Papa’s World – there was a time I stayed up late!

Back in my younger days – I started out working second shift –

only a little bit different –

I was scheduled to work 10 hour shifts – for 6 1/2 years!

My hours were 3:00 PM. to 1:00 AM. !

We ate on the fly so I was told – a paid lunch of 20 minutes!

So – my days were like mixed up from my inner clock.

I would get home – in bed by 2:00 AM. and up by 6:00 AM.

I had a son who was always up – so we would eat breakfast

and then I would take him for a walk up the street

to my parents house and read the morning paper!

Troy & Shawn my sons

Troy was my little buddy –

he would hold my hand as we walked up the street

You see – I had a apartment on Main Street

and my childhood home was a short walk up the North Main Street

in a little town in NWPA called Eldred.

Population 800 to 1000 people and everyone knew everyone.

If you saw the movie “Stand By Me” –

well it was a lot like that!

Donna – me – Bill – Roger and my mother Mary

Mom & Dad lived there for years – we were raised there

Here is the front porch and my sister and her husband

lived right next door.

In 1971 I bought a church and the house that went with it!

I turned the Sunday school rooms into two apartments

and then tore the church down.

I had managed to move six months or so before the ’72 flood

Which flooded main street almost up to the second story apartment.

Our little town was cut off by the flood waters from the outside

for over two weeks!

I was off work for almost three weeks

but the house and church sat on some of the highest ground

on North Main Street!

My mother actually had water come over the tracks behind her house!

It had never been that high!

My younger years are gone – staying up late

riding motorcycles

bars – music – dancing staying out late.

Playing softball – basketball – volleyball

Now it is walking – reading – traveling –

visiting friends and places on my bucket list.

My life is blessed for all that I have been able to do.

And even though I no longer wish to go out –

I do wish to go out and see our friends

to see new places and feel life.

Life has come a circle only with different meanings

and yes – I go to bed early and rise up early

for I love what each new day brings

another adventure and cross one more off my bucket list!

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Papa’s World – Walking the Billy Goat Trail – Great Falls

On Sunday after church service and adult education –

Sherry said

” Lets do something ” !

She had told me to wear my walking sneakers –

She said we can go to one of three places –

Georgetown – some where in D.C.

or Great Falls !

Sherry & Tom at Great Falls

Now – 18 or 19 years ago –

we went there – and have not been back since –

So – I said – how far do I have to drive

and she looked it up –

six miles – DONE –

I do not want to drive into Georgetown or DC !

Great Falls

I had forgotten just how beautiful this place is !

A man in a Kayak trying to go up the rapids

You actually can pay and go down the river in huge rubber tubes –

There were people getting ready to do this but we missed them.

The Billy Goat trail

Somehow as we were climbing up and over and trough the rocks

on The Billy Goat Trail –

They had put in and gone on their way !

We did however see one lone Kayak trying to go up the rapids !

There were several places along the trail

That people were going to rope down !

Flood stages over the years

It is really hard to believe that where she is standing –

FLOOD WATERS !

A lot of these dates correspond to major storms and ice and snow melt !

Mather’s Gorge

The Billy Goat Trail is full of rocks and boulders such as you see here.

I found myself gingerly placing my feet down in order not to slip.

It was dry and very hot out – 95 degrees –

I do not think I would walk this after a good rain.

Being it would be extremely slippery !

Below is where they put the tubes in

Most of this trail stayed away from the gorge edge –

but had little side trails that you could walk out to see over –

often times you actually could stand on rocks – NOT ME !

One of three overlooks

There were Three major over looks that had walls waist high –

Those I did – and were quite safe !

There were volunteers constantly walking the trail and overlooks –

making sure everyone obeyed the park rules !

I was surprised that they actually let people repel over the sides

and climb back up again !

I do not know if you have to have a permit to do that ?

I did read where you had to check in and register !

Old growth trees along side the canal

In 1784 – a series of five canals were constructed

and are still there

The main path follows along right where the footpath was

George Washington presided over the effort to construct the canal

and after completion in 1802 –

it operated for 26 years .

Old growth trees along side the old canal

It would take three days to travel the old canal from Cumberland Md.

To Georgetown – a distance of 190 miles –

the boats were flat –

pointed at both ends –

75 feet long and 5 feet wide !

After arriving at Georgetown

most of the boats were

sold for lumber

and the boatmen would then walk back home !

This area was a major trade center between the Indians and the colony.

View of the river

I was also surprised to see all the area to have picnics !

There were many tables and grills –

A host of families – and wide open spaces – shaded by the old trees !

A very nice visitors center and bathrooms –

along with a concession stand where you could buy Hot dogs

Pizza – other food and ice cream bars etc.

A deer eating 20 feet from us

I hope you liked our little side trip to GREAT FALLS PARK

On the Virginia side !

If you would like to read more of my blogs

Just type in the following

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My email fitztdf@aol.com

SHERRY CERTIFIED HEALTH & NUTRITION COACH

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

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email ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Tom ( PAPA ) JIM & Buck

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where friends – family and adventures come to life