Two days ago, it had rained quite hard and long in the Delaware regions, so rivers and streams flowed fast and furious into the Delaware River. Yesterday, the height of the river was over 7 feet where they measure it for reporting on the hotline. Today, it is just under 6 feet, so canoes and kayaks are allowed on the river. Jay, the intern brought on to be the media specialist, was told where a path to the river could be found just below the northern end of the Hawk’s Nest and I was invited to go along!
We tried to reach it from the Mongaup River, where a section of the canal was intact last year. I took a picture of Brandon and the 3 interns checking out the walls of the canal and that picture made it into an official document of the National Park Service! But today, the picture at that very same point shows that a major rock slide occurred over the winter and is now unsafe for exploration. Also, the path quickly became a mass of brambles that we could not navigate, so we had to turn back and try the path we were originally told about – a couple of miles further down the road.
We did find that path behind a closed gate where an old road had been and it was easy going at first. Then we had to go over and under and around some downed trees along the way, but we found more remains of the canal and towpath. The canal here is filled with water with green algae covering its entirety, making it look like a light green path. We found a place to cross and heard rolling water, so we knew we were close to our destination. We walked the towpath near the Delaware a bit and saw a nice waterfall that came down from the Hawk’s Nest in steps – very pretty to see through the trees. Jay jumped the water but I chickened out of doing that. He went down to a flat rock ledge at the base of the falls where it joins the Delaware and was in a great spot to watch rafters go through Butler’s Rift – a good set of rapids when the water is high and fast. I walked the towpath north and found a good spot to hang out and get pictures of the river and people getting ready to go through the rapids. I got their backs going through the rapids, but it was just as exhilarating to me!
I was thrilled that I got to go to a place that most people don’t know about to see more of the canal and watch brave souls navigate this fast and furious river. This is a major reason that I love working here.