Walkin' with Walkin' Jim Stoltz  

TOPIC: Walkin' with Walkin' Jim Stoltz

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Sat, Nov 1 2008 4:00 pm
From: "Edward Frank"


Friday, I headed to Cook Forest to give a tour of the Old Growth forest in the park to Walkin' Jim Stoltz. Jim Stoltz, http://www.walkinjim.com says in his website blurb: "Welcome to the Official Website of Walkin' Jim Stoltz ... long-distance hiker, adventurer, author, painter, photographer, poet, wilderness activist, musician, songwriter, and troubadour for the Earth. Please join Walkin' Jim on his 27,000 miles of wilderness walking! " He is an environmental activist and a long-distance hiker. When he is not hiking, he is travelling the country giving concerts, doing programs for school children, writing music, and promoting the environmental ethic. He has several music albums for sale on his website and his book, "Walking With The Wild Wind - Reflections On a Montana Journey." I will add a link to the book in the ENTS bookstore.

How did this hike come to be? Kirk Johnson, ENTS member and active member of the Friends of the Allegheny Wilderness. He emailed me about a benefit concert to support the Friends of the Allegheny Wilderness being held in State College tonight (Nov 1) featuring Walkin' Jim Stoltz. So I checked out his website and his schedule while in the area. So I decided to send him an email and invite him for a tour of some of the old-growth forest at Cook Forest State park. I sent him a copy of Dale Luthringer's article on old-growth in PA from the PA Wilds Newsletter. A few days later Jim responded and we set up a trip on Friday. I emailed Dale, and he was able to join us for part of the day.

Jim Stoltz arrived promptly at the scheduled time coming in from the State College area. Accompanying him was his host and friend Gary Thornbloom, am member of the Moshannon Chapter of the Sierra Club here in PA. I planned a more aggressive hike than most as I wanted to visit several of the old growth areas in the park. Dale and I started the trip from the Log Cabin Inn and followed the Longfellow trail in the Forest Cathedral natural Area. We snuck off the trail to see the Seneca Pine, climbed by Will Blozan in 2003, and the adjacent Cornstalk Pine, before continuing on the major pine groves in the section and the Longfellow Pine itself - the tallest tree in NE United States at 183.7 feet.. Will Blozan climbed this tree in 2001. We stopped by and visited the fallen cucumber tree along the Red Eft Trail. The tree fell in early 2005, Dr. Neil Pederson recently reported back that a cookie from the tree, cut about 18 feet above the ground dated to 1567, making the tree 438 years old at its death. From here we headed farther down the Longfellow Trail, then down Tom's Run and headed to the Seneca Trail.

The Seneca trail heads steeply up the hill side from the bridge on Route 36 to the Fire tower Parking lot. It runs past the Seneca Hemlock , the tallest Hemlock in NE United States at 145.3 feet, climbed by Will Blozan in 2007 and also past the Jani Pine one of several 170 foot tall pines in the Park. Being out of shape I was the one who needed to catch my breath on this section of the trail. On reaching the parking lot, Dale had to leave to go to work. Jim, Gary and I went on to see the fire tower - 80 feet tall - which gives a nice bird's eye view of the surrounding areas. The over to Seneca point overlooking the Clarion River for a bite of lunch. I showed then a piece of graffiti carved into the cliff by A. Cook in the early 1800's. I also pointed out several of the grind holes in the cliffs used by archaic peoples to grind acorns as a seasonal food source. They are quite deep and distinctive, and may have been used by generations of the same nomadic peoples.

To finish the day we headed over to the Baker Trail as it passes through the Forest Swamp Natural Area in a far northern corner of the park. This is an area seldom visited by the casual visitor for to Cook Forest, but it contains some impressive sized oaks and America beeches. The big, smooth barked beech trees were the most impressive in the late afternoon light. During the course of the day we had opportunities to discuss wilderness preservation, characteristics of old-growth, the small details in the forest, mosses, ferns, and undergrowth that make the forest complete. It was a good walk in the woods, ending with the measurement a white pine in the parking lot, just to see how it was done. Excellent day.

Ed Frank

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both. "
Robert Frost (1874-1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

TOPIC: Walkin' with Walkin' Jim Stoltz

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 3 2008 8:54 am
From: Kirk Johnson


Thank you to you and Dale for taking Jim and Gary out for a tour. That was a
great idea. They said they had an excellent time. Jim does a lot of talking
and storytelling about his various experiences in nature during his show, so
maybe he will be talking about you guys in some of his upcoming shows!

The show Saturday night went very well. Big turnout, I think around 150-175
people were there, and everyone was very wilderness-friendly of course.

Attached two photos, one is of Jim's touring van that runs on vegetable oil!
It has a 150-gallon tank and he gets about 17 miles to the gallon. (There's
also a regular diesel tank in case he runs low on vegetable oil supplies.)
The other photo is from the show. I hope these files aren't too large for
the listserve.

Kirk Johnson