WRAL Duo Brings Beauty of North Carolina to WRAL.com Viewers

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Flat Rock View
Stones jet out from the Cragway trail at Grandfather Mountain giving the spot its name, “Flat Rock View.”

WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Bill Leslie and WRAL.com Multimedia Producer Nathan Clendenin have teamed up to bring you the beauty of the North Carolina mountains.

Last January Clendenin came back from the holidays with fresh ideas and a New Year’s resolution, “to get away from my desk as much as possible.”  He had the idea to document the natural beauty of North Carolina and turned to Leslie’s blog for some ideas.  Then the two sat down together.

“Last winter he came to me for ideas on where to go to capture some great images across the state,” said Leslie.  “I gave him a list of suggestions beginning with Pettigrew State Park in the winter with thousands of snow geese and tundra swans.  That was his first multimedia presentation.  He did a wonderful job.”

“I love the Blue Ridge mountains for the spectacular vistas, cool shade, fresh air and soothing sounds of streams.  Plus, I love the depth of the mountain people.”
– WRAL-TV’s Bill Leslie
Bill Leslie Nathan Clendenin
WRAL-TV’s Bill Leslie (left) & Nathan Clendenin have teamed up to bring the beauty of North Carolina to a computer near you.

Leslie suggested using his music as a backdrop for the photos, and a team was born.   Clendenin’s work inspired Leslie to take photos of the Linville Gorge in the spring.  Clendenin also put together that multimedia presentation.  The two then decided they turn these shows into a series, a full fledged project covering the beauty of North Carolina, and ran a contest on Leslie’s blog to come up with a name.   Leslie announced the winner on Thursday, August 2nd as “Tar Heel Treasures.”

Why begin in the mountains?

“I am married to the mountains through my family,” said Leslie.  “My father was a watercolors artist and nearly every weekend we would drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway where he would sketch and paint while the rest of us hiked and enjoyed the views.  In fact I am currently half way through a new CD project honoring my father’s art.  I am revisiting the places that inspired him and translating that into music.”

Links of Interest:

The project has grown from the beauty of the Blue Ridge, widening its scope to encompass natural beauty as well as cultural traditions and beautiful people.  That broader categorization will allow Leslie & Clendenin to do a piece on BBQ, the history of tobacco in NC, etc.  Both are open for suggestions from viewers and readers if you know a place or a festival or a tradition they shouldn’t miss.  Share your ideas with Bill Leslie or Nathan Clendenin.

“It’s a balancing act to create the time in my schedule to go out and spend a day or two shooting and recording and also editing,” said Clendenin.  “But my supervisor has been very supportive of this project and even has ideas to make a book once the project is complete.


POSTED: August 6, 2007

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