Lake James is hard to figure out. Anyone can see it right there on the North Carolina map, big as can be, just off I-40 and on the edge of some of the most-popular tourist attractions (Grandfather Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Caverns) in this part of the country. It's 40 minutes from Ashville, a city bursting with an outdoor-minded populace. So, why do so few boaters know Lake James exists? A skeptic like myself would have to motor there to find out what gives.