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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Colors on the Cherohala Skyway (NC--TN)--Part I


The Cherohala Skyway was completed in the fall of 1996 after being under construction for about 34 years. It winds up and over 5,400 foot mountains for 15 miles in North Carolina and descending another 21 miles into Tennessee. The road crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests thus the name "Cher.o.hala".

The road enthusiast's dream connects Robbinsville, NC with Tellico Plains, TN. There are no facilities other than restrooms for the entire 36 miles. There is little civilization from viewpoints that rival or surpass any from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

George and I drove home from Maggie Valley on Sunday --not only on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but also across the Cherohala Skyway. The colors on Blue Ridge were pretty (another upcoming blog post), but the lower elevations along the Cherohala (between 2500-3500 feet) were absolutely phenomenal ---some of the most gorgeous I have seen in ALL of my life. The colors both above and below that elevation weren't as pretty.

I have divided all of our fabulous pictures (all of these are STRAIGHT from the camera and not 'doctored') into THREE posts. This is Part I. By the way, any good photographer will tell you that where the sun shines and where the shadows are is very important when trying to take good pictures. We got lucky ---getting to these areas at the perfect time of day --when the sun was helping the Fall colors to glow brilliantly. It was truly AWESOME. Hope you enjoy this Fall beauty.






















As I said above, George and I were in the 'right place at the right time' in order to capture this beauty. The sun was in a perfect location --which helped to bring out the colors. AND--in some of the pictures, the shadows helped bring out the mountain ranges (go to the 5th picture above here for an example). OR, notice where the sun hits the trees in the 2nd photo above here. There is very little 'color' in the shadowy areas. Interesting, huh?

I know that this Autumn beauty is ALL over the country/world... BUT---for George and me, on this particular day, we saw some of the prettiest Fall colors we have ever ever ever seen. When we got home (2000 feet above sea level), we found some pretty colors--but none as vivid and bright as what we saw along the Cherohala.

More to come!!!!
Hugs,

55 comments:

Beth said...

Oh my, Betsy...those are absolutely stunning! I am in awe. You certainly were at the right place at the right time---I wish I'd been there with you!

Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful shots of God's handiwork. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Oh Betsy! These are stunning! We have some pretty trees here and there, but most of the trees were not as vivid this year. I absolutely love the shot of the bend in the road. God was definitely showing off for you!

♥Kathy♥ said...

Oh now those are some beautiful shots. LOL Do you and George need any company?? I wanna come stay with you during the fall. Got storms moving here where I am today.

Darla said...

Timing is key!! These are beautiful Betsy....Love the Lord's work!! As far as my give-a-way gifts. I did not know what I would be giving away. I wanted to personalize the gifts so I had to wait to see who won and then ask them a few questions. I will be posting what I'm sending when I finish making the gifts.....( the only doctoring I ever do to my photos is take out the red-eye and once in a blue moon I will enlarge them..

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

THANK YOU BETSY!! I didn't make it to my mountains for leaf peeping this year and have been so grateful for all the bloggers taking me there! BUT THIS IS TRULY LIKE BEING THERE!!! The first one took my breath!! xoxoxo

Peggy said...

Isn't fall making a wonderful display of colors this year! You and George had a beautiful drive home. Grandma didn't jump on the trampoline this time as the boys had a game of tackle before you finish your jump going on. LOL

Susie said...

Absolutely gorgeous Betsy! Your pics made me miss the mountains so much. There is so much beauty to be found in them, no matter which season but fall is especially nice.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

You really did choose the right time and place for fall color. I have never seen anything any prettier. Here comes the travel posters.

Dorothy said...

Gorgeous color!! We read about this drive and meant to go but didn't work it into our schedule. Your pictures on this drive look almost the same as ours that we made on the Foothills Parkway that goes around the west end of GSMNP. Beautiful!

NCmountainwoman said...

Gorgeous photographs. You really captured the breath-taking beauty.

Rose said...

Betsy, these are absolutely gorgeous! Going to forward something to you that I had sent to a couple people yesterday--it is will be from rdotswalls at sbc dot global dot net...I read your response on another blog about liking Charlie Brown...what I am sending is a link to one of my favorite scenes.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: I love red and that second photo is one you should print and hang in your house.

Small City Scenes said...

All I can say is SPECTACULAR!!! MB

Busy Bee Suz said...

WOW! This area looks just breathtaking.
I think your detour was for a 'reason' Betsy!!!

The Incredible Woody said...

That is a fantastic drive!! And wow, those colors are simply breathtaking!!

Tabor said...

Wonderful colors and great photos. You must have had a stunning time.

Sunny said...

Awesome! What amazing colors. These are the colors of Autumn I remember. We had very little red this year, for the most part it seemed like a muted Fall, but still very beautiful.
You and George were so lucky to witness such a glorious sight.
Sunny :)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Fantastic colors..It is a pity that we don't see those here in the tropics!

Connie said...

Absolutly gorgeous, breathtaking, photos Betsy. I'm seeing more and more color around my home too, but nothing like your photos.

Ebie said...

Betsy (& George, too), I cannot find the best adjective to describe nature's beauty. You took wonderful shots and what a blessing to see them in your post.

Keep the pictures coming, cause I am loving them.

Arkansas Patti said...

Really nice pictures and thanks Betsy for while we have colors here, they are browns, rusts, and pale yellows. Nothing vibrant.
I'll just enjoy yours. Thanks so much.
We are at the start of a two day rain but then what is new. This has been a record setting month. My Hummers have shrivled feet.
Not complaining mind you. I am very glad to be comfortable and dry. Keep the pictures coming for your shut in friends.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

These scenes are quite simply breath taking.WOW!!! there are no words adequate to talk about such beauty.Thanks ever so much for sharing this.I am looking forward to see the rest of the pictures.
Blessings,Ruth

Cookie said...

Those are truly breathtaking photos. I have been on the Blue ridge parkway but never to the Cherohala Skyway before.
The one photo with the curved road looks like it could be a painting.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Wow...gorgeous...nothing can compare to what God does!!!

Becca's Dirt said...

You are so right Betsy - that is just breathtaking. I love the colors of the trees this time of year. Thanks for sharing this beautiful array of fall for us.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Betsy
I never would have imagined the mountains there turn such glorious colors! It rivals Vermont in its autumnal glory.
You are so right about finding the "perfect light" for nature photography. It can often be hit or miss,but it's often a good reason to re-visit an area--at least that's my excuse ..lol!

Looking forward to seeing more!

Hugs, Pat

Janie said...

Your fall colors are magnificent! Interesting to see what a difference light and shadow make, but with such vivid colors, all of the shots are great.

Regina said...

Hello Betsy. Those are glorious and delightful. I'm loving Autumn. Thank you so much for sharing.

Have a great weekend.
Regina

amelia said...

I thought we had the prettiest fall colours here in northern Ontario but I have never seen anything quite as stunning as this.

Ours have all gone now..

Snap said...

Gorgeous doesn't describe the beauty you found and shared with us. Amazing!

Tricia said...

Mercy sakes alive, the Autumn colors are glorious!

Deborah Godin said...

Oh my goodness! My eyes weren't prepared for all that brilliant color!! Whee!!

Picture Imperfect said...

Absolutely STUNNING! Great colours, fabulous composition, and interesting narration. Thank you for sharing!

I love it when I get somewhere at just the right time of day and the lighting works with me. It's one of my favourite feelings I can think of, actually.

Hope you are having a great day Betsy! Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my site. Looking forward to seeing you again. :)

Rita said...

Betsy Those photos are gorgeous. I live in New England so I am spoiled for fall colors. But this years your photos outdo the foliage here. We are having an unusually mellow golden yellow fall foliage instead of the usual brilliant reds and oranges that we are used to seeing. Very lovely but different than usual.
Thanks for sharing
Rita

Cheryl said...

Betsy, your photos are just breathtakingly beautiful. Glorious, glorious! What a wonderful day you and George had traveling. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty with us.

Mandy in Mayberry said...

Those are beautiful pictures! Hard to believe that trees can actually turn such vivid shades!

Gill - That British Woman said...

Our trees are finished for the year. Yours are just stunning....

Gill in Canada

Gill - That British Woman said...

Our trees are finished for the year. Yours are just stunning....

Gill in Canada

Pam said...

You are right, Betsy... the colors and views of this wonderful ride through the mountains is awesome.
Its a ride I would love to take.

Mary said...

Wow...now that is beautiful color! Your shots are so clear and perfect.

Jen said...

WOW! Best I've seen too.
Seem that your extra travels paid off.
It has been a beautiful fall season.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Now that's a drive I have to do ... someday. And especially when the leaves are turning (and hopefully on such a sunny day!)

Wendy said...

Breathtaking! Your pics are post-card perfect!! Yes, I know it's fall in a lot of places, but were I live the colours are not that nice this year. So I am very very happy to see yours!!
Thanks - and I'm glad you're home.
Hugs

Jane said...

Beautiful pictures as always. Hope that you and George are doing well,

Jane

Daisy said...

Such vividly bright reds, Betsy! Wow! They are truly amazing! You were definitely in the right place at the right time.

Diane said...

What a beautiful drive, Betsy.

Splendid Little Stars said...

absolutely breathtakingly stunningly beautiful! How blessed you were to have seen these wonders!
I will have to drive that route sometime. I'm passing this blog post on to my daughter who lives in Asheville.
(My husband is a waterfall fanatic. I like them, too! That's me at the bottom of one.)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Awesome colours! WOW!

It took 34 years to build the highway? Were they digging with spoons?

mountain.mama said...

Now that is a REAL fall! I don't miss much about the east coast except those tree covered mountains in the fall. I'm so glad you were there at the perfect time to capture the colors. Thank you!

diane said...

How lucky you are to experience this beauty first hand and I am lucky to be able to see it through your eyes. And just to be cheeky there are not fall colours all over the world because we don't get any in north part of Australia (boo hoo) but I know what you mean.

SquirrelQueen said...

Amazing colors Betsy, the sun was in the perfect place. The shot of the mountain side with all that color is stunning.

I vaguely remember something about a skyway being built up that way, but that was years ago. It looks like they picked the prettiest route possible.
Judy

Mountain Mama (Wesley Jeanne) said...

I so love the Cherohala Skyway! Thanks for this glimpse into it's current splendor!

Tammie Lee said...

Crazy beauty, my eyes lean forward, my heart jumps for joy, wow Betsy!
Spirithelpers

Bird Girl said...

These fall colors and pictures are just outstanding!!!

Small City Scenes said...

My goodness Betsy, all I can say is WOW!! and double wow. I am so glad you happened to be there that bright and sunny day. It would be hard to pick a favorite but I am sure liking the second pic. MB