birthday, so we took the day off to go out and do something
fun, which ended up being some wanderings along the C&O canal.
All the recent rains have left the Potomac river so bloated that
the first place we tried to go to on the canal was actually closed
due to flooding. (The water under the Monocacy Aqueduct had risen
so high, you couldn't see any of its 7 majestic arches.)
I love the C&O Canal. It was built in the 19th century,
as a way of moving cargo westward, before the railroads made
canal technology obsolete. The name itself enshrines the project's
failure: the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was supposed to go all
the way to the Ohio river, but they never made it out of Maryland.
(It ends in Cumberland.) Even so, the 184 mile route was used
for 73 years to move cargo between Washington DC and points west,
and the route is now an Historic Site, managed by the National
Growing up in the DC area, I have many fond memories associated
with the Canal. I've traveled its entire length twice, once in
a 5-day extended biking campout, and before that over a series
of small trips, both on foot and bicycle, a little piece here
and there on outings with the Boys Scouts or with family. More
recently, I had the pleasure of working in offices right on the
C&O Canal, when I worked for 2 years at Magnet
Interactive Studios, which was headquartered in Georgetown
in a former power station, situated right on the edge of the
canal. I remember meetings held in a conference room there which
had a window overlooking the canal...
It was a beautiful day for a hike along the canal, and Kristin
& Alison & I had a lovely picnic at Lock 28, just northwest
of a whistle-stop called Point of Rocks. The ruins of the locks
are my favorite feature along the canal... they make great destinations
to visit, since ruins are always fun (for me, at least) and the
cleverness embodied in the design of the lock is cool!
Alison of course was more interested in the flora and fauna
that we saw on other parts of the canal (though she lamented
the fact that so many of the things she found there were non-native
invasives). The woods were alive with the sound of spring peepers,
and we saw numerous turtles sunning themselves on logs protruding
up out of the canal. In one place we saw 7 turtles all lined
up together in a row on one log!
Anyway, visits to the C&O canal are one of the many things
I'll miss about the area after we move away. Hopefully we can
work in a few more trips like this before we go, since I'd like
to see more of the rest of the canal one more time...