One of my goals this year has been to get out and explore new places. On this particular day, we were supposed to drive a couple hours to another location with our friends, but the threat of rain kept us a little closer to home. I had never been to Sope Creek, or even heard about it before reading this, so we decided to check it out. Within the first few steps on the path, we were informed that there were copperheads out on the rocks, and I was regretting my choice of wearing sandals. While I was keeping an eye on my toes, Charlotte was commenting about how different parts of the path were light and dark. We talked about the sun and shade as we guessed which trail to take next. The trails were not well marked, and the GPS on my phone not the most accurate, but we did make it to the Paper Mill ruins just as it started pouring. We took cover under the trees and eventually in a window frame. Luckily, the rain stopped as quickly as it had started. After exploring the creek for awhile, we sat down and had a little picnic in the leftover ruins of a paper mill that had been destroyed by Union troops. So many of the south’s beautiful backdrops are settings to sad stories. Besides the Civil War reference, Sope Creek is a nod to “Old Soap,” a Cherokee who was forced to relocate. The south has an unfortunate past, and nature has this way of bringing the history to the present. Sharing spaces with the past only makes me think about how present and alive our history still remains. On the bright side, we didn’t see any copperheads.