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Thursday, July 23, 2015

All Natural Virginia and a little bit of Maryland

Today we found two National Parks very close to each other.  Just up the road from here. Sadly, that road was I-95 and 495. Even though we left much later than we had been doing, it still took a long time to get to the first park. But it was worth it! We had so much fun!

We finally found a C&O Canal site that was open when we were here

The road down to the park. It was so pretty.

Lon is still drawn to the water.  This part of the canal still has water in it

Getting ready  to have fun!

Lock number 20.   Yes those are ambulances, they have fast zodiacs there too. The Potomac is just on the other side of those trucks.  You can hear it rushing by.   I hope they have very boring days

The canal boat, The Charles Mercer, gives tours of the canal on the weekend.

Eva, the mule,  she was very sweet. Hoss, her friend, said she was 11 years old.

She did not like being on the wooden bridge, it made her nervous.

weird angle I know, Hoss is showing Lon the mason marks on the stones. He told us that the stone masons mainly came from Wales and Germany.  The laborers came mainly from Ireland.  This was in the 1820s, when John Quincy Adams was president. It took a very long time to build the canal, all 185 miles of it. Cumberland to Georgetown

The overflow canal. Right across from Lon, a ranger was walking around last week and found a miniball from the civil war.

Working on his book

A little history bit

Getting his badge!  There were trading cards too! We did not know about that!  We need a few more pages in his book!

Just a few miles away, and no freeway driving to get there from C&O

It was getting hot

Looking at all the fun exhibits!

This one is about the fish in the Potomac

Starting to work on his book. This one he had to do everything in the book

A big display of ALL The Jr. Ranger badges. Lon saw some patches from places he has been and wondered why they did not have them when he was there.
A beauty shot of the falls. They were gorgeous

Working on his book

One more, it really was amazingly beautiful

At the end of our hike. We got all turned around and ended up doing the entire hike, instead of just the quarter mile. It was hot, and it was also lunch time. Luckily they had a snack bar,  we did not have to find someplace else to go. Sad because we paid premium prices.   We did not pass anyplace to eat on the way to 95 south.
Getting his badge. She did not even check his book. She just saw he was turning it in and gave him his oath and the badge.

I was standing in line getting our lunch, and this ranger who talked to Lon earlier asked him if he had a hat. Lon said he did and showed him. The ranger said he needed a new one since that one was full. He gave Lon a smokey the bear style hat. How cool is that?

We got stuck in construction traffic on the way to the to the freeway. While we were sitting is traffic a random tree branch fell on the car! Only the end of it brushed the car and there was no damage to the car. It sure woke us up!

Traffic was starting to stack up a little but it was only about 3pm  when we passed the sign for this park. Exit 150 on I-95.  What the heck, let's stop!  Once you are off the freeway, it is the next right. Really close, but you can not hear the freeway from there.  Very quiet.

A very pretty drive in

Lon got his book inside the cabin. We learned about the park inside the cabin. The main park and campground was built by the CCC.
And of course we had to do a hike. The Ranger told us it would be really short. Well, it would have been if someone had not moved the box with the stamp to another location! The book was wet so Lon could not leave his mark on the book. but the stamp still worked, more or less.
The letterbox was supposed to be right at the trail head. but someone moved it off the trail at the bottom of the trail. We did the entire trail.  And it was still hot.  I would have taken more photos but we were concentrating on finding that box. I do not like it when people try to be funny like that.  We did report it to the ranger.

The Ranger gave him his oath at the big petrified wood!

It was pretty there, but it was time to go home.
It only took us about 45 minutes to go the 17 miles on South 95, which was good time.

Our adventure continues tomorrow as we load up the car and make our way home

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