Our home in space

Guy Ottewell

Walking with the spring

I walked the length of South Carolina barefoot — rather an artificial thing to do. I had been doing a lot of vegetable gardening. The growing season began with the last frost, the average date of this was around the spring equinox, but progressed northward and upslope at about walking pace, so I planned to follow it and to talk along the way with gardeners beginning their spring planting. I was going to start from Charleston, but someone I met there had a beach house on Kiawah Island, so he took me there, and I spent the first night sleeping on the beach, and explored the jungle; the island at that time was undeveloped except for the short row of beach houses near one end. The best part of the walk was on the white-sand road to the island's gate. I visited the great gardens up the river from Charleston — Magnolia and Middleton — and the garden for the blind at Clemson. One rainy night my tube tent became a watercourse and I took refuge in a police cell. I took a devious route, but long stretches of the roads were featureless, so I spent only two weeks on about four hundred miles. The endpoint I intended was Ellicott's Rock, marking the junction of the states of South and North Carolina and Georgia. But though I clambered along the bank of the Chattooga River I never found the rock with Colonel Ellicott's inscription.
     The pendant would be a walk down through New England in the fall, following the first frost and the turning of the leaves' colors. Haven't done that yet.