Feb
21
DISCOVERIES  Roll time back 233 years
Discoveries
 
Roll time back 233 years. Imagine Jocassee as it looked when a French botanist followed two Cherokee guides up an arm of the Savannah River. Then, as now, purple Gorges rhododendron would have been in bloom. Pale pink flowers of Rosebay rhododendron would just be pushing out of robust buds.  Mountain laurel blooms would linger in places where the sun didn’t shine. What a sight that must have been to one coming from France on a royal mission! And busy he would be, with new plants to press and catalog. Here a new shrub, there a new violet, heart-shaped leaves big as a hand vining through rough bark of old trees, countless variations of fern, fresh, cool, calming green everywhere. Around every other bend of hill, another creek--banks blanketed in an unknown groundcover with shiny, crinkled leaves--tumbled through steep ravine to where mountain flattened to valley, where the river Jocasa surged through wide shoals. His footprints of those days gone by are now under several hundred feet of lake, but the spirit of discovery is still very much there for those who seek. ~K

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We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676

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