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On the Go at the C&O

29 Jan

I really like where I live because it offers so many different outdoor options without being so far away from civilization that the Almost Wife goes nuts.

This is 1/2 mile from my front step:

Potomac at Weverton

The river is as high as I have ever seen it, short of flood stage, for as far back as I can remember.  The C&O Canal trail (also called the “towpath”) however is in great shape.  One would expect lots of washouts given the amount of rain we have had, but the path is exceptionally dry and level.  For those unfamiliar, the C&O Canal is a National Park that goes from DC to Western, MD.  It is simply one trail and the ground between the trail and the river.  There are many places to enter the park along its nearly statewide length, but the one with the “most parking to least people” ratio is at Brunswick, MD.  I enter the part just a bit farther West in a little Appalachian trail stop known as Weverton.  From here, it is about four miles to Harper’s Ferry and it is one of the less boring stretches of trail you’ll find.  When you hit the Harper’s Ferry area, you can walk up the steps of the foot bridge, cross into West Virginia, and try your legs on the hills of the historic town if you dare.  These hills are BRUTAL.

Yesterday was beautiful so I set out to run four miles, anything beyond that I would consider a bonus.  I felt great and ended up going eight miles, four out, and four back home.  In Harper’s Ferry, I noticed folks looking up.  I was confused at first until I realized there were rock climbers on the cliffs.  While I don’t like to speak in absolutes about things I may one day decide to do, something about a small piece of rope between me and imminent doom or damage BY CHOICE doesn’t seem like something I’ll ever do.  But then again, I said the same thing about running more than a mile not long ago!

As I ran I was reminded of how technology constantly replaces itself.  The old canal used to be the heart and soul of commerce in the region and a major contributor to commerce of the nation.  Now only ruins remain.  Nature has taken it back.  Folks with iPhones and iPods and Garmin watches now hike, jog, and bike along it.

Old C&O Canal lock

Entire industries and many people once depended on this.  Now it is just a ditch.

I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather.  We’re surely going to pay for this.  Now get off the computer and go do something!  You’ll FEEL BETTER!

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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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