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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cherohala Skyway

In our travels through the Appalachian Mountains, we have found some incredible places, many times just by accident. My husband always says that if he can drive in Miami, he can drive anywhere regardless of the terrain. After a few mishaps, we quickly learned to carry a stocked cooler, flashlights, dry clothes, spare shoes and multiple cell phones every time we venture off to discover new towns, roads and scenic wonders.

In search of snow, one winter we stumbled upon what appeared to be a dead end by our standards anyway, but as we grew closer to the end of the paved road, we discovered a sign that read something like "gravel road begins here" and so my husband without hesitation continued on. As we drove, the elevation increased and we found ourselves under the snow covered trees. It was dark, very cold and void of color. To some it may have appeared dreary, solitary and perhaps even frightening, yet what our eyes gazed upon that afternoon filled us with such wonder. While others on vacation complained that it was a disappointing winter in the "snowless" mountains, we enjoyed knowing that for a brief moment our thirsty eyes had feasted and our our warm hands had touched the precious gold. Eventually, we turned around and headed back down the mountain to "civilization" quite pleased with ourselves and claiming victory!

On one of these expeditions which began with little planning or focused destination, we found the Cherohala Skyway. No words or pictures capture the true beauty of this magical 50 mile drive that connects a portion of eastern Tennessee to western North Carolina.. The views are spectacular, not only because the skyway sits at a great altitude, at one point about 5400 feet, but because there is very little obstruction and traffic.

With clouds at our feet, we felt completely alone and in some way that infinite space belonged to no one else but the four of us.

Visit the Cherohala photo gallery
Learn the History of the Cherohala Skyway
More area photographs by Tarheel Ramblings


  1. I can imagine how wonderful it is to explore the Appalachian Mountain area. It is a beautiful area.
    Your photos make me want to head up that way.
    Also...the answer to your question on my, we did not use pesticides and the only fertilizer was organic. I am so excited with the results this year of how much the garden is producing.
    Have a great week!

  2. The Appalachian Mountains, another beautiful place in our wonderful country. Unfortunately that is an area I have only brushed by and hope to take the time to explore.

    I did enjoy the pictures of the Cherohala Skyway very much and am inspired by your description of your trip. I grew up in the Catskill Mountains and spent many a white Christmas there.

    Thank you so much for your kind and wonderful comment marcueto. Yes, you are right with the over 40 crowed. We do tend to spend much time thinking about the time we squandered. I can see your time is well spent.

    Well done!

  3. Neat...I'm somewhat close I should go check it out. Beautiful. :)

  4. A sense of adventure combined with the proper planning (cooler, flashlights, etc.) leads to wonderful discoveries!

    I loved the description of your journey to snow.

  5. I enjoyed your journey...I've traveled to Key West from my home in Ontario, Canada once and twice to central Florida by car and loved it every time...I would some day love to be able to just travel where every my thoughts took me would so wonderful!!!

  6. That entire area in the Appalachian Mountains is amazingly beautiful. It doesn't have the magnitude of the Rockies, but it is no less scenic. I'm not real familiar with the Cherohala Skyway, but I'll be checking it out. :0)

    Thanks for mentioning my blog too. If anyone is interested, they can find a couple sets of pictures taken in the Blue Ridge Mountains (part of the Appalachian range) at my photo gallery. Click on either Boone or Meadows of Dan.

  7. Thank you Pam, Donald, Jessica, Jennifer, Azzure and Lee for your visit and comments. I am glad others get excited about the outdoors as much as I do. Of course my weakness will always be for the Appalachian Mountains.

    Some of you already enjoy a splendid life with nature while others I gather will venture off soon to find new adventures.

    I have not yet mastered the skill of moving mountains. :) So, when I can't go to the mountains, I bring the mountains to me, at least in photographs and videos.


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