The Santee Delta is a mysterious place, with secrets hidden by neglect and time.
It’s difficult to love sometimes, especially when deer flies hit your skin like hailstones.
And it’s difficult to see, even, because the delta is so flat and wild that forests hide vistas behind curtains of brown and green.
Yet once you get a little altitude, with a drone or from guides who know its past, this place opens like a grand old book.
Then its pages tell of inventions that changed the course of history, of rice called Carolina Gold, of the blistered hands of enslaved people who built one of the world’s agricultural wonders, of the ebb and flow of money and wont.
And also stories about baseball teams and ducks. About aging alligators with names like Big Bertha and Truck Biter. About old threats and new.
Always water, whether the stories are new or old, tragedies or mysteries.
So, before we get to the stories and secrets, let’s get our bearings, let’s follow the water.