C&O Canal
Sunday October 28th 2007, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Life

C&O Canal at Swain’s LockGeorge Washington wanted a waterway that bypassed the dangers of the Potomac for shipping commercially, and thus the C&O Canal came to be.

picnic grounds between C&O and Potomac

Congress, in its infinite stupidity, decided in the 50’s that that nice flat stretch of land would make a great two-lane highway, cheap, and wanted to pave it over. Even the Washington Post agreed. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas challenged those in favor to join him in hiking the entire distance, 184.5 miles, and the press followed the large and then rapidly dwindling crowd of hikers along the way.

Beavers. Great Blue herons. Water turtles. Name the wildlife, it was there. Only a few hikers arrived in person in Georgetown with Douglas, but the nation did, in spirit; he’d gotten the Post’s and the Congress’s attention, and the Canal became a national park instead.Potomac River at Great Falls

Sometimes, if people point out what they’ve got, paradise doesn’t get paved and turned into a rush-hour parking lot after all.

The Potomac River

Thank goodness for one who not only stood up for what he believed in, but put on his shoes, too, and walked forward.

10 Comments so far
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Beautiful photos…it looks so serene there. 🙂
Also, love the reference to “Big Yellow Taxi”.

Comment by karen w 10.28.07 @ 5:39 pm

It is where I have always gone, when I can, when I need a sense of healing and peace. And walking along the Canal is where my husband and I went on our first actual date, after knowing each other since babyhood. A good place to start.

Comment by AlisonH 10.28.07 @ 6:00 pm

How could they want to turn such beauty into a highway? What is wrong with people. Congress in its infinite stupidity alright! Thanks to the judge for showing them what a mistake it would have been. Why are people so blind sometimes? As we have said before, even one person can make difference.

Comment by Vicki 10.28.07 @ 9:35 pm

Apples. Christmas. Surprises. Memories. History. I read several entries this morning, Alison, and it just makes me wish I checked in every day. Reading the words you carefully choose to share always gives my day a lift! I so enjoy that. Thanks.


Comment by Pam Sykes 10.29.07 @ 8:26 am

Love it! Brings back good memories. beautiful photos! 🙂

Comment by Bev 10.29.07 @ 8:35 am

Thank you for the history lesson and the wonderful pictures. I simply must get down there again for a hike soon, before all the leaves are gone.

Comment by Judy Foldi 10.29.07 @ 8:57 am

I’m an erratic and capricious blog-hopper, but boy am I glad I managed to catch these recent entries. The nature and appreciation was uplifting! How gratifying something so beautiful was preserved, and also that something so beautiful was created.

Comment by Ulster Lynn 10.29.07 @ 9:19 am

Ah, William O. Douglas. I think of him often, most notably when I purchase my Douglas fir at Christmas. How the world has benefitted from this man, how much we would benefit from him today.

Comment by Phoebe Snow 10.29.07 @ 12:39 pm

I walk along this canal nearly every day on my lunch break. You should see it today! It is gorgeous.

Comment by Wes 10.30.07 @ 5:59 am

An apt description of the workings in government..at times anyways.
The pictures are breathtaking!
Thank you for sharing them.

Comment by Toni 11.06.07 @ 8:35 am

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