I relish the opportunity to explore a region, and while The Great Dismal Swamp isn't far from me, I'd only visited a couple times. So when The Wilderness Society contacted me about their project on the refuge, I jumped at the opportunity.
The Great Dismal Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge straddling the boarder of Virginia and North Carolina. It's home to many species, known mostly for birds, but also bears. I didn't know this until I came across one - imagine my surprise to find a bear in coastal Virginia. No, I didn't get the photo.
Thankfully, the refuge also sees humans from time to time.
The immediately obvious fact that strikes you while exploring is how desolate the area is.
The history of the area, however, isn't immediately obvious. The Wilderness Society's mission is to tell that story. Slaves looking for freedom lived in hiding within the swamp for centuries before the Civil War. That's not a typo. CENTURIES. Tracking down the stories of people who made a life out of not being found is quite difficult.