all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone
(click pictures to enlarge)
First, does anyone know how to get a song out of your head. Sirius radio played "Mirage" by Tommy James and the Shondells yesterday and I can't get it out of my head. It's a good song and it was the first time I really listened to the lyrics, but dang, it needs to go away already.
One of the main reasons for me coming to this area of Tennessee was to drive the Cherohala Skyway. It is a National Scenic Byway in the Smoky Mountains. I had heard about it years ago and put it on my list of things to see and do but am just now getting around to it. The word "cherohala" is a combination of two words. They are Cherokee and Nantahala which are two of the National Forests in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. The skyway has plenty of places to pull over to see pretty views on a clear day. The elevation tops out at 5,400 ft. I had planned to make the drive on Friday in hopes of it be less crowded due to it being a workday, but it was too cloudy. Saturday was a clear day but very chilly with the temperatures in the low 30's at the tops of the mountains.
|This is along River Road which is a side branch of the skyway. It reminded me of the roads in Yellowstone that parallel the rivers. I like it.|
|After a few miles you're rewarded with the Bald River Waterfalls.|
|A panoramic view|
|This was an empty campground/picnic area. I bet it will be slap-full come summer time|
|Another panoramic view. I sure am glad my cell phone has that option|
|That was a wildcat/bobcat/lynx that crossed the road in front of me. It ran off into the brush on the right side and was gone. If reminded me of the old Jerry Clower story about "Knock Him Out John". If you want a laugh, check it out on Youtube.|
|Fishing pier on one of the lakes.|
|Nice lake front houses. Not sure about winter though since this was at about 5,000 feet.|
|Upstream (lake) side of the Cheoah Dam on the Little Tennessee River. Construction began 100 years ago in 1916 by Alcoa. They needed lots of electricity to make aluminum so they built several hydro-electric dams along the river.|
|Downstream side of the dam. Those openings at the top are the gates and the water spills down the face. They are only opened during extremely high water conditions.|
|This is another dam which created another lake. It is the Calderwood dam and was also built by Alcoa in the mid -1920's.|
|another panorama picture. Calderwood dam on the right and the lake it created curves around to the left. There are some interesting things with this dam also, but I will let it slide.|
Since it was my birthday, I packed a picnic lunch to take with me. I ate my healthy (yeah, I know) turkey sandwich will parked in a pull-off at the top of a mountain with the temperature right at 32 degrees. I was the only one there on a gorgeous day with clear skies. It was very quiet and peaceful. I guess the only thing that could have made it better, was if I had bologna instead of turkey, but we can't have everything.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.