Saturday, April 28, 2007

East of Hancock

Starting to explore the Hancock area

Start Mile: 121
End Mile: 122.9
Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
When: Afternoon

Directions: Take Interstate 70 to Hancock, MD. Make a right toward Hancock onto 144. Make an immeadiate right into the maintenance drive for the C&O Canal.

I finally had a day that I felt like getting out. I wanted to go someplace that we have not been before. While I've stopped at the Park and Dine in Hancock before, I've never explored the town. I thought it would be fun to start at the eastern part of town and work our way west.

To get to the parking area, you need to cross the Western Maryland Rail-Trail. There is always a lot of bike traffic there so I don't know if we will be able to explore it some time.

Between the parking lot and the towpath sits this once impressive house. Does the Park Service own this?

Lock 52 sits just to the west of the entry to towpath. We will try that direction next trip.

The Potomac was high and fast. It is hard to tell just how fast the river was from this picture.

Buck likes to sample the various plants on our walks. He was particularly interested in the Blue Bells. Unlike the various grasses, all he did was sniff the flowers.

At Lock 51 there is what's left of a lock house. It is interesting to see how these were built. It is also interesting to see how something so substantial could deteriorate in such a relatively short time. Notice how the towpath actually has a hill at the lock.

Not far from the lock is a culvert. Canals are not like streets, when the canal crossed a small stream it had to be eleveted allowing water to flow under it. This is important for water management.

Not much further is another culvert. This one has a provision for adjusting the water in the canal called a waste weir.

Blue Bells do well in shady areas and tend to thrive in forests. This part of the canal has tons of them.

People leave pennies on certain mile markers for luck. I bet this drives the forest service nuts.

Buck found this turtle. I waited a while for him to recover from being licked by the dog and come out of his shell.

There is another culvert not far from the mile marker. Notice that all of the surface water in Maryland farm country enters the Potomac at these culverts to be picked up down stream by water systems for suburban MD and WV.

Buck found another turtle that was watching people pass on the tow path.

Buck hams it up by marker 121.

This is the west side of Little Pool. You can see that Interstate 70 is not far.


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