This looks like a very broad category to me. I have so many pictures that cover so many different aspects of H2O! I remember the early morning scenes with the mist and fog over the river, reflections of the fall colors over the waters of a lake, the beauty of snow and ice of winter, the sea at sunrise or sunrise from a beach, the storms with the heavy rains and even flooding, and even the pollution of the H2O caused by humanity. And that is not a complete list….
But this time I am going back to my recently completed bike ride from Pittsburgh, PA, to Whites Ferry in Maryland to address the theme. It seems to be a good fit, because the ride, for the most part, took place beside rivers. ( Read on and you might also get a short lesson in geography!) The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail that we followed from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, essentially followed some of the tributaries of the Ohio River (which itself is a tributary of the great Mississippi that empties itself in the Gulf of Mexico). From Cumberland onward, we rode the C&O Canal towpath which runs along the Potomac river. This river runs east, the opposite direction to the rivers we rode beside up to that point, and it empties into the Chesapeake Bay and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The Potomac and the Ohio and its tributaries flow into two distinct watershed areas on the two different sides of the Eastern Continental Divide and the Appalachian mountains that we rode over.
The Ohio river forms in Pittsburgh at the confluence of Monongahela and the Allegheny rivers and flows in a northwesterly direction out of the city. We began our trip by riding upstream along the Monongahela river (in a southeasterly direction). We crossed the river over a former railroad bridge at one point.
We got to McKeesport, PA, where the Youghiogheny River joins the Monongahela. From then onward it was further upstream and continuing southeasterly along the Yough. The skies were clear on the first day. We crossed under the Banning Railroad bridge. (I found a video of this bridge in use in 2011. I don’t know if it is still in use.)
The river was extremely muddy on the morning of the second day of the ride due to overnight rain. You can see the mud from the abandoned railroad bridge below.
The sediment had cleared up by the time we crossed the Ohiopyle low bridge over the Yough into Ohiopyle, PA.
The Casselman River meets up with the Yough at Confluence, PA, and from that point on the GAP followed the Casselman on its way upstream. It was misty early in the day when we left Confluence.
This is view of the town of Confluence from a bridge over the Casselman.
The skies had cleared by the time we got to Rockwood, PA. The Casselman river looked more like a gentle stream at this point.
We crossed the Eastern Continental Divide on the GAP and descended into Cumberland, MD. The rest of the ride up to the final destination of Whites Ferry followed the C&O canal along the Potomac river. This was what the canal looked like in the area near Lock 75.
This is a section near Hancock.
The Paw Paw tunnel burrowed under a mountain to allow the canal a more direct route that avoided the bends in a meandering section of the river.
We saw many aqueducts over the canal along the way. The remains of the Licking Creek Aqueduct are shown below.
The river itself was quite peaceful for the most part.
We also saw a couple of dams that were used to supply water from the river to the canal.
And there there were some other H2O related experiences during the trip that I remember. This picture was taken on a pedestrian bridge over the Casselman river in Confluence early in the morning.
The following picture is of the house at Fallingwater built by Frank Lloyd Wright. The house is built over a waterfall. You can take steps down from your living room directly to the water that flowed under the house.
The red waterfall shown below is the acid mine drainage (AMD) from a former mine along a section of the GAP closer to Pittsburgh. We did (and continue to do) a lot of damage to our environment!
We experienced H2O everywhere during our trip (and hopefully H2O is also seen in all of the pictures I selected for this blog!). And I should not fail to mention that without large quantities of H2O to drink, we would not have survived the long hot days during our bicycle ride!
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