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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.

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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)....