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Wander project Great Falls of Virginia

One of the historical things around the DC is the amazing C&O canal that runs alongside the Potomac River. I have posted many times about the restored Lock Houses and the amazing C&O canal restoration. The pictures shared today are from the Virginia State Park called Great Falls State Park. It is, as you can see, the reason why the C&O canal was built in the first place. The canyon is steep, and the rate of descent creates rapids. Great for people that want to get exercise Kayaking (lots of people do). But not good for moving freight and cargo. So they went around the steep declines in the river by staying on the high ground. If you were able to turn the pictures shared today into 360-degree photos you would be able to see the canal.

Sadly these pictures were taken a couple of years before the first 360 degree cameras hit the market. If you look from the overpass where we’re down, you see the rapids. Can you image 200 years ago, your job was to get corn down the Potomac River? You would have to navigate that set of rapids. The river, starting just north of the Great Falls parks (there is an almost identical park on the Maryland side) and ending just a little south of the parks, the river plunges almost 30 feet. Now 30 doesn’t seem like much, but it is a for a river. We are not talking about the Snake or Coloroda Rivers, where that would be considered well a day in the life. Those two riv3ers change altitude for a long time. But they weren’t the main highway into the Nations Capital.

Something had to be done. About the rapids! So the C&O canal was started. Dug, often by hand. It was the first superhighway in America. We didn’t take Dylan (we weren’t sure about the overall number of dogs etc at the park. We also didn’t know if dogs were allowed, they were). This is the only section of the C&O canal I’ve been on without Dylan. I am sure he is still mad about that! Anyway the Viriginia Great Falls Park, and the Maryland Great Falls parks are open through the government shutdown. State and local parks remain open they get US Federal Grant money, but that is allocated on October 1, and already consumed by this time of year. The shutdown as of today, continues.

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Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

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