South by Southeast late 2018 - early 2019 travel blog









notice the flood line

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Great Falls

We're feeling frustrated. We came to this area to ride some portions of the bike trail that was the towpath for the C & O Canal. We were wearing shorts when we got here, but then a cold front came through and that was the end of that. While the rain has left, it's too cold for bike riding to be fun. If we wanted to freeze while bike riding, we could have stayed home. Some parts of the ride are accessible by car, so we drove to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Park. Here the most dramatic natural landmark in this area is the falls formed by the Potomac River as it descends over a series of deep, jagged rocks. The river narrows from a width of 1,000 feet to about 60 as it descends through Mather Gorge. We were joined by other tourists who looked like they were ready for a bit of fresh air after touring the hectic city that is Washington D.C. Many of them were not speaking English. We could see remains of the locks and towpath which carried 500 boats a year after the Civil War. We were surprised how much it looks like the bike trail we ride at home along the towpath for the I & M canal. The same rains that caused the Johnstown Flood in 1889 came crashing down here destroying much of the canal infrastructure. It took years to rebuild and by then the railroads had begun to replace the canal system. So it goes.

We drove west to White's Ferry, passing magnificent homes and horse farms on acres of property. There's some serious money in Maryland outside of DC. The ferry is one of the last old style ones where a drive-on barge is towed across the river on a rope. We could have gotten on our bikes on the towpath here. We too the car across; it was still cool and breezy.

Tomorrow ee're going to move west to the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, which connects with this one. The weather forecast is cool and wet. Sigh...

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