Spring has returned with a vengeance to the C&O Canal towpath. One’s spirits are lifted at the sight of a trail lined with flowers.There are so many different kinds spring flowers to be seen, some of which I still cannot identify in spite of all the years I have spent on the trail!
Yellow Trout Lily
Nodding Star of Bethlehem
White Trout Lily
Suffice to say that a walk along the canal is the spring time can do wonders for you!
I have traveled this path many a time, and I continue to do so with some regularity, but I still never get tired of the experience. There is always something new and interesting, and sometimes unexpected, and maybe even amazing, to experience. All I have to do is stay alert!
I thought that a few pictures from our usual morning walk on Sunday would be appropriate for this week’s photo theme. We walk along the trails in our local parks, more often than not landing up on the C&O Canal towpath by the Potomac River.
We started this weekend’s walk at White’s Ferry. The mist was still rising from the river when we got there even though it was somewhat late in the morning. The ferry was operating with a light load.
We saw some giant puffball mushrooms during our walk. I do not recall having seen these before. They are apparently edible if consumed before the spores have begun to form.
We walked up to Lock 26 on the towpath to see the historic silver maple tree near the Dickerson Conservation Center. It is huge! This tree is on the current list of Montgomery County Champion trees.
Here are a couple of shots of the woods and the trail.
We got back to Whites Ferry in time to get some sandwiches for lunch at the store by the ferry. These kinds of places are far away from regular commercial locations and depend on a different kind of clientele to stay in business. They are usually operated by some locals just trying to get a little bit of money. (I still remember the Schoolhouse Kitchen in Oldtown, MD, operated out of a closed school building, that we ended up at during the KVIITM75 bike ride.) You can see the bare-bones nature of the operation and get a sense that they are just getting by. We sat at a picnic bench and watched the Jubal A. Early in operation. The sky had cleared up during our walk.
Our Sunday walks are something that I look forward to.
I have been wandering along the C&O canal for many years and this is the first time I have seen the mules in action. We came upon the boat ride being offered by the National Park Service on the canal at Great Falls by chance.
The Charles F. Mercer, the boat used for the tour, is a replica of the original canal boats. It replaced the previous canal boat replica, The Canal Clipper III, which had fallen into a state of disrepair, in 2006. There is some nice information about the boat here.
Incidentally, it looks like excursion boats have been operating on the C&O Canal for a very long time. There is a document about excursion boats on the C&O canal that has been posted online at this location. This is the current version of the document. There are fascinating pictures in the document. The “Reminiscences about Mules” in Appendix B is very interesting.
Catching up on a quiet and humid morning as the sunlight breaks through the trees and cuts through the light haze.