Photo of the Week – Cullasaja Color

Cullasaja Color

My excitement is barely containable as my camping and hiking trip is nigh.  I am scouring the internet for maps, directions and new recipes for trail mix and campfire dinners.  In the background I am wrapping up work projects and making sure I have my daycare payments current. Oh yeah, and I am planning a 10th anniversary surprise for Rebecca, so there’s that too.  My mind is a beehive at the moment.

With this excitement, I have a slightly different plan for this week’s photo.  I am sending it a little late (with my sincere apologies), and having it serve as the photo for this week AND next week (I’m hoping to be out of Wi-Fi range in the next few days).  To make this work I have selected my favorite photograph, one that deserves to have 2 weeks of spotlight.

“Cullasaja Color” holds a special place in my heart.  Like “Autumn at Whitewater Falls” it results from the perfect storm of summer weather and good luck.  The water is flowing beautifully and the fall colors are spectacular.  This image has everything I love about being outside. What sets it apart for me, though, is balance.  Like a beautiful piece of music each instrument plays a strong role without overpowering the others.  The Cullasaja River roars around the bends and charges downstream with a thundering fall in the foreground.  The river is supported and shaped by a strong boulder-lined channel.  And the forest plays sweet highlights with quivering leaves in blazing fall color.  The image is composed so that each element has a place to dazzle without getting in the way of something else.  I can’t stop looking at this image and wanting to go back there immediately.

Visiting Cullasaja Falls is a must for anyone reading this (and anyone you wish to share it with).  It is a gorgeous drive through the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina, and the waterfall is visible from the road.  It is the rare occasion where the quality of the waterfall does NOT correlate with the effort of the hike to reach it.  To get there, start in Brevard (about 30 minutes south of Asheville) and get on Highway 64 West.  That’s it!

Well, not quite.  Although the NCDOT considers this road a highway, it travels more like a single track.  The topography of the area is quite dramatic, so the road is forced through a series of hills and switchbacks as it threads through the mountains.  The speed limit rarely climbs above 35.  But that’s OK because the scenery is incredible and there are some nice rest stops in Cashiers and Highlands along the way.  There are other waterfalls to visit as well, such as Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls.  Whitewater Falls is also fairly close by.  Take a few days and bask in the waterfall glory!

With that I invite you to enjoy the photograph and dream of your next hiking trip.  Get out as soon as you can – the weather is perfect!  I’ll meet you back here in a couple of weeks!

Do you like what you see?  Great! Please let me know!  Share this with your friends and stay tuned next week for another photograph & story.  In the meantime, please visit my website to buy Cullasaja Color at a 25% discount!!  No coupon code is required – discount is applied automatically until October 30th!

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