Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Great Gorge of the Potomac

Since the weather denied us a hike down to a series of very nice waterfalls in the Shenandoah yesterday, Austin, Lucy and I went to Great Falls this afternoon.
This is the Potomac River, about six miles above my house.  The river courses much wider and calmer directly below my house, and is navigable straight down the river to the Chesapeake Bay and from there you can sail on to Paris, London, Argentina, Capetown, or Sri Lanka. 

Just above my house is the first falls, which stops boat navigation upriver at Chain Bridge. 
Above that, at Lock Number 5 or so, is Little Falls, and above that, at Lock 12, is this stretch of water which is Great Falls.  All pictures and video taken with point-and-shoot IPhone.
The locks are on the C & O Canal (aka Chesapeake and Ohio Canal), which stretches 184.5 miles from Georgetown, just below my house, up to Cumberland, Maryland.  Finished in 1831, the C & O Canal brought coal, farm goods, and passengers to the Capitol in the era before trains.  The lock boats were pulled by teams of mules which pulled the canal boats on the path, seen below, which is now a 184.5 mile bike way and dog walk.




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