Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cherohola Skyway and the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Yesterday on a wonderfully crisp fall day in the East TN mountains, Jerry, my nephew, and I head out for a fall color drive through the Cherohola Skyway. It was a less crowded adventure than if we had gone to the Smokey Mountains.

As we were driving up the mountain the colors were just not "there." As we began to get higher in elevation there they were in all their splendor. I asked Jerry to describe what he was seeing and he began with, pretty leaves, nice color, sky is bright and then I asked him to put color to what he was seeing and then he said, "this looks like a sunset at high noon!" OMG, that was perfect! What a way to describe what we were seeing. The sun kissed oranges/yellows, the vibrant reds, even the greens had a nice hue to them. The higher we got the more brilliant they were. The we hit a spot that had changed and we were seeing mahogany & chocolate browns and they were just as beautiful. We pulled into many of the overlooks to capture some pictures and to just sit in awe of the beauty.

I sure have a greater appreciation for my friend Liz who drove her Class B RV on the Cherohola Skyway this summer. It has several areas of 9% grades and lots of curves. I actually think I could do it in Somewhere but if I had my choice, I probably won't but you never know.

Along the way we stopped at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Now you may not recognize Mr Kilmer by name but I bet you will remember a little 16 line poem titled "Trees." It's a poem that we had to learn while in grammar school. I think it's now called elementary school. LOL There is a 1/2 mi trail up to the Memorial and very large trees. As we were hiking I saw some red berries along the way and then there was a tree that looked like a dinosaur. One of the trees had fallen across the trail and you had to climb over it. It seemed like a good photo op for me looking like I was riding on a horse. The closest thing to a horse I'll ever get on again. The trees were huge and from what I read were larger but have been cut down for area furniture. JKMF is in North Carolina close to Robinsville where there is a very active furniture mgf plant.

Also from the JKMF about 4.5 miles is an
overlook you cannot miss. It's the Maple Springs overlook and it is such a rich and fantastic view. You can even see part of Hwy 129, a.k. Tail of the Dragon, from this vantage point.



Beckles said...

Beautiful trees and both yours and Jerry's descriptions. Looks as though you hit the colors just right as far as timing. I also well remember the poem "Trees", and had no idea the poet was so close to Tennessee. I wonder if schools still teach the same poems we studied or if they use new and modern poets! Thanks for sharing.

Margie and Roger said...

What a beautiful drive and day you just had. I know you are lovin' your time in Tennessee.