Lens-Artists Challenge #172: A Day at Bald River Falls

Peaceful stream near Bald River Falls, TN

It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.

Diana Gabaldon

The last week of October 2021 offered us a day that we should have spent years ago and then again and again each recurring year: a day at Bald River Falls off the Cherohala Skyway about an hour from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee. When Amy posted the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week — A Day in My Week — we knew we had to share the beauty that was almost all ours for a day.

The Cherohala Skyway is similar to other major parkways in this area (Blue Ridge Parkway, Foothills Parkway, etc.) but with one exception: a turn-off road about six miles from the start will take you down a road following a river bed, going past boulders and mature trees onto a breathtaking discovery — Bald River Falls.

On this day last week, threatening, dark clouds hung overhead and drizzly rain had us turning on the windshield wipers. But it was actually a great day for travel: most people don’t want to picnic on a gray, dreary day, so we had the drive to ourselves. And a great day for scenery: brilliant yellow leaves contrasting nicely against the dark sky with each turn yielding new beauty.

Yellow trees on road to Bald River Falls, TN

Just as we became accustomed to colored leaves, we we’d find new marvels . . . like boulders covered in moss, firmly planted in rushing streams . . .

or tall black tree trunks contrasting nicely with brilliant yellows, oranges, reds, and greens.

At one stop, a small pile of balance rocks caught our attention.

Rock formation near Bald River Falls, Tennessee

Autumn leaves shower like gold, like rainbows, as the winds of change begin to blow.

Dan Millman

Sections of the drive offered new picture-perfect revelations. From multi-colored leaves . . .

Autumn leaves near Cherohala Skyway, TN

to rock-filled streams rushing beneath colored glory.

Rocky stream near Bald River Falls, Tennessee

But even though we knew what was around one of the bends — the waterfall itself — it still took our breath away. Bald River Falls just appeared on the landscape, without fanfare or signage. Impressive in its simplicity and majesty.

Bald River Falls near Cherohala Skyway, Tennessee
Bald River Falls, off the Cherohala Skyway in Tennessee

Autumn color, natural formations, and the sound of rushing waters — day like no other.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.

Lauren Destefano

If you’d like to see more entries in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, head to Amy’s post. Although we all may label our days as ordinary — or not — one thing’s for sure: There’s something special about each 24-hour period, something we never need to take for granted.

Travel colorfully,

Rusha & Bert

52 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #172: A Day at Bald River Falls

  1. Tina Schell

    An amazing day Rusha – the parkway is such an incredible place and its beauty changes with each season. Spring is gorgeous with newly blossoming flowers, the winter snows are gorgeous when they settle in, but autumn is IMHO simply stunning as you’ve so beautifully shown. It must have been quite a rainy summer/early fall for the water to be so plentiful in the falls!

  2. Amy

    I see autumn leaves shower like gold, like rainbows,… through your beautiful photo captures. I especially love the images of the waterfalls surrounding by these fall trees. What a lovely day, Rusha. Thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

      1. Oh, the Places We See

        We don’t have this much color in Knoxville. I think that’s why we were aghast as we drove through this section. It won’t be our last tour of the area. Well, at least I hope it won’t. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Toonsarah

    Wow, that waterfall is gorgeous! But actually, so are all the other scenes, with those beautiful colours 🙂 What a great day out this must have been, and proof that we don’t need good weather to have a good time or to find good photo opportunities!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Our area is gorgeous, but the length of time we have pretty leaves doesn’t seem to be very long. They might last longer in cooler climes like in New England. We just happened to hit it right this time. The day was glorious!

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