Linville Gorge

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dbhguru
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Linville Gorge

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:55 pm

ENTS,

Today Monica and I went down into Linville Gorge to the Linville River. I was looking for worthy trees to measure, but the rhododendron and laurel made visibility a real problem. Nonetheless, I succeeded in confirming two worthy white pines as heirs to the throne. One measured 142.5 feet in height and the other 147.5 feet. Most of the great whites are in the 120s and 130s, but there is a scattering of taller ones. The old 168-foot monarch fell several years ago. Also, the hemlock skeletons were demoralizing. Why didn't the Park Service react? Linville will not be the same again in our lifetimes.

While trying to measure trees, I was on Benadryl combatting an attack of the hives. I had an allergic reaction after wolfing down a ton of barbecue the night before. Something in the sauce.

I'll send images in a few days. Right now this old boy is headed for the hay.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by James Parton » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:10 am

Bob,

I await your photos. Linville Gorge is one of my favorite places. I am overdue for a visit there. What trail did you use to access the gorge?

The hemlock death has hurt the gorge, in some places more than others but I don't think it's as bad as Cataloochee Valley or Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

I had one of those itchy hives breakouts once. I drank nothing but lemonade and pink grapefruit juice for a week and then paid for it. I was miserable with my whole body pink and itchy from the hives. I had to lay off the lemonade and juice for awhile!
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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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:30 pm

I've hiked or backpacked just about every corner of Linville Gorge. It has been sad to watch the hemlocks go away. It was harder to deal with that than with the drought-aggravated fires that scoured the slopes down to the mineral soil. The Forest Service didn't react because our government keeps them so poverty-stricken and weak so that corporations can rape our forests at will. The only thing that can stand against corporations are strong government agencies. Keep those agencies starved for resources and the timber and mining companies can bloody well do as they please. If they'd had any money to save the hemlocks, perhaps they would have. We'll never know.

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dbhguru
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by dbhguru » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:23 pm

James and Robert,

I didn't have much time. We just went down to the river via the trail on the north(?) side of the river. The dead hemlocks were very, very depressing. Lots of dead Carolina Hemlocks as well as the big Eastern Hemlocks. Not the same place anymore.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:46 pm

If you think that place is bad, you don't want to go anywhere near the Smokies or drive the Cherohala Skyway. Nothing but dead hemlocks everywhere you look. Mother Earth is screwed and on Her way out the door.

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dbhguru
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by dbhguru » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:25 am

Robert,

I have seen the devastation in the Smokies. The entire eastern forest south of Massachusetts where hemlocks grow/grew is a sad, sad sight. On the northern part of our trip, we were treated to healthy hemlocks all the way west until we ran out of them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed here in western Mass. We had a very cold winter last season, but it didn't kill all the adelgid. It is holding it back though - I think.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:11 pm

I noticed that the hemlocks toward the higher elevations of Unaka Mountain did not seem to be infested. And not only were they not infested, they appeared to be downright healthy. I think the cold and heavy snow we've had in the Southern Apps for two winters running may be holding them off in just a few small areas. Or it could be just blind luck. I still can't get a handle on why I will see dead hemlocks, dying hemlocks and seemingly perfectly healthy hemlocks all within yards of one another.

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James Parton
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Re: Linville Gorge

Post by James Parton » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:01 am

I have not made it back to Linville Gorge this year. Drabbit! I hope this winter will see me do more of a return to tree measuring.
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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