Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great Falls

Whoa - where am I??? Not in Great Falls, Montana. This is the Great Falls of the Potomac River in Maryland, which I visited when I was back East for my son's wedding.


The locks next to the river are part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which ran 185 miles between Cumberland, MD and Washington, DC. There are 74 locks along the way.


The canal operated between 1831 and 1924. Today, tour boats take you through a few of the locks.


The boats are pulled by mules, just like in the olden days.


When the boat gets into the final lock, the mules are given a rest and the historically-clad humans take over.


First the water is let out, then the lock is opened.


And out they come!


At this point, it gets really interesting. The boat needs to be turned around, which is done by women with poles.


Then the passengers are let off.


You can also go out a walkway to view the falls. Believe it or not, people kayak down it!


14 comments:

Donna K said...

Interesting post. The boat tour looks like fun but I don't think I'd be one to kayak down those falls!! Great photos.

Judy and Emma said...

It would be interesting working that boat tour...for a while. :)

Sunny said...

Love those pictues of the falls. Interesting boat tour info as well!

Barry and Linda said...

I guess we hit the wrong end of the canal. Last year we found the canal after leaving Harpers Ferry and followed it to Cumberland MD where we camped in a Natl. Park Campground. Looks very picturesque.

Jim and Sandie said...

My first thought was G.F., MT. When we lived in D.C. we took the cub scouts on this boat ride. It was great fun.

Old Snipe said...

The falls are impressive, I haven't been there in over 20 years, have to make time before we head out FT.

I'll probably have plenty of time. :c(

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

Think the Win's will kayak that when in the area?

Dave said...

Its good to see that the canal has been maintained and used. So many over here have fallen into disuse but are being restored by enthusiasts.

E Squared and Mui said...

One of my favorite places for a quick outing. Timing has never been right to do the boat tour at the park, but we did the one that runs through another section of the Canal in DC ... it was interesting to see how mule- and human-power combined to operate the boat.

Anonymous said...

Diana,

I've seen the Falls and they are indeed Great. My son went on a kayaking trip with friends to the Falls. He ran some on it but not all; some of the others ran the whole thing. I've been enjoying your blog for months now. Keep up the good work!

Collier Carlton

Barbara and Ron said...

I remember seeing the mules pulling a barge somewhere in PA. I think it was New Hope or the Delaware Water Gap. I don't think they did it in period costume though. That's pretty cool.

ladynomad said...

Loved the blog. And I was in the area and missed it. Just can't see it all. Sorry I missed you too.

Nancy said...

Five of us biked part of the path today and watched the boat being pulled, going through the locks, and turning around. The falls are impressive but much muddier than in your pictures, probably from the rain we just had.

O. B. Sirius said...

I lived in the Maryland/DC area for 15 years, and Great Falls was one of my favorite spots. There is a great hike called the Billy Goat Trail from there -- lots of rock scrambling as you might expect. Thanks for the great photos!