Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nantahala Aqueduct

 (edited May 4, 2012)
I have not shared much from my body of digital art online for several reasons, but the ‘Just 3 Years’ thought frame has really challenged the validity of those reasons.It also launched a wave of deep thought, that just today has clarified something for me. My digital art is it's own journey. I use the camera to explore my world. I bring to it my own perspective, and in post processing, I reveal even more of what I was sensing in the field. I'm usually not happy with it until I'm surprised.

Today’s entry is a piece of the Duke Power plant's aqueduct photographed on a recent trip to the Nantahala gorge area. I rarely do landscapes or architecture, but this hunk of pipe was just so beautiful, I couldn't resist.

If you’re not a local, Nantahala means ‘land of the noon day sun.’ The gorge itself, for which the national forest is named, is a rather limited area of steep and closely set mountains in western North Carolina. It gathers the area waters into the Nantahala river which is collected in the man-made Nantahala Lake. The Duke Power company siphons off lake water through a giant aqueduct running along Old River Road, which appears to be the original Nantahala river, (now a quiet creek along a sandy road). I recently came across a mention that this pipeline may not be in use any more. A much larger creek spills out of the bottom of the lake. Locals call this Dick's Creek as nearly as I can gather. The two merge again later while still in the gorge. (You can see a snapshot of what I think is called Dicks Creek Falls on my nature blog.) The water from the aqueduct pours (or poured? might not be in use now) through the turbines at the bottom of the gorge where it joins the smaller creeks and creates a great river famous for exciting rafting.

The exact name of this aqueduct pipe is unknown to me. Given it's location, Nantahala seems to fit best, but there is a nearby wide spot in the road called Aquone that gets credit for an aqueduct, apparently bored through the mountains with a waterfall inside of the more I research the more confusing it gets.

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