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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,