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Showing posts with label NORTH CAROLINA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NORTH CAROLINA. Show all posts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scenic Highway 215, North Carolina --Part II

Our WONDERFUL Friends,  Patti and Neal ---at Lake Logan
On October 22, 2014,   George and I plus good friends Neal and Patti took a wonderful vacation together to the Maggie Valley,  North Carolina area.  One of our days together was spent driving on a scenic back road,  Highway 215.  IF you missed Monday's post ---scroll down to the post below this one and read it first.  In that post,  I gave some links and also gave some information about this area and this beautiful back road. 

Today I will share more photos of our experience on that scenic road.  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements...


I have been fascinated by this type of bridges.  This historic arched stone bridge (also called the High Arch Bridge or the One Arched Bridge) was built in 1937.  This bridge is located at the Waterfall on the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also called Sunburst Falls)...This area and waterfall -where we took a picture of the four of us in Part I's post-- (waterfall is located to the left of this photo)  was one of my favorite waterfalls of our day/trip...  



Three Arched Stone Bridge
About a mile south of the One Arched Bridge was the Three Arched Bridge on the West Fork.  I enjoyed seeing both of these bridges --built by the CCC.   We just don't see many bridges that look like this these days,  do we?


Another picture  showing the gorgeous Autumn colors in the mountains



I just couldn't quit taking pictures of Fall along Scenic Highway 215



Changing Maple leaves along our way;  Don't you just love all of the colors?



I love to stand under the trees and show you the colors --while looking up to that blue sky!



Neal, Patti,  George, Betsy --at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat
On Monday,  I showed you a picture of French Broad Falls (which is to the left of this waterfall).  This area is so unique since the North Fork of  the French Broad River combines with Shoal Creek here.  In the picture above, you can see part of an old mill.

Here are a couple of links for you:  for more info and more pictures of the waterfalls in this area,  click HERE.   For more info on the Living Waters Retreat,  click HERE.



I loved hiking in the Living Waters Retreat area... There were several cascades between the 'twin' falls,  French Broad and Mill Shoals.  We stopped to check out all of the cascades.  I would love to come back here in the Winter or early Spring when there is much more water here coming over the falls and cascades.



We finally made it downstream to Cathedral Falls  (also called Bird Rock Falls)... I like the original name,  Bird Rock Falls,  since the Purple Martins used to nest along the top of this HUGE rock cliff.    But I don't blame the Christian Retreat Center for renaming that waterfall.  The towering rock cliff surrounding the falls does like like a cathedral! Gorgeous!



I took several pictures of this gorgeous red tree --as we hiked at the Living Waters Retreat.  I'm partial to RED trees in the Fall.



Talk about a perfect place for a RETREAT!!!  I loved sitting in the 'cathedral' --just thinking about what a marvelous place this is.  I envy anyone coming to a RETREAT at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



This beautiful tree --and the blue sky  was taken on State Road (forest road) 1322
After leaving the Living Waters Retreat Center,  we took a forest service road --searching for another waterfall,  Diamond Creek Falls...  We found the waterfall --but I couldn't get a good picture of it since there were LOTS of trees/shrubs in the way.  Guess we need to go there in winter,  when the leaves are totally off of the trees.

 Well---that's my 'report' from Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina.  George and I want to come back since there are several more waterfalls along this road to see.  We did see the Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades (from a distance) and we also saw the bottom part of the  Lower Waterfall on Bubbling Spring Branch...  AND--we tried to see Courthouse Falls --but the road was closed.   SO---that's why we need/want to go back sometime!

As you can tell---we saw so many beautiful things along this back road (beautiful lake,  lots of waterfalls and cascades,  AND  beautiful Autumn Colors)... This is why this area was definitely a highlight for us.

Hope you enjoyed these two posts.  I enjoyed sharing them with you!!!

Have a great day.

Hugs,

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Trip along Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina --Oct. 22, 2014

Highway 215 runs perpendicular to the Blue Ridge Parkway--beginning near Waynesville on Highway 276 as we headed south to Highway 64 at Rosman.  About halfway between the beginning and the end of our journey,  we crossed under the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 423.3)... NOTE:  this picture is from the internet.
Besides being with great friends,  Neal and Patti,  our vacation in and around Maggie Valley led us not only to Cataloochee to see the Elk (click HERE for that post) ---but another favorite day was our drive on Scenic Highway 215...  We all love the backroads --and this one was definitely a highlight for me.  I will have two posts to share from this country road.  Hope you enjoy the journey!!!!  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.


Our first stop was LAKE LOGAN...  (Something ironic about this lake's name is that we were with Neal and Patti at another Lake Logan --in Ohio, a couple of years ago!!!! Wonder if we'll find another Lake Logan sometime????? ha)



Neal took this picture of George and me at Lake Logan.  It was a VERY Cool and WINDY morning. 



Highway 215 features waterfalls in various places along the way!!! (You can imagine how much George and I LOVED that!!!!)  This waterfall is the Falls of the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also known as Sunburst Falls --named for the surrounding community).  I love this picture of the four of us:  Patti,  Neal, George, Betsy..   



Then,  we started seeing more gorgeous Fall Colors... I love the layers of mountains.



The photographer at work---taking WAY too many pictures!!!  BUT---everything was so beautiful so I couldn't help myself... ha



We stopped OFTEN along that little highway and went several directions taking pictures.  In this picture you can see Neal in the distance,  George in the middle and Patti fairly close. We loved being on this road with very few people and no traffic much!!!


I not only enjoyed seeing all of the trees and their colors,  but also enjoyed seeing the colors on the individual leaves.  Amazing,  isn't it?




The colors all around us were just marvelous... Don't you love Fall???  Here at home now,  we are almost totally leaf-less ---and winter is approaching much too fast!  OR--should I say that Winter is HERE... Mercy Me!



George and Betsy at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat Center
We hiked to see 3 waterfalls (French Broad Falls,  Mill Shoals Falls and Cathedral Falls-- also called Bird Rock Falls)  along with several more cascades when we visited the Living Waters Retreat Center (along Highway 215),  not far from Rosman.  The Retreat Center is privately owned --but they graciously allow people to visit the waterfalls.  They also gave us permission to eat lunch at one of their picnic tables.   Seeing this area was another highlight  for us!


George is taking some pictures of Mill Shoals Falls ---while I was looking straight ahead at another waterfall,  French Broad Falls.



Neal and Patti were checking out some of the waterfalls and cascades at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



I love this RED Tree which we saw while hiking at the Living Waters Retreat.
I will have one more blog post on Thursday this week --showing more pictures from our wonderful drive along Scenic Highway 215.   IF want more information about this wonderful drive,  click HERE.

Hope your weather is better than ours... We've had company --and I feel sorry for them since I'm sure the weather has been hard for them (and us)  this weekend/week... We seldom have cold and snowy weather like we've had this year during NOVEMBER....  More about our company in another upcoming post!!!!

Hugs,

Monday, October 27, 2014

ELK at Cataloochee Valley, North Carolina 10/23/14

This is the first Bull Elk we saw when getting to Cataloochee.
George and I took a vacation last week with our good friends,  NEAL and Patti.  This is the fourth year we have taken an Autumn Vacation together.  The four of us have so much fun together --and each trip seems to get better than the last one!!!!!  This year,  we spent several days in Maggie Valley,  North Carolina.

We were on the go-go-go each day from 7:15 in the morning until about 7:30 at night.  We did a lot of 'leaf peeking' ---searching for pretty Fall Colors.  We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway stopping at most every overlook.  We traveled the back-roads ---especially on Scenic Highway 215 between Rosman and west of Waynesville.  We saw WATERFALLS and Cascades (Yeah)... We took a nice hike each day.  We ate some great meals... We stayed in a wonderful motel/inn. AND the fellowship with friends was AWESOME....

BUT---if you put all of that aside, 'my' very favorite part was seeing the ELK at Cataloochee Valley.  We got there at the right time (early in the morning) in order to hear one of them 'bugle' loudly.  This is rutting/mating season ---and the males really like to chase the females ---and each male keeps a group of several ladies by his side!!!!!

We've seen the elk before --but this time,  we saw them THREE different times and in three different places during our visit there.  SO---since I love the elk so much,  I decided to share some ELK pictures with you today... Be sure to click on the pictures for enlargements.  Hope you enjoy them!!!!


"Hmmm",  Says Mr. Elk..  "That's a good-looking lady over there!" 



The pretty lady got up ---and took off!!!!  I heard her say,  "I don't want anything to do with him!"



She was smiling as she got away from him!!!



So dejected (see that pitiful face????)!!!!  "Why does she not like me?"



This young male was near the road where we were traveling... He didn't pay much attention to the people around ---and just kept on eating the leaves around him...






Another Bull Elk in another location later in the morning;  Did you know that Bull Elks can weigh up to 700 pounds??.  Their antlers/rack as I call it  can weigh 40 pounds... (Imagine the headache I would have if I carried those things... Yipes!)

 We took a hike to the Woody Cabin that morning after seeing the first group of elks.  The hike was about 2 miles round-trip ---and when we got back,  we found this group of elves.


This is sweet... This little lady was not running from Mr. Elk.   I think he gave her a kiss!!!!! 



She did get up --but he didn't seem interested --although she acted as if she was!!!!!!  What did Mr. Elk do instead of giving that lady some attention????????????????????????



WELL----I guess Mr. Elk was just too hungry ---so he ATE instead of entertaining the lady! Mercy Me!!!!!!



Then I saw it!!!! Mr. and Mrs. Elk AND little one!!!!!  See him/her??????



Then,  Mr. Elk left them and headed OUR way... Of course,  we were safely in/around our cars.  Luckily,  he wasn't paying a bit of attention to us.  SO--that gave us time to get some awesome photos... Like it????




Since Mr. Elk went the other direction,  we enjoyed watching all of the females and their little ones.  A female elk can weigh as much as 500 pounds...



Later in the day,  we encountered some female and baby elks again (near the school house).  There were about 15-20 elks in this group.  We were able to get fairly close --and I was amazed at the sizes of some of those females. 



Here's a cute little baby elk (called a calf).  These babies are usually born in May/June and weigh about 35 pounds at birth.  They are fed by Mama's rich milk --and will gain about two pounds a day.  By winter,  these little guys weigh up to five times their birth weight.  This one is not extremely young since he has lost his spots.  YES--they do have spots just like fawns do!



We enjoyed watching this  group of about 15-20 elks crossing the creek.  I loved watching the little one in my previous photo---who was one of the last ones to cross...  When he finally decided to get in that COLD water,  he 'quickly' hurried to the other side!!!  
Well---I could show you about 50 more pictures of the elk --but this is enough for now!!!!  All four of us really enjoyed watching them --off and on the entire time we were there.  Before you ask,  I will say that we were all very careful --and did NOT get near them, especially the big Bull Elks.   We KNOW that they can be dangerous --especially during rutting season!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.  OH--what fantastic memories!!!!   If you ever get a chance to see the elk at Cataloochee,  DO IT....

Hope you had a great week.   We certainly did!!!!!

Hugs,