President John Quincy Adams broke ground for the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
way back in 1828, and due to one complication after another,
the manmade waterway never opened for business until 1850.
It stayed in operation for 74 years, and then in 1971,
concerned citizens successfully convinced Congress to rescue it from ruin
and establish the 184.5 mile-long canal as a National Historical Park.
Open now to the public for "a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet
and peace (Justice William O. Douglas, 1954)," the canal is a delightful setting
for an afternoon get-away... and a fantastic place to experience our nation's history-- alive!
Lil, our ever-gracious hostess (think: mule-power, if you will)
actually pulled us along the water (attached by rope) as she ambled down the towpath,
just like back in olden times,
and one of the locks (think: water elevator)-- it still works!
And let me just tell you... in case you didn't already know
(because it amazed me as much as it did my children)...
to study a lock is one thing; but to experience one, well... that's a whole other matter!
Yep, the C & O Canal--
lovely in every way... and the perfect complement to anyone's history studies!