Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. The falls plunge an amazing 411 feet! Because of the escarpment's difficult access and rugged terrain, much of the area receives few visitors and has remained wild and undeveloped over the years.

Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. The falls plunge an amazing 411 feet! Because of the escarpment's difficult access and rugged terrain, much of the area receives few visitors and has remained wild and undeveloped over the years.

Away out west in the state of North Carolina there is a magical place where the arrowhead of South Carolina points practically due west. A place where North Carolina borders with Georgia, where Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas become intimate neighbors. It is here in the land of cascading waters that breathtaking waterfalls are more common than Mcdonalds and the language of the natives can waggle your ears for understanding. Where the southern drawl has more variations than the dialects of spanish in Central America. A place where the lanes through the hills are a real roller coaster, where the echos of the engine-braking of huge truck loads of logs, gravel, and quarry rocks break through hill and dale.

Winding through little towns west of Asheville with legendary names like Brevard, Rosman, Cashiers, Toxaway, Highlands, Scaly Mountain, and Hiawassee, in what is essentially the dogleg area of US Route 64, are twenty-one plus named and mapped; incredible roaring, eye-filling waterfalls. There are more that don’t qualify as special by NC State standards but would be astounding in a place like Virginia Beach, VA.

Proximity of Nantahala National Forest, western North Carolina

Proximity of Nantahala National Forest, western North Carolina

It is here that I have spent the last seven days peering at roadside gushers, hiking up and in, or down and out from what has to be a world record holding array of cascading waters. It was worth every heavy breath and rubbery knees attack.

It is here that I fell in love with my Canon T1i SLR Camera and its ability to photograph in HD video. Not that I don’t have enough to do as a writer, or photographer, or editor of still images; now I am a videographer!

The Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smokies and Nantahala National Forest encompass hundreds of square miles of wild and beautiful mountain country not unlike New England. You know, that place up north famous because it is one of the few places in the world where you can need a furnace and an air conditioner often in the same da

I am now camping at the Lazy J Campground in Ronson NC. A lovely homey spot with free running chickens, ponies, farm implements, campsites and a bathhouse. The bathhouse is one of those lean-two type buildings where everything above the eight foot-high exterior building wall; below the high-front and low-back roof line, is just screened in. Comfortably appointed with the exception of a heater. Taking a shower in this almost outdoor open environment on a cold morning can make important parts as much as disappear. And make your buttocks shiver too!

Out on the trail to Upper Whitewater Falls in the very late afternoon yesterday, I met four 30ish backpackers who were off their trail. “Are we in North or South Carolina?” they asked.

“North Carolina,” I replied, “9.3 miles south of Cashiers NC.” They all looked dazed.
“Could I give you guys a lift to Cashiers?” I still was getting the deer-in-headlights look.

“OK,” I said. I am walking down to the falls and make some pictures. When I finish I’ll check on you.”

Backpacking Hikers: Jonathan Burkee, single, 27; Trina Westmoreland, single, 21; Jeff Micchelli, single, 30; Kevin Jameson single, 30; Moon Dog and Althea (not talking). Courageous young folks on a journey in the Nantahala National Forest without a map. Nice kids. Trina met up, safe and sound, with her friend in Brevard.

Backpacking Hikers: Jonathan Burkee, single, 27; Trina Westmoreland, single, 21; Jeff Micchelli, single, 30; Kevin Jameson single, 30; Moon Dog and Althea (not talking). Courageous young folks on a journey in the Nantahala National Forest without a map. Nice kids. Trina met up, safe and sound, with her friend in Brevard.

Later they were all out standing on the Route 281. I stopped and asked again. The girl replied,  “Yes. I’ll take a lift.”

I offered the young men a peek at my state map and they arrived at the conclusion that they were five miles or more off their trail and would quick march to their planned campsite before dark.

Trina was happy to escape that quick-march, 4shewa!

Behind the scenes at Bridal-Veil Falls

Behind the scenes at Bridal-Veil Falls

To all of my readers:  I apologize for the week-long lack of posting. I have been pretty much out of range for internet or cell service most of the last six days. But WHAT pictures I have to bring you! What movies you will soon behold! Hang tight this is an adventure you know and I promise you will enjoy it.

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Magical Cascading Waters of Western North Carolina, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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