Saturday, July 14, 2007

a man, a plan, a canal........landsford?

i've been so busy trying to get caught up on blogging about my trip that i almost forgot to share some photos from my latest hike with you.

mea culpa.

SO and i have been trying to get back in the swing of things (it's been so long since i last saw a treadmill that i seriously doubt i'd be able to pick one out of a lineup.) in preparation for our big hiking/rafting trip in the grand canyon in october. since it's been awhile (he's still recovering from the arizona hike), we figured we'd start out with something easy- like a gentle 3-mile hike in north central south carolina.

landsford canal was built in the 19th century to allow boats to bypass the catawba river rapids. while the canal is overgrown in areas, the locks are well preserved (though i cannot vouch for the lower locks, as the trail seems to end before reaching them), as are several culverts, a portion of a mill, and the bridge over the main locks.

SO and i started off on the 1/2 mile long nature trail, which passed by the diversion canal, then joined the 1.5 mile canal trail (the round trip was 3 miles), took a side trip to see the spider lilies (sadly, we missed their prime blooming season, which is in may), and then continued down the canal trail past the remains of an old mill and to the lifting locks, where we turned around and headed back to the picnic area/parking lot.

the diversion canal, which guided boats away from the rapids and toward the landsford canal. this canal was designed to supply enough water to the canal for boats to be able to pass through, and during floods it would also keep boats from being swept too far downstream and missing the canal completely.

the guard lock, where boats entered the canal. they were hitched to mules here and then guided through the remainder of the canal.

a fellow hiker (bodhi's brother hotdog)at the spider lily viewing area.

the remains of the old mill

(i thought about cropping the rock out of this, but didn't want you to think i'd actually be disrespectful enough to scale the wall.)

the bridge at the lower end of the lifting locks. i also have a really great picture of the lifting locks themselves, but am forbidden from posting it as SO is a wee bit self-conscious regarding his current physique.

we didn't see much wildlife heading out to the lifting locks, but spotted two black snakes (SO nearly stepped on one) on our way back along the canal trail. (fortunately, he's pretty good at responding to my frantic screams, which really weren't all that frantic since the snake in no way resembled a rattler or copperhead or something equally nasty.)

i'm totally taking the 5 year old and 9 (well, technically 10 now) year old on this hike sometime- though i think we may have to scout out other hikes nearby, as i don't think they'll find this one much of a challenge at all. (gorgeous, mind you, but not terribly challenging.)


bricotrout said...

ha! aspen was just there a few weeks ago. she got a picture of that very same snake! i recognize it! too cool!

Larry said...

Looks like you are doing a pretty good job of scaling that wall, with the help of those rocks that you were thinking about cropping out.

Stef said...

You always take such cool pictures of the places you've been. I enjoy those as much as the stories behind them.

BTW I have a new blog at

See ya! --Stef

bricotrout said...

you uh, you coming back anytime soon are ya?

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful area to hike! I have always wanted to visit Carolina.

teeth whitener

duff said...

bricotrout: what? the same snake? but...but...(lip quivering) he told me i was his first. :(

larry: i was trying to formulate a witty comeback that referenced ludo from the labyrinth, but i'm just not quite awake enough to come up with anything that would actually make sense.

stef: just you wait- i'm going to finally construct an ireland post as soon as i finish answering these comments.

i need to update your blog on my links. it'll probably be next weekend before i get around to it, but i'll try to get it taken care of asap.

bricotrout: hey, now- i was gone for twelve days. it took two more to convince the camera to share my pictures with my laptop. i'm still not caught up on the other stuff- including sleep.

that said, i'm touched you missed me :)

anonymous: you were doing well until the ad, unless it was really meant as a helpful hint, in which case, i say thanks, but no thanks.