Welcome to the Blue Wall Weekly, your source for what's going on outside along the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Feel free to share your own photos, videos, and adventures along the Blue Wall, and we'll do our best to make you (locally) famous!
A total solar eclipse may have darkened Jocassee Valley when the Cherokee people lived here. One imagines a legendary story would have come from such a cosmic event… maybe a story about a giant frog eating the sun! On August 21, 2017, we plan to witness the eclipse from a vantage point along the edge of Lake Jocassee, toasting daytime darkness with appropriate bubbly libations at the proper time. Moon shadow could well be usurped by cloud shadow… this is the Jocassee Gorges, after all. We hope not. We want to see the shadow sweep across mountain and lake at 1500 miles an hour. We want to see Bailey’s Beads and the diamond ring. We want to see the corona with our own eyes, and decide whether it really is the best part. And what a lovely little bit of synchronicity this is: our long-anticipated total solar eclipse will achieve complete darkness at 2:38 PM, and will last for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. At least that’s the way I’m reading it. If I’m wrong by more than a few nanoseconds, don’t tell me. ~K
THIS sky for eclipse time, please
WITH JOCASSEE LAKE TOURS
FIRST SUNDAY EXPEDITION WITH PATRICK MCMILLAN - JOCASSEE, CRUCIBLE OF LIFE
Two historic buildings are located on the grounds of Oconee Station State Historic Site. The oldest is a stone blockhouse that was built in 1792. The brick house at Oconee Station was built in 1805 and served as the residence of a merchant who ran a trading post on the site.
It's Friday night and it's time to dance! Grab your partner and two-step to Oconee State Park's barn for a night of fun, music and square dancing. No experience necessary to have a grand ole time. Bluegrass music is performed by the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, led by Georgia Music Hall of Famer Curtis Blackwell.
Join us at the lawns of the Visitor Center on the shores of Lake Oolenoy to view the solar eclipse. We will have a program at 1:00 PM explaining how and why a solar eclipse occurs, and an arts and crafts table set up on the Visitor Center patio.
Experience the total solar eclipse at Oconee State Park. There will be an observation area with viewing equipment available as well as activities for all ages. Bring your own solar eclipse glasses or purchase them the day of the event while supplies last.
Gorges State Park was one of 25 locations chosen by the Morehead Planetarium in Cary, NC and the NC Space Consortium, with help from NC Friends of State Parks, for a Carolina's Eclipse Party. A group of Gorges State Park workers and volunteers have been trained to lead, conduct eclipse-based activities and answer questions to entertain the visitors during the event.
We will follow the beautiful and scenic Chattooga River near its eastern headwaters by Cashiers starting at the old Iron Bridge on Bull Pen Road. This is an out and back hike through a temperate rainforest in the Blue Ridge mountains.
Hike begins at the Frozen Creek entrance to Gorges SP, and follows the old Canebrake Road to Lake Jocassee. We will lunch at the Toxaway River Bridge on the Foothills Trail and enjoy the view and wading in the river.
This hike starts with a pleasant ramble of 2.5 miles to Yellow Branch Falls, a 50 foot cascade in a typical mixed hardwood forest. Then we’ll drive across the street to Stumphouse Tunnel parking area near Issaqueena Falls. It is an old railroad bed with no trestles which crosses a few ravines.
The World of Energy is directly in the path of the total solar eclipse, scheduled to arrive the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2017. Enjoy all the events leading up to the eclipse. All events are free to the public – no reservations required.
We will have the Chuck Truck here serving up some amazing lunch options! We will have live music provided by the West End String Band, self-guided nature walks, guided bird viewing, and critters from the Wildlife Rehab of Greenville!
This introductory botany course provides a foundation of knowledge and a working vocabulary for all other courses in the South Carolina Certificate of Native Plants. Through classroom lectures and fun hands-on activities explore the basics of plants — their classification, structure, functions, lifecycles, and reproductive strategies.
ECLIPSE DAY! After months of planning, months of worrying about the weather, months of excitement for our once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a total eclipse of the sun, the day is upon us. The news outlets are warning of world class traffic jams and near madness in urban areas, and we are expecting a full and closed Devils Fork State Park by early Monday morning. Actually, that’s fine with me. Devil Fork’s limited parking serves as a fine limited entry system for this vast wilderness lake and the mountain region we love and are dedicated to protecting. There will no better place to watch the coming cosmic event than on Lake Jocassee, but wherever you are, I hope you take the time to embrace the moment, the moment in which we should all feel our small place in the vastness of our miraculous universe.
Highway 11 eclipse traffic jam.
"After a spectacular summer storm that replentished this temperate rain forest, a prefect end of the day in one of The Last Great Places on Earth, Jocassee Gorges."
Photo by Ric Barnett
DID YOU KNOW?
The Cherokees used the same word for both sun and moon: “nunda” that dwells in the night and “nunda” that swells in the day, according to storyteller Kathi Littlejohn.
ABOUT THE BLUE WALL
Spanning three states (North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) and encompassing 859,000 acres, the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment, known as the 'Blue Wall' by Native Americans, contains some of the highest natural diversity of rare plants and animals found anywhere in the world.