Flat Laurel Creek

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James Parton
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:47 pm

Flat Laurel Creek

Post by James Parton » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:28 am

ENTS,

Last Saturday July 31st I took my sister Rebecca Kent and her family to hike one of my favorite trails. This trail is the Flat Laurel Creek trail which runs from a trailhead on state rd 215 to the Black Balsam parking lot. A distance of about 3.5 miles. Keith Clement, an old friend of mine, introduced me to this trail back in 1983 and I have many memories here. Keith and I fished Flat Laurel Creek itself several miles downstream from this high mountain valley and then had to walk back up the road to the car. It was one of the roughest fishing trips I have been on ( Only being rivalled by some parts of the Linville Gorge ) and we were beat. I was 19 then and it may be beyond my abilities now at 45. I took my girlfriend Iva here in 1985-87 and then after Iva and I broke up took my future wife Cheri here on our first date. We would return here a number of times up until our last visit here in May 2004 just before she left me. Later I would bring Clay Tench and Family then my Mom and my current wife Joy. Of course I have done numerous hikes here alone. It is one of my special places and one I like to share. This latest trip I took with the Kents was their first visit here. It rained for over half our hike and my picture-taking opportunities were limited. I supplemented current ones with some from past visits. I got soaked as did Becky. Dickie, Becky's husband brought an umbrella and the kids brought ponchos. My daughter Sarah wore my raincoat. I just enjoyed getting wet to the skin. The last three pictures attached here are the recent ones.

http://www.blueridgeparkwayoutdoors.com ... 4532503199

Flat Laurel Creek sits in a high mountain valley at roughly 5000+ feet and is between Sam's Knob, Little Sam's Knob and Black Balsam Mountain. Graveyard Fields, another high mountain valley lies nearby on the other side of Black Balsam Mountain near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I will post again on some specific unusual flora found here in the near future. Stay tuned!

BTW the High Mountain Meadow image is a wallpaper sized one. All ENTS feel free to download it!

James
Attachments
A Wonderful Day!.jpg.JPG
Lone Red Spruce.jpg
215.jpg
Flat Laurel Creek.jpg
Wildcat Falls.jpg
Wildcat Falls.jpg (49.06 KiB) Viewed 1440 times
The Flat Laurel Creek Valley.jpg
High Mountain Meadow.JPG
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Larry Tucei
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Flat Laurel Creek

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:42 am

James, Beautiful photos! Looks like a great place to hike. You are so lucky to have such places in your area. Larry

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James Parton
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Re: Flat Laurel Creek

Post by James Parton » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:56 am

Larry,

It's the closest place to Heaven! When you make it up this way we'll go there.

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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jamesrobertsmith
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:32 am

Re: Flat Laurel Creek

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:20 pm

That is a great trail. I love hiking all through that area. But I tend to stay away from Shining Rock because, despite its beauty, it's usually too darned crowded! My son and I bushwhacked to the top of Little Sam Knob, which lies across Flat Laurel Creek from Sam Knob. There's a nice little cliff right at the summit of Little Sam where you can get a wonderful view of Sam Knob and the rest of the valley. I keep meaning to go back up there to camp out. It looks like no on ever does that--last time I was on the summit of Little Sam it looked as if it was free of any sign of campsites.

Your photos are really nice! Some of the best I've seen of the Flat Laurel Creek area.

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James Parton
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Re: Flat Laurel Creek

Post by James Parton » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:24 pm

James S

I hardly ever see Flat Laurel Creek very crouded. You might see a person or two but that is usually it. Black Balsam and Graveyard Fields usually has much more people. I have seen one exception though. Back in August 1987 just after my girlfriend Iva left me I took a hike up Flat Laurel ( I knew it as the Sunburst trail back then since I did not know the official name at that time ) to think and mourn her loss when I noticed the whole area along the creek was lined with tents and people. I talked to some of them and it turned out to be a Rainbow gathering. I had heard much about them, both positive and negative but I can say one good thing about them. Every one I talked to was really nice and polite. I especially remember two girls I ran into along the trail. Anyway....

I hiked up Little Sam, with my mother, about two years ago. The view is really nice. I remember hitting the Mountains to Sea Trail and overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway from a series of cliffs. It was an awesome view. Mom and I also went through some beautiful Spruce/Fir forests. I am taking mom back to one of those forests on Saturday. She has cancer and I really don't know how much longer she will be able to do any outdoor activities like this. She already cannot do what she used to do. The forest will have a calming effect on her. She actually dreamed of this forest as it would appear in the winter. Under a blanket of snow. She loves winter.

Thanks for the compliment on the photos. I do try to get them right.

James P
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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