The next day, we went over several Tracts of rich Land, but mix'd with Pines and other indifferent Soil. In our way, there stood a great Stone about the Size of a large Oven, and hollow; this the Indians took great Notice of, putting some Tobacco into the Concavity, and spitting after it. I ask'd them the reason of their so doing, but they made me no Answer. In the Evening, we pass'd over a pleasant Rivulet, with a fine gravelly Bottom, having come over such another that Morning.
There are dozens of hollows in the rocks like the one Lawson described, and we have no more sense of why the Indians spit in them or put tobacco in them than ever, though it's nice to think people will be able to visit them more easily now that they've been enclosed in an actual park. We'll politely correct one of Neff's sources, though. He said Lawson (who came to the area in 1700 and hung around, mostly, as we know, until he was killed by Tuscarora in 1711) described having a picnic with the Occaneechi on Hanging Rock, a formation in the park.
Nuh-unh. Lawson described the area as quoted above. After that he came to an area called the Lower Quarter, and think less "picnic" than the worst camping trip you ever took:
On the other side of this River, we found the Indian Town, which was a Parcel of nasty smoaky Holes, much like the Waterrees; their Town having a great Swamp running directly through the Middle thereof. The Land here begins to abate of its Height, and has some few Swamps. Most of these Indians have but one Eye; but what Mischance or Quarrel has bereav'd them of the other I could not learn.
Nasty smoaky holes, in swamps, populated by Indians who mostly have each lost an eye. I guess we all have our own definition of picnics. In any case, it's nice to have Lawson's territory back in the news. I hope when they relocate the little store they plan to use as a historical interpretation center they go directly to A New Voyage to Carolina.