BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

James River Canal Lock Trail


While we were traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway on August 6, we stopped at Milepost 63.6 to visit the James River Canal Lock Trail. The trail began at the visitor center and crossed the James River on a walkway built beneath the bridge.

The restored Battery Creek Lock, located a short distance from the bridge, is typical of those constructed in the 1800's as part of the James River and Kanawha Canal. This canal, with 90 locks, helped make a river a major transportation corridor between Richmond and Buchanan, VA, before the Civil War. Exhibits at the Battery Creek site explain how locks were used to raise and lower boats to adjust for the changing elevation of the river.

During the mid to late 1800's, the expansion of railroads made river and canal travel inefficient, and the Kanawh Canal was abandoned. However, before the railroad's arrival, the river and canal system was crucial in moving people, food, and raw materials from the coast, through Richmond and into the interior of Virginia.

This is the lowest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway (649 feet), plus is where the road intersects with US 501, which runs west along the James River for 15 miles to Natural Bridge. We enjoyed our visit to the James River Canal Lock Trail.

Here are some pictures for our little hike. Above is a map --telling about the area. Below are more!




We enjoyed walking on the footbridge across the river, which is the largest river in VA. This picture was taken from the bridge, looking west.




From the other side of the footbridge, we took this picture --looking toward the east.




Translation (since the sign is in bad shape): Battery Creek Lock (1851-1880); This lift lock, built in 1848, is 15 feet wide, 21 feet deep top to bottom, and 100 feet between gates. It lowered or lifted boats 13 feet allowing them passage to and from the river. The bottom is covered with original pine planking and walls are of local stone.

Here are a couple of pictures for you to see of the locks.






If you are ever on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, be sure and stop at Milepost 63.6 and visit the James River Canal Lock Trail. It was very interesting.

**************************************
We had a very rainy day here on the Cumberland Plateau yesterday.. I think we have had about TWO inches total (or a little more). As you can imagine, George and I are THRILLED (since it has been so dry here this summer).

Between rain storms, the birds would flock to the feeders. Some of them looked pretty dry, so I guess they had safe places to go in the rain. Others looked pretty soaked.... I will publish more bird pictures in another post, but will close today showing you one of our pitiful little very WET birdies!!!!!

Do you even recognize this bird?????? It's one of our little Juvenile Eastern Bluebirds. Poor Baby... I wanted to scoop him up and bring him inside and dry him off...

Hope you have a great Thursday.
Hugs,

P.S. IF you missed my post yesterday, PLEASE check it out... You must see my latest "pet" (Mr. Magoo)....

56 comments:

Lana said...

I will be the first one to post a comment on today's latest and greatest as I see no "stinky" reason not to! ;-) Beautiful pics! We are close to the remains of the Erie Canal that passed just one county east and south of us. Great history there! Looks like your birdies are going to get wet again today. We have finally started to dry out and are hauling in the FIRST cutting of grass hay all year! YIKES! The big round bales just keep rolling on in (on the backs of wagons and tractors!)

Susan said...

Very interesting post, love the history. Will have to check it out if/when we get up there again. Sounds like a dream vacation!

Jane said...

Oh, these are great pictures! Where are you and George heading this weekend??

Jane

Mildred said...

I love the photos where the clouds and trees are reflected in the water Betsy.

So happy to hear you received a good rain. Poor little blue bird though!

Have a nice day.

Tabor said...

The James has always been my favorite with all those plantations dotting the sides. I must check out this lock. Is it bikeable or too small for that?

Ginny said...

I had not heard of the locks. But that bird looks like he's molting as well as being wet! A blog I follow posted some pictures of molting birds the other day and I had an Aha! moment. I had seen birds like that and always thought they were reslly sick!

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

When I lived in the Washington, D.C. area I enjoyed walking along portions of the C&O canal. Lovely pictures east and west of the James River. That poor little bluebird; it sure is soaked through.

Susie said...

That looks like a fun place to visit and learn Betsy.

Glad you are getting rain. We too have had some of the wonderful stuff.

cleffairy said...

Wow, breathtaking pictures you have there. =D It's been so long since I had a vacation. =( Wish I can go there for a getaway. =(

ps: I'm Claire's friend, btw. In case you're wondering where i came from. =D

http://cleffairy.com

Sandra said...

do you ever wish you could see the faces of the people who bulit the canal if they could see how we move food and people these days? the awe they would feel?
that baby bird looks a little rattled to me. poor baby

Dorothy said...

Betsy, I love that first picture with the reflections!!!
That bird gets the prize in the uglist bird contest!! ☺

thesouthernlady64 said...

Hi Betsy, I was afraid to comment on your previous post because I might end up with Mr. Magoo on my front porch. That is one contest I don't want to win! I love the pictures of the water. It just looks so serene and that poor little wet bird it pitiful.

Harriet said...

Wow! Wish I was there! What a beautiful place.

Sunny said...

I learn so much from your posts! Looks like a really interesting place to visit.
Your pictures with the reflections are really beautiful, I love the clouds.
Glad you got some rain, we could use some here.
☼ Sunny

NCmountainwoman said...

Amazing. I had not heard about the lock. You took some gorgeous photographs of the river.

Debbie Smith said...

Such wonderful history in your neck of the woods! I love it!
That poor little birdie is a mess!
I am actually reading your post from my hospital room! Is that addicition or what?

Have a fabulous day, Betsy!
Debbie

Peggy said...

Morning Betsy! I passed this post on to my daughters as I thought they might enjoy taking their families here. Thanks for sharing. We got wonderful rain last night.. ALL night and a few showers this morning. What a blessing! The animals and gardens are very happy

Arkansas Patti said...

That river would be wonderful to kayak. Makes me want to get "ole yeller" out but it is still too hot here.
That poor bird really looks sad. He sure can't find a girl friend looking like that.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I would say that baby bluebird needs a good blow dry!!!!
Great photos today Betsy, thanks for sharing.
xox
Suz

Snap said...

Locks fascinate me ... cool! Lovely photos and travel log (you and George need to start on your book of adventures)......

The Incredible Woody said...

I love the variety of things in the national park system. :)

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful area with great history. So thanks for all the info. Lift locks are so interesting. the water looks so beautiful.
Glad you got some rain for all the pretty plants. MB

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I love the scenery shots. This place like other you have shown is so lovely.Unfortunately,I can't say the same about that poor little bird.
Blessings,Ruth ♥

Pat Tillett said...

Many years ago I took photos very close to some of these spots! I have no idea where they are now.
beautiful pics and tour! Thanks Betsy...

JunieRose2005 said...

Betsy,

What fun adventures you're having! I love seeing all this-and that poor baby bird...I would have felt just as you did about it!



Junie

nanny said...

What a beautiful river....so still and peaceful looking!

Diane said...

Looks like a very interesting part of our country's history and geography. POOR LITTLE BIRD! Diane

Joy said...

Locks are one of the most interesting inventions. I had no idea there was one in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You will be proud. I've put out a birdfeeder and it took about a week for the birdies to discover it. I'm gettings lots of company now. Mainly smaller birds. I think the feeder post and food hole area is too close together for the bigger birds. The cardinals seem to be enjoying the crumbs on the ground though.
♥ Joy

colleen said...

Hi Betsy, I only just now read your comment on one of my inactive blogs. I set them up as filing cabinets to store my writing when I thought my current blog was about to crash. My real blog is http://looseleafnotes.com

I loved your photos. I live off the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 160.

imac said...

Its always great to see locks.

LV said...

You and George no doubt take the best scenes and sights ever. All of these are super and such pretty part of the world.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Oh, the reflection in the river is just beautiful! I would be so tempted to find a spot to dip my feet in. :)

From the Kitchen said...

Betsy: It seems that canal was kind of out my growing up backdoor and I've never seen nor heard of it. You can bet that it is now on my list of things to explore in October. The photos are wonderful!!!!!

Best,
Bonnie

NENSA MOON said...

Hi Betsy,
Everytime I come to this site, my eyes feel freshy...So many beautiful pictures here...!!!!
Thanks so much Betsy for always sharing your pics and your great experience with us.
All the best to you!!

hugs,
nensa

KleinsteMotte said...

How gorgeous. What beauty. And the bird. Aw.w.ww

Fred Alton said...

Betsy, your photos are superb! Seeing the pictures of the river, I automatically feel like getting a small boat onto the water and drifting downstream, bream-pole in hand, a can of night-crawler's or a nest of un-born wasps lying on the seat beside me, catching a fish just to feel the vibrations of having one on the hook. We too had a good rain yesterday and also today. Thank God!

The Retired One said...

Oh, that poor bird, what a unique picture!!! I loved the river photos too...the water looked so still, like there wasn't even a current! It's reflections are gorgeous.

Glenda said...

Spectacular views with beautiful reflections in those first two photos! Just think of all the history-making moments that occurred in that setting!

Daisy said...

Interesting history you learned about on your trip, Betsy. I feel sorry for that poor little bird. I would have wanted to scoop him up and dry him off too!

Elizabeth said...

What an interesting post, Betsy. I always marvel at how good engineers were, in those long ago days before cars, computers and cranes!

Now, here's something that caught my eye...do you know how to pronounce Kanawha? I do, because this last summer I was in Charleston, WV which is situated along the Kanawha River! Why did your canal in VA get named Kanawha?? I don't know, but it would be interesting to research it.

He-he...it sounds like Kanawww! The 'a' at the end is not spoken.

And, I thought the teenage bluebird was a teenage robin..the yellow beak. Poor drenched thing!

Thanks for a great post!

Deb said...

I think the history of America's eastern canal systems was so short that it gets overshadowed and folks don't know so much about them. We have been to canal museums and have a great interest in the canals along the eastern seaboard. Great pics of the locks.

Isn't it great to vacation? Gives you sooooo much to blog about!! grin

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

If I am ever passing that way I will be sure to visit...I have seen one lock in my time that was in Gunterville AL. God Bless Trish

Shelley said...

OH my - that eastern blue bird looks "rough" - I want to take him in too! LOL! I'm sure he'll get handsomer as time goes by.....hope so....don't think he's going to get a mate like that! Ha!
(Summer classes are over and I'm taking a fall break!) :-)
Hugs,
SHelley

Janie said...

Interesting to learn about the canal and the lock system. I love the reflections in your river photos.
Poor little birdie! He looks so uncomfortable.

Rose said...

I love seeing things like this...I cannot help but think of how long it would have taken to travel between here and Indianapolis 150 years ago...I would not be going to see Lorelei once she gets moved, very often had I lived back then.

Rose said...

the area was beautiful. loved the lush green grass . thanks for the photos. Rose

carolina nana said...

Glad you finally got some good rain. It rained again here today and flooded some nearby communities again.
Great pictures and I would have never recognized that poor bluebird.
Have a blessed tomorrow
Marilyn

D said...

Hi, Betsy,
What beautiful pictures!!!
I saw your comment about posting on Trish's Blog (Homemade Quilts by Granny), and after checking, I found that my blog was set up like hers. I didn't know about this, so I'm thankful you told me. Now I have mine set on "full page". What is yours set on?
D

B. Meandering said...

Stunning photos of the river. I appreciated you sharing your 'love of your life' story with me and am so happy for you both that you can share this wonderful trip together.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Happy weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SquirrelQueen said...

I really enjoyed the information on locks. I have seen and on occasion traveled through many river locks but nothing as old as this one. It is really good to see places like this being preserved as they are important parts of our country's history.

Poor little birdie, he looks so pitiful.

eileeninmd said...

Great post and pic's on the canal. It is an area I have not visited yet. Looks like a beautiful place. I feel sorry for your poor little bluebird. I been noticing a lot of my cardinals are molting.

Pedaling said...

I really need to get over to your side of the country and see all these wonderful places!

Mary said...

Those locks and canal look very interesting. The views of the water are great. Poor little bird!

Ruthi said...

OMG... that river is gorgeous. Love the reflections on the river. Didn't you take photo of the footbridge? it would be awesome to see how the footbridge look like too.

KathyA said...

No! I didn't recognize that bluebird at all! Poor baby!

I love the canals and lockes. We walked a little of the canal along the Potomac -- but I want to walk along the C & O Canal out by Harper's Ferry.