Sunday, May 15, 2011
The Canal Giveth, The Canal Taketh Away
May 10: After the hard slog yesterday and with the next town of Hancock out of reach, John and I decided to make today a short one. Nine comparatively leisurely miles of hiking got us to our campground for the night, just beyond the Four Locks.
We stopped for awhile at Dam #5 where there was a nice grassy area to watch the water flow evenly over to the river below. The Confederates also tried without success to blow Dam #5 during the War of Northern Aggression. The Union Stratego player must have done an excellent job of using his miner pieces in this region of the game board.
Our next brush with history came at Four Locks, where an elevation change required four locks to be installed in quick succession when the canal was built. A thriving community built up around the locks during the 19th century, but as with many towns along the C&O the canal's demise carried the community's raison d'etre along with it. Little remains there today but the stone locks, a stoic reminder of what once was.
We arrived at our stopping point for the day at North Bend early on in the sunny afternoon, shortly after passing Four Locks. We rested and reinvigorated ourselves in preparation for the trip to Hancock tomorrow with our ultimate grail in sight: pizza! I know the goal seems trite, but please recall that I ate half a bar of frozen Metrx dog turd for breakfast yesterday.
9 miles/217 total miles