Yesterday, we started our journey through the Great Dismal Swamp and the story of the Dismal Swamp turns out to be quite fascinating. Wally, our rally organizer (admiral?, commodore?) arranged for us to meet for a special presentation at the visitor center. The presentation was as surprising to me as the place itself.
I’ve lived through enough park presentations to know that these things are usually fairly canned. And, for the most part, each park turns out to be much like others except for its being home to some elusive salamander or turtle that you’ve never heard of and, alas, will never see. Clearly, my soul is deeply jaded by a life of sarcasm and irony. But, let’s talk about that another time and suffice it to say that I had very low expectations.
However, our presenter, Rob Peak, is an absolutely fascinating gentleman and an incredible encyclopedia of all things Dismal. I didn’t know whether to be most fascinated by what I was learning about the park or by the fact that I was witnessing incredible feats of human memory power. Rob not only seems to know everything there is to know about the history, geography and biology of this place, he can also recite long passages from ancient texts and tell a fine story of his own. As someone with the memory of a goldfish, I was deeply impressed.
So, here’s a little video sprinkled with some of the basic facts that we learned.