When botanist Andre Michaux and his teenage son walked north through Keowee Valley in 1787, following an old Cherokee footpath on the west side of the Keowee River, they would have crossed McKinney Creek. McKinney is the last creek before what is now the towering, rock clad Jocassee Dam, but in 1787 it was just one of many creeks to cross along a narrow river trail. They would have crossed the creek late in the day, having walked that day from last night’s camping spot on the Seneca River. Did they spend that June night with the sound of creek water bouncing through rocks and katydids strumming that raucous chorus in overhanging trees? Did they fail to notice shiny leaves of Oconee Bell dangling from the bank above the creek, or was the groundcover obscured in that spot by long, arching stems of doghobble? They were hungry that night -- no meat was cooking -- and disillusioned. No new plant species had lately been discovered, despite promises and much anticipation. Oh, but sleep well, fellows. Tomorrow will be a most exciting day!