Saturday, July 6 – Great Falls, Maryland Side

by Cam Miller. 0 Comments

(Click any photo to enlarge.) ***Scroll down to see my offer for Red Cross donations.*** Canal Reflections Trumpet Vine What a great day I had!  Some members of the Central Maryland Photographers' Guild decided to meet at Great Falls today for a photo shoot.  I thought that would be a perfect location for my photo walk, so I arrived an hour earlier than the group, in order to do the walk. Great Falls is the very rocky portion of the Potomac River, just north of Washington, DC.  According to Wikipedia, "The river cascades over a series of 20-foot (6.1 m) falls, falling a total of 76 feet (23 m) in elevation over a distance of less than 1 mile (1.6 km), making the Great Falls the steepest fall line rapids of any river in the eastern United States."  The river is within Maryland, from shore to shore, but once you set foot on the land on the opposite side of the river, you are in Virginia.  George Washington, in his quest to create a navigable waterway along the Potomac, commissioned the building of the C&O canal, which runs along the Maryland side of the Potomac.  The canal is now a national park, for all of us enjoy. Nude Tourists?   Pick a stone, make a wish Along the canal are locks, to move the river barges and canal boats either up or down stream, depending on the elevation and the direction in which they are moving.  At Great Falls, there are several such locks, to deal with the great differences in elevation at this location.  The parks attract bikers, joggers, hikers, kayakers, photographers, and families.  Lots of people were speaking languages other than English.  By the time I left, the parking lot was full and there was a line of cars waiting to get in. Great Falls Tavern Canal Side Falls I walked along the canal towpath, photographing the various reflections and scenery along the way, including the Great Falls Tavern, which is now the museum and visitor center.  I continued along the boardwalks and bridges across Olmstead Island, which is the most biologically diverse habitat in the national park system.  Due to floods, the vegetation on the island is constantly changing, and debris piles are caught up and moved downstream.  One of the problems with taking photos while on the bridges is that they bounce a little, causing some motion and blur. Great Blue at the Falls Woman's Work At the western edge of Olmstead is a great view of the falls and rocks of the river, and you can see the tourists on the overlooks on the Virginia side.  At the river's overlooks, you can often see cormorants and great blue herons, and occasionally an eagle fishing. I walked for an hour, then headed back to the parking lot to meet the other photographers who were arriving for the photo shoot.  We repeated the same trek I had just done, but as we got finished, the canal boat was leaving for a trip, including entering a working lock and seeing the lock keepers operate it, just as it was done in the old days.  It was fascinating to watch.  "Lock is opening!!" The weather was beautiful, but hot and very humid.  All of us were soaked to the skin by the end of our shoot.  I came home and took my second shower of the day, and changed into yet another set of clothing.  It's getting to be a daily routine. Visit Great Falls, if you can.  Either side will give you great views in any season.   Click on any photo to enlarge it. ************************************************* Forward me by email any receipt for an online donation made to the Red Cross for disaster relief, and I will send you a 5x7 print of your choice from any of my daily photo walks or from my website.  Offer good until September 2, 2013. Visit my web site: Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots Email: Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk: walk every day the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day post a photo every day use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700) no weather excuses walk only where it is safe to do so

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