Friday, May 11, 2012

Days 36 - 37: Great Falls, VA with Herb & Gayle!

After a relaxing week in Lusby, MD, we headed the short distance north to my Dad and Stepmother's house in Great Falls, VA.

Great Falls is named after this...
Yep, pretty clever.  This is Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River.

The white water at the base of the falls is very popular with kayakers. This guy is actually pointed up river. He's using his paddles to keep in the swirl where the water splashes back upstream after coming down the falls.

The falls were a problem for our forefathers who were using the Potomac for shipping.  George Washington lobbied for the creation of a canal and locks to get boats past the Great Falls.

Angie and Gayle are inspecting one of the dugout canoes that were used on the river. They were made out of a single, hollowed out tree trunk (the canoes, not Angie & Gayle).

We took a hike along the river and met some of the locals...

For the time this was a huge engineering feet.  George Washington was President of the Potowmack (original spelling) Company from 1785 until his election as President of the United States in 1789.  Is there anything he couldn't do!?!

This is one of the remaining sections of the old canal, which dropped about 77 feet in a mile, enabling boats and goods to get past the falls (up or down river) and cutting the trip time in half.  It still wasn't very successful. It took too long to build (17 years) and it was only in service for about 20 years. High tolls and unpredictable weather cut profits and unfortunately Washington didn't live to see it completed!

Fun at the falls!

No comments:

Post a Comment