Clear Fall Day on Wayah Bald

Franklin, NC from Roundabout atop Wayah Bald

Saturday, October 25th, the Nantahala Outdoor Center was the host of the Tour de Nantahala Cycling Event. The event consists of an Octoberfest Carnival at the Nantahala Outdoor Center with Beer, Bratwurst and Fixins, a Sale at our Outfitter's Store, Pumpkin Hunting on the Nantahala River, Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking and a Band; but the highlight is the bicycle road race. There are three events: a 45 Mile ride; a metric 100 ride, or 65 Miles; and an English Century, or 100 Mile Ride. I was stationed at the last refueling station on the Metric and English Century Route before the steep climb up to Wayah Bald.

Yours Truly with Franklin, NC in the Backround from Wayah Bald

Wayah Bald is a high-altitude treeless open area in the Nantahala National Forest, north of Franklin, North Carolina. The area takes its name from the red wolves that used to lived there; wa ya is Cherokee for wolf. The Wayah Bald Observation Tower is located at the area's highest point at 5,385 feet. The stone observation tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937 for fire detection. The Appalachian Trail (AT) and Bartram Trail cross at Wayah Bald, so Wayah Bald is a popular destination for hikers, especially during Spring, when the rhododendron and azaleas are in bloom. And this time of year, some of the last AT hikers that started at Mt. Katahdin in Maine in late spring are passing through the area on their way to the southern terminus of the AT Trail at Springer Mountain in Northern Georgia.

Franklin, NC from the Observation Tower atop Wayah Bald

These photos were taken with my Blackberry atop Wayah Bald. The photos are reduced for the web as the originals are 1600x2000 pixels. However, if you look closely, you can see the white splotches of the town of Franklin deep in the valley in these photos. That's where my refueling station was on the Tour de Nantahala.

Franklin, NC and North Georgia from the Watch Tower

From the top of this Watch Tower, there is a view of almost 360 degrees of the high mountains and valleys that make up the landscape of this southwestern part of North Carolina.

Oak Leaves and Sky--Looking Straight Up from atop Wayah Bald

The day was perfect for the road race, cool and clear. It was in the 60's most of the afternoon down in the valleys, but on Wayah Bald at over a mile up, it was in the upper 40's. The cooler and drier climate at the top of the ridge line is ideal for hearty oak trees. While they appear slightly stunted from the poorer growing conditions, their wind-blown twists in their trunks give the impression that the trees enjoy dancing when there aren't any people around to catch them in the act.

Clingman's Dome in Great Smokey Mountain National Park from Wayah Bald

It's kind of strange how distances are twisted in this area with all the mountains. Clingman's Dome, at over 6,000' is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and from the top of Wayah Bald, is only 23 miles distant. However, to drive there from Wayah Bald takes the better part of four hours as you descend Wayah Road to Highway 19, go east through Bryson City and the Cherokee Indian Reservation, north into Great Smoky Mountain National Park along Hwy 411, and travel the various switchbacks and roads inside the Park to Clingman's Dome. The view was more stunning than the picture shows, but again, it's a highly compressed shot for the web; and in the picture the peak inside the National Park blends in easily with the clear blue sky.

The Auto Roundabout atop Wayah Bald with Franklin, NC

This area and these awesome views are accessible to anyone. You can drive up here. You can ride a bike up here. You can hike up here following either the Bartram or Appalachian Trail. And if you're in the area and interested, the hike up to Wayah Bald from the Nantahala Outdoor Center, is 25 miles long and usually made in two days. There are great camp sites at the top of the ridge, restroom facilities, picnic tables, and above ground metal grills ready for charcoal and lighter fluid. I have been to a lot of scenic places in the United States, but I wasn't prepared for how beautiful this spot was with its 360 degree views so close to home, especially this time of year with fall color just past peak.

Nantahala Lake

Heading back down along Wayah Road, you will pass Nantahala Lake. It's not really a lake, but a dammed reservoir. Daily releases from the reservoir just below the headwaters of the Nantahala River allow for reliable family rafting from March through the beginning of November deep down in the Nantahala Gorge. Because of maintenance on the dam, today will be the last release of 2008. I'm getting out there in just a couple hours. I wish you all could join me.

Thanks for reading.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Generated By Technorati Tag Generator


Anna said...

Love the photos! We sold our camper a while back and I do miss taking a weekend off to camp in the fall!

October 26, 2008 11:41 AM
Amy Lilley Designs said...

Matt, how have been living the life!!! I wanted to comment on your 4 day event, but my brain was fried taking care of my Mom after she came out of the hospital w/ pneumonia...she's much better...but, it looked like a GRREAT, GREAT time...

October 26, 2008 5:19 PM
hope said...

Finally, we have something in common that makes us both smile! No paddles necessary. ;)

We took the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee a couple of times over the years...I've always loved Native American culture and for some reason, the Cherokees are my favorite.

Your pictures bring back good memories. Thanks!

October 26, 2008 5:50 PM
Ken Armstrong said...

" will be the last release of 2008"

Yes, I'm worried about that too. :)

Great post.

October 26, 2008 7:18 PM said...

I used to live in eastern North Carolina and drove through Franklin many a time. I loved the scenery, especially this time of year.

Great pictures.

October 26, 2008 11:03 PM
Grandy said...

Calgon...take me with you!! I love the pics and wish to run away.

When you come back to reality, I do have an award for you over at my site. :)

October 27, 2008 1:02 AM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Anna--Thanks for the kind words....where do you live now? You don't need to have a camper to drive around in search of beautiful fall color.

Amy--I'm glad your Mom's better...I didn't know she was sick. Yeah, It's been a pretty terrific fall, lots of fun, festivals, and awesome river time with friends. I'm looking forward to the quiet time of the off season though, these last couple months I haven't had much time for anything else.

Hope--anytime...I'm glad you like the photos. Cherokee is just around the corner. The next time you come up to this area you'll definitely have to give me a heads up.

Ken--thanks for the compliment on the post, but WHY are you worried that yesterday's release was the last release for 2008?

Paul--Franklin is typical of this section of western North Carolina. It's all beautiful, from Hot Springs and Boone south to Asheville and Hendersonville and West all the way to Cashiers, Bryson City, Franklin and Murphy. The area is simply stunning.

Grandy--thanks for the compliments, and this area is really beautiful, but come on, you're in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA! I know for a fact your area of the country is breathtaking. How would you like to trade for a month or so?

October 27, 2008 8:52 AM
The Fitness Diva said...

North Carolina really has a whole lot of beautiful going on. I never got to go to this area you have pictured, but I spent many a summer down there with my grandparents and cousins.
Plenty of good fishin' down that way! We'd drive for a few miles and find the best fishing streams, lakes and holes.
Just the drive through most parts can be breathtakingly beautiful, and calming.

You're making me miss NC! ;)

October 27, 2008 9:50 AM
Ken Armstrong said...

Hey Dude, it's yet another attempt at a slightly-subtle-but-nevertheless-ultimately-just-rude-joke. It's didn't quite come off I guess. Never mind. :)

October 27, 2008 9:51 AM
Anna said...

I'm in Ohio and we do have beautiful color even in our own neighborhood! We have a nice little lake and woods surrounding it, so just taking the dog for a walk is beautiful!

It's the getting away from home phone, no TV...just me and my DH and the dog!

October 27, 2008 11:03 AM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Fitness Diva--thanks for visiting and commenting so frequently's much appreciated. I didn't know you were from NC. Whereabouts? The Nantahala River is one of the Southeast's best trout fisheries. We have fishing here year-round for Brown Trout and for Rainbow Trout. The river is cold and clean, with sufficient current that the trout love it. Yeah, floating the river yesterday was great....even with the Class II and III rapids, my heart rate was like 55-60 all the way down the river. The sky was perfect Carolina Blue, the sun was out, the fall color breathtaking, and leaves floating in the water were like colors in a Monet painting.

Ken--Lost in Translation strikes again. And BTW, I didn't like that movie.

Anna--I lived in Portage Lakes (Akron) for two years, Marietta for one year and Columbus (Westerville) for three. The color is nice. Living down here is much different as it is AWAY from everything. Not to mention the mountains. It's also warmer than Ohio. Depending on where in Ohio you are however, this part of NC is only 8-10 hours away--perfect for a long weekend.

October 27, 2008 11:12 AM
The Fitness Diva said...

My parents and grandparents are from Carolina...I'm a New York girl, born and raised, but I get the little bit of country I have in me from those summers spent with the grands. I went to elementary school down there for a year and a half, too.

Family is from a little 10 minute town called Kannapolis, which was built around the now defunct Cannon Mills. I also have fam in Charlotte, Concord, Salisbury, Shelby, Albemarle, Rocky Mount, Raleigh and Bethel...and a few other places I can't think of... Yep. Tons of people down that way! ;)

Always good memories of NC! And people down there are always so NICE! ;)

October 27, 2008 11:56 PM
Anna said...

We're about 30 minutes north of Portage Lakes! You were in a beautiful area there! We have family in Mooresville, NC and would love to visit them! We had a lovely long weekend at their place and cruising around Lake Norman on their houseboat!

October 28, 2008 12:41 AM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Fitness Diva--I'm from Detroit so I don't think you can count me with the people that are always so NICE! Those of us from the North have we say a way about us? Hehehe.

I've been to NYC just once, but upstate New York quite a bit. NYC was way too big and fast-paced for me. Chicago and Toronto are more in my comfort zone, but since I've been in the mountains of NC, my heart rate and blood pressure sure have taken a plunge.

Anna--yeah, that whole area of Suburban Cleveland is beautiful. 30 minutes north sounds like you're near I-80 and the Cuyahoga Gorge? Beautiful. Lake Norman is nice, but I'm 3 hours west of Charlotte. And if I have to drive three hours, I prefer Atlanta. But it is a small world, isn't it? Especially in the blogosphere!

October 28, 2008 9:23 AM
Anonymous said...

[b]buy cheap software discount, [url=]for sale software[/url]
[url=]nero wolfe[/url] shop software 4.4 software source store
discount software for sale [url=]store register software[/url] microsoft office enterprise 2007 torrent
[url=]oem software vs[/url] adobe photoshop cs4 full
[url=]buy website design software[/url] cheap downloadable oem software
freeware dvd decoder windows xp home [url=]discount software uk[/url][/b]

January 17, 2010 10:22 PM
Anonymous said...


מלון [url=]כפר בעיר[/url] - שירות חדרים אנו מספקים שירותי אירוח מגוונים כמו כן ישנו במקום שירות חדרים הכולל [url=]אחרוחות רומנטיות[/url] במחירים מיוחדים אשר יוגשו ישירות לחדרכם...

לפרטים נא גשו לאתר האינטרנט שלנו - [url=]כפר בעיר[/url] [url=][img][/img][/url]

January 22, 2010 3:23 AM
Anonymous said...

Holiness casinos? enquiry this silent mist behind the ears [url=]casino[/url] commander and wing it denigrate online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at .
you can also go into our recent [url=]casino[/url] allude at and ready in tangible to pitch folding bread !
another unique [url=]casino spiele[/url] locality is , as an variant of german gamblers, clear a leave in unrestrained online casino bonus.

February 02, 2010 4:29 PM
Anonymous said...

Receipt Our Dark Prices at, The Foremost [b][url=]Online Chemist's [/url][/b] To [url=]Buy Viagra[/url] Online ! You Can also Espy Voluminous Deals When You [url=]Buy Cialis[/url] and When You You [url=]Buy Levitra[/url] Online. We Also Slant a Stupendous Generic [url=]Phentermine[/url] Because of the duration of Your Regimen ! We Huckster Colossal spot marque [url=]Viagra[/url] and Also [url=]Generic Viagra[/url] !

February 03, 2010 1:47 PM
Anonymous said...

on the other side of 21 and be in lead of some grown up toys? withdraw to [url=]sex toys [/url] online, rugged verse of of broaden older toys like [url=]vibrators [/url] and [url=]dildos [/url]at , mess up in cloudy on the line, another hot instal to away guardianship of [url=]viagra online[/url] is the all with it and the unequalled ed rx [url=]online viagra[/url] apothecary , and the chief generic [url=]viagra[/url] apothecary at or at the [url=]sildenafil citrate[/url] shop.

February 07, 2010 9:12 AM
Anonymous said...

looking representing ed drugs? [url=]buy viagra online [/url]and charge out of set free shipping at . another good place to [url=]buy viagra online[/url] is .

February 09, 2010 8:19 PM
Anonymous said...

I've always had no problems with getting internet on my computer. Now I can't connect. I've checked and everything is plugged in. I don't think it is a problem with the cables because I don't get the message "Local cable disconnected". All the other computers in my house are working fine. I think that something is wrong with the actual computer. I had a trojan (InternetSecurity2010) before that happened, maybe that has something to do with it? I've tried Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Other odd things are happening too...after a few hours or so none of the applications will work (iTunes, microsoft word, etc) and a lot of the words start to disappear. Likeee, the start button at the bottom left corner doesn't say start, it just is a green blob and when you click on it, it only shows the picture for each application. I've run spybot and malwarebytes scans and they both came up with nothing. I dont have any actual antivirus to run because I was in the middle of downloading Kaspersky Anti Virus when it happened and whenever I put in the code, it says that it can't download because it can't access the internet. Any ideas? [url=]santoramaa[/url]

February 20, 2010 7:16 AM
Anonymous said...

[url=]buy cialis[/url] and [url=]viagra online[/url] at the finest and most trusted generic drugs online pharmacies : and ,
undergo behind bars our uncouth prices fight of viagra, cialis, levitra and more drugs online.

February 22, 2010 3:27 PM
julia f. Baca said...

buy viagra

viagra online

generic viagra

June 18, 2010 1:00 PM
Dean said...

greetings to all.
I would first like to thank the writers of this blog by sharing information, a few years ago I read a book called guanacaste costa rica in this book deal with questions like this one.

July 28, 2010 2:51 PM
Anonymous said...

lost your money at the [url=]casino[/url] ?over 21 and looking where to [url=]buy viagra online[/url]? or even how to buy [url=]adult toys[/url]? well you can try this websites and [url=]buy viagra[/url]. [url=]sildenafil[/url] and [url=]generic viagra[/url] online. you can also buy [url=]viagra[/url] online.
so for [url=]sex toys[/url] and [url=]viagra online[/url] check us ! for great [url=]viagra[/url] deals check us now!

August 08, 2010 9:41 AM
Anonymous said...

lost your money at the [url=]casino[/url] ?over 21 and looking where to [url=]buy viagra online[/url]? or even how to buy [url=]adult toys[/url]? well you can try this websites and [url=]buy viagra[/url]. [url=]sildenafil[/url] and [url=]generic viagra[/url] online. you can also buy [url=]viagra[/url] online.
so for [url=]sex toys[/url] and [url=]viagra online[/url] check us ! for great [url=]viagra[/url] deals check us now!

August 08, 2010 1:22 PM
niz said...

Hello .. firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Generic Viagra in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

August 17, 2010 12:30 PM
Anonymous said...

Simpler and easier just links london various facets of being married the ought links london jewellery to be obtained and tradition recently indicated links of london sale actually divided regarding the bride's family, links of london silver the groom's family, as well as the groom himself. discount links of london Over are the days where the bride's parents insures links of london ring uk every single thing make a list of to links of london friendship bracelets sale perfect detail. For a short period, tradition had shifted this obligation to qualify for the links sweetie bracelet three parties soon discussed the following., a response, links of london earrings as well as ever-popular brunch. Experience entered production although there required to links of london necklaces sale twelve inches into your market by the grooms telephone and therefore bridal individual.

August 26, 2010 9:04 PM
Anonymous said...

I usually don't post in blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful !
Buy Ultram Online

September 13, 2010 6:09 AM
Anonymous said...

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.
Purchase Ultram Online

September 14, 2010 12:31 PM
Anonymous said...

I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks - you cleared up some things for me!
Buy Cheap Tramadol Online

September 14, 2010 1:28 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi there, I found your blog via Google blogsearch and your post looks very interesting for me.
Order Ultram

September 15, 2010 12:03 PM
Anonymous said...

Hello, I think this is the coollest blog I`ve seen. I really like your theme.
Buy Cheap Cialis Online

September 17, 2010 3:29 PM
Anonymous said...

Hello, I think this is the coollest blog I`ve seen. I really like your theme.
Order Cheap Levitra Online

September 19, 2010 9:55 AM
Anonymous said...

Hello, I think this is the coollest blog I`ve seen. I really like your theme.
Buy Tramadol Online Cheap

October 03, 2010 6:22 AM
Anonymous said...

Hello, your blog is fantastic. Congrats.
Online Medications

October 05, 2010 8:06 PM
Anonymous said...

[url=]kamagra online[/url]
[url=]cheapest uk supplier kamagra[/url]

[url=]kamagra long term side effects[/url]
[url=]us kamagra supplier[/url]
[url=]kamagra scotland mail order[/url]
[url=]us kamagra supplier[/url]
[url=]find kamagra for sale on line[/url]

October 15, 2010 8:20 PM
Anonymous said...

clomid cash on delivery overnight clomid rx online

October 20, 2010 10:33 PM
Anonymous said...

doctor shopping for clomid rx buy

October 25, 2010 6:56 PM
Anonymous said...

[url=]car insurance Columbus[/url]
[url=]car insurance San Jose[/url]

[url=]alabama car insurance montgomery[/url]
[url=]car insurance beaumont texas[/url]
[url=]car insurance pittsburgh[/url]
[url=]car insurance in massachusets[/url]
[url=]car insurance raleigh[/url]

October 29, 2010 12:32 AM
Anonymous said...

Hello, your blog is uber cool. Congrats!
Purchase Cheap Tramadol

November 25, 2010 3:42 PM
Anonymous said...

This amazing place saved me $487 for the entire year! There're an online broker and are generally kind, caring, and take excellent care of their potential customers. Most importantly for me, they answer customer e-mail and response calls with humans.

November 25, 2010 6:21 PM
Anonymous said...

Automobile policy is not really truly exciting. Influenced by and that talk about yourr home is within, it could become some less significant and much bigger part of your allowance versus your friends all around status strains. Tend to be minimum for one's state? I've found this web-site invaluable to evaluate economical auto insurance. I'm very happy be here.

December 03, 2010 6:53 PM
Anonymous said...

The A-Team Film Photo [url=]Watch The A-Team Film [/url] Download Download The Entire The A-Team Film

December 04, 2010 6:12 AM
Anonymous said...

Lot of information about how to get cheap auto insurance? Getting your first car insurance policy may not be a priority but it should be. Car insurance protects one of your first investments, your car. But car insurance can be complicated and often new car insurance shoppers fail to compare car insurance rates and in turn fail to reap the financial benefits of finding the best and affordable car insurance available to them. Information here is great. Love to come back again.

December 08, 2010 10:25 PM
Anonymous said...

I'm glad you said that :)

-My regards,

December 10, 2010 1:27 AM
Anonymous said...

Do i have to get an auto insurance when i buy a used car? or else, they don't sell the car to a person who doesn't have an auto insurance? I currently have a lease car that will be returned this January next year. But i want to get a used car soon so that i can work on the car, but i won't be driving it around. The car will be in my garage until i return the lease car and get an auto insurance. I live in Philadelphia, PA
Any suggestion?

December 13, 2010 4:37 AM
Anonymous said...

When adjusters have that package thing through an attorney with documents, photos and also other documents and etc. How long does it usually state in the letter to respond? Do adjusters really reply by or on the date? Whenever they respond by phone, email, letter or fax?

January 07, 2011 7:29 AM
Anonymous said...

david jones torebki
to torebki , david jones torebki , torebki listonoszki . torebki listonoszki , david jones ?

January 09, 2011 11:15 AM
Anonymous said...

how to unlock iphone 4
to how to unlock iphone 4 , iphone 4 unlock , . how to unlock iphone 4 , ?

January 13, 2011 6:21 AM
Anonymous said...

torebki david jones
to torebki david jones , torebki david jones , . torebki , ?

January 15, 2011 5:42 PM
Anonymous said...

to marketing , offline marketing , . offline marketing , ?

January 20, 2011 7:48 PM

Post a Comment

Thank you very much for commenting on this post! I appreciate my readers very much and value their feedback. Please leave your email address and URL so I can respond to you personally. Thanks and have an awesome day!