Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More touring, and Abraham Lincoln

Another detour on the way home from that celebration: I hiked into the woods to see the restored C&O canal tunnel near Paw Paw, which let the canal have access to the east, without a portage over the mountain.  (Hiking - even on gravel - kinda made a mess of my ballet flats, but they eventually cleaned up OK.)   The tunnel was hand-dug in the mid 1800's, and the roof reportedly contains over one million bricks.  But delays in completion let the railroad get a foothold on transportation in the area, and the canal itself eventually failed.  Select remains of the canal have been preserved and it is now part of a hiking train being developed from Pittsburgh to the east.  I hiked into the stygian blackness, intending to go view the other portal - 3,118 feet away.  But soon (about 500' into it), I decided that even with camera and flashlight, enough was enough...

The tunnel...

Yet another part of the canal system was on my agenda...the Town Creek aqueduct.

Canal boats used to float down stream over the bridge, while the creek flowed underneath.   Water being moved over water.  There are several such aqueducts on the canal.

My final detour on the way home was back to Berkeley Springs, WV.   We've visited town before, however, this time I had a specific objective - to find the old castle.   It's been there for a long time, built by a rich resident "back in the day."  Until recently, I wasn't aware of it.    Quite a beautiful place...but located on a busy state highway, with no good public place to pull off for pictures.  So, the next best thing was to park at the bottom of the hill in the Springs, and hike up the hillside path (including a substantial set of old stone steps) to the road - and get pictures of the  castle from afar - because the gate was locked.

Yours truly is really not into hiking  (particularly uphill), but the effort was worth it...as you can see.   And standing by the side of the road, with traffic whizzing by at 55 mph just a few inches away on the state road,  it was tough to concentrate on taking picture(s).   At least nobody honked their horn at me...LOL!

Nice little digs...but I wouldn't want to pay the heating bill...

As part of a local celebration in Berkeley Springs, they even resurrected Abraham Lincoln from the grave...

Best of all, the traffic on the bay bridge was normal that day, with no delay!



  1. I have driven along the Erie canal that connects the Hudson to the Great Lakes through the Mohawk River Valley. I have also walked part of the canal path by New Hope. I am impressed with the engineering and the labor that was involved in building these ways of moving man and goods back in the day of one man - one shovel.

    1. It's tough to imagine the clear thinking and hard work many folks put into these old engineering marvels. But they did, and it led us to today's many impressive "monuments to technology."

      Might life be simpler if things hadn't progressed? We'll never know for sure.