A big thing happened for the Upcountry of South Carolina in 2013. National Geographic released a special issue on January 1, 2013 with the title: "50 of the World's Last Great Places: Destinations of a Lifetime." The Jocassee Gorges of Pickens County, South Carolina were one of three sites chosen in North America! Jocassee, Cherokee for "Place of the Lost One," was said to be one of the last mystical undisturbed areas on this planet--an area quoted as having the second highest rainfall in the continental United States (75+ inches annually), as well as one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls in the Eastern United States. I consider it a great privilege to live near the Gorges and to have had the opportunity to hike and photograph many of its wild areas. Virginia Hawkins Falls (aka Double Falls) are located beside the Foothills Hiking Trail within Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve along Laurel Fork Creek--a part of the 43,000+ acres of Jocassee Gorges. This area is known to have super high-quality water resources, as well as tremendous flora and fauna, including the Oconee Bell. I visited the falls this morning to get my shooting form sharp again before fall color descends on NC/SC in the coming weeks, as well as to get my feet wet and do something I'm passionate about!