talked to you more than anyone at the entmoot and I don't
think anyone enjoyed the event more than you. Hopefully you can make
it back up to WNC again sometime.

James P.

== 3 of 3 ==
Date: Tues, Apr 29 2008 4:13 am
From: Larry

James, I enjoyed your company, and everyones. I will be coming back!
I'll post a Biltmore report later, with more photos. Bill I forgot to
include you in the Pine Flats hike, Whoops! Larry

TOPIC: Pine Flats

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Tues, Apr 29 2008 4:13 am
From: Larry

James, I enjoyed your company, and everyones. I will be coming back!
I'll post a Biltmore report later, with more photos. Bill I forgot to
include you in the Pine Flats hike, Whoops! Larry