Day Five - Waterfalls Galore (175 miles)
We started the day by stopping at the local hardware store to get some nuts and bolts to fix Steve's peg.  This was easily accomplished and we were on our way.  We traveled US 74 east to the town of Sylva where we picked up NC 107 south.  NC 107 was a nice road and follows the Tuckasegee River (KMZ) once past the campus of Western Carolina University.  The road elevation is about 2600 feet in this area and we dropped down into the town of Tuckasegee.  There we decided to alter the trip and head down NC 281.  This road was good but could have been better had the road surface been better.  The road became very twisty as it wound down to Wolf Creek Reservoir.  Just south of Wolf Creek Reservoir is the Tanasee Creek Reservoir where we stopped and debated whether we wanted to continue on the gravel road (KMZ).  How could a state highway turn to gravel?  We decided to proceed on the gravel.  After about 5 miles we came upon Fisher Road (KMZ).  It was paved and the map showed it going back to NC 281 further south around the north of Lake Toxaway.  We proceeded on Fisher Road and it indeed took us to NC 281 all the while on pavement.  We decided not to stop at Toxaway Falls and continued west on US 64 toward Cashiers.  In Cashiers we spotted a Subway and decided it was time for lunch.  We went south on NC 107 and planned a stop at Silver Run Falls for lunch.  We first passed the small turnoff for the falls along the east side of the road.  After turning around several times we determined the small pull-off must be the spot (KMZ).  We hiked the short distance to the falls and sat and ate lunch.  After the few people who had gathered left we jumped in for a quick swim.  The water was cold but it felt good.  We dried off and continued south on NC 107.  We had mapped our trip routing us west on Bull Pen Rd which turned into Horse Cove Rd.  When we came upon Bull Pen Rd. it was marked dead end and it was gravel.  We didn't bite on this one we passed it up and continued down into SC and hooked up with NC 28 for a run back north into NC.  This ultimately turned out to be a great detour.  NC 28 into Highlands NC was a wonderful road.  We turned right onto SC 28 and headed into the Sumter National Forest.  This road follows the Chattooga River once in the forest.  Also there is the Russell Farmstead.  The Russell Farmstead was built after the Civil War, serving as a farm for the Russells and as a stopover for the travelers between Walhalla, SC and Highlands, NC.  A train used to take vacationers escaping from the coastal heat as far as Walhalla where they would have to ride horseback for two days to get to Highlands, NC.  Mr. Russell built his B&B at the halfway point right where people would need it.  The B&B could accommodate as many as 80 people per night.  The main house burned down in the late 80's but there are still some neat old buildings.  Just past the Farmstead we crossed the Chattooga River and into Georgia.  This part of GA 28 knifes through just eight miles of the very northeast corner of GA.  There is little traffic on this road; most has been diverted to the less scenic but more efficient US 441.  The best part of the ride is in NC.  The traffic engineers must of had a rare case case of cooperative spirit because they kept this road going through three states.   As NC 28 climbs toward Highlands we passed the Satula Falls overlook on the left but we did not stop.  The ride from the falls into Highlands is very scenic, as the mountains on which the town was built are craggy and steep.  On our approach up the mountain we encountered a little rain so we stopped to don our rainsuits (KMZ).  We didn't have too much time to view the sights as the road is very twisty and requires a good deal of attention.  Highlands is 4118 ft above sea level and I imagine it matches the prices of the local motels and eateries.  We turned right and headed west on US 64/NC 28.  The rain stopped by the time we reached Highlands but we rode the 2 miles to Bridal Veil Falls (KMZ) before removing them.  We stopped to view the falls on the side of the road.  The old road still remains and goes underneath the falls.  Further down the road is Dry Falls but this is more crowded and we decided not to stop.  Another six miles down the road we entered the Cullasaja Gorge area.  The Cullasaja Falls is also in the area.  The road follows the Cullasaja River which means "great twisties" and is a good motorcycle road.  Along the river in the gorge area we spotted a swimming hole (KMZ) where we stopped for a swim.  The swimming area featured some cliffs to jump from and a rock slide.  After our swim we proceeded into Franklin where we said good bye to US 64 and stayed on NC 28.  Now we were following the Little Tennessee River.  The road here is flat and fairly open but still had some nice curves.  We stopped at the Carnes Road bridge for a break (KMZ).  Before we knew it we were back in Bryson City.  For dinner we stopped at a nice southern barbeque restaurant.  After we ate we decided to do some exploring around the city.  I had read about the Road To Nowhere (KMZ) and we quickly found this and rode to its end.  In the midst of World War II, while many Swain and Graham County NC men were fighting for their country, the US Government and the Tennessee Valley Authority decided to build a hydroelectric power dam which would flood 11,000 acres of North Carolina land. The TVA bought or took 67,800 acres of land from Graham and Swain Counties leaving 1,300 families homeless, some of which were widows with children, some who were elderly and many of which had never lived anywhere else. These people received no relocation assistance from the TVA or the government and the ones who refused to sell, had their land condemned and taken.