The American chestnut ruled our forests for centuries, but a killer blight made up of microscopic spores needed only 50 years to wipe the giant from the face of North America. But we still have buildings made from it, and we still have people pulling for it. An organization based in Asheville wants to bring it back from memory and make the chestnut stand tall again.
Rivers tell our story, from the earth's early rotations when rains started wearing down our mountains and carving paths to the oceans, to contemporary North Carolina, where rivers nutured native settlements and sprouted towns. And they still beckon us, sending us downstream in a rush or ushering us along tranquil passages.