Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lodging at Sapphire Valley

This is the condo where we vacationed for a week at Sapphire Valley, North Carolina.  We had two units like the pictures show below.  We were joined for two nights by friends who lodged in the other unit and toured the mountains and waterfalls with us during the days.

The sitting area inside the condo

Kitchen and dining areas

Inside doorway to the bedroom and foyer 

View out the back window
View from the deck
Have a good week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fontana Dam and Joyce Kilmer Forest

Marker at the Fontana Dam site

During the week at Sapphire Valley, we took a day trip into Graham County to visit Fontana Dam and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

This amazing hydroelectric dam was built under the Tennessee Valley Authority in only 36 months beginning in 1942.  Construction was rushed to completion by a Victory Campaign in the United States while WWII was underway in other parts of the world.  The dam rises 480 feet tall, 2,365 feet long, and holds back water in a reservoir that extends 29 miles.  The visitor center there shows construction pictures and displays the previous facts.  One picture showed a bulldozer and its operator.  The information described the worker as a Cherokee Indian and went on to explain how several Indians were hired from the descendants of Cherokees who hid in these mountains to avoid the Trail of Tears in the early 1800's when the government attempted to move all Indians onto reservations.

We hiked two miles along trails in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and saw dozens of poplar trees as big as 7 feet in diameter.  See the pictures below and enlarge them for easier reading.

Have a good week!

The top of the dam has a road for cars and trucks to drive along.

The reservoir stretches 29 miles

480 feet tall

Click to enlarge and read about Joyce Kilmer


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of Robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

by Joyce Kilmer

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Dry Falls along Highway 64 near Highlands, NC

Falling sheets of water are mesmerizing when I stare into this substance in nature.  The same happens when I stand in water's edge of a beach as ocean waves move ashore again, again, and again without end.  These sights and feelings remind me of God's power and His magnificent creation.  I'm also reminded that He gave me the gift of my life.

We visited six or seven waterfalls in the Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway areas of North Carolina when we vacationed for a week at Sapphire Valley.  Four falls are pictured here.

Have a good week!      
Whitewater Falls near the NC/SC line
Silver Run Falls
Bear Wallow Falls

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Whiteside Mountain

Highway 64 extends 2,326 miles through five states. One end of this historic highway is in Manteo, North Carolina and the other end is deep into New Mexico. We merged onto this road in Brevard, North Carolina and motored west 30 miles along the curvy, smooth, and wide-laned highway to Sapphire, North Carolina where we lodged for a week in a Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Sapphire Valley.  I'll show pictures of the resort property where we stayed in a later blog update.

Throughout the week we drove back and forth along Highway 64 through Cashiers, Highlands, and Lake Toxaway to visit national and state parks to hike trails and climb mountains.  The most breathtaking climb and scenic views were those on Whiteside Mountain.  The 900' vertical drop can be seen in the pictures below. Of course, we climbed a trail from the back side of the mountain to reach the path along the top edge of the cliff.  Click on the pictures for better viewing.

Have a good week!

The top of Whiteside Mountain

Mountains in the distance are in SC or GA
Whiteside Mountain 
A closer look at Whiteside Mountain
From the top of Whiteside Mountain
A look into SC or GA