Sunday, March 08, 2009


Phoenix's beau's daughter was visiting us today. I had something to do at 1700, but they were sure they would be back in time. This was great, because it meant I could go with them to Great Falls.

Great Falls Park is a National Historic Site and a National Engineering Landmark. It is an area of the Potomac River, the border between Maryland and Virginia, riddled with rapids, rocks, and falls. The river was central to Native and early American trade, and the Patowmack Canal was built to navigate around the falls. The history of the canal is quite fascinating, but we only had time for the waters of the falls today.

Even though it was somewhat overcast, the warm weather was perfect for being outdoors. There are a few wooden overlooks on the VA side of the river and one area, marked as a kayak landing though I would not take my kayak down there, where you can climb down right to the water's edge (though there are many posted signs warning people to be careful of the water's edge).

The flow of water over the rocks was maybe slightly less than average. It's been a little dry (excepting last week's snowfall) and the river is down just a tad. Still, the water was rushing over jagged rocks and foaming and bubbling in pools below.

It looks like the river evens out just below the falls. I did see some kayakers round that last bend just as we arrived. I would never take my kayak here, I don't have the right kind. My roommate has a video of a couple kayakers going over the falls the last time they were here. I think I'd take the canal!

It was such a lovely day to be out, climbing on rocks and listening to the splash of the falls and the gurgle of rushing water. We hope to see the MD side next time, and maybe we'll be able to visit the canal and the ruins of Matildaville too.

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