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

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My email fitztdf@aol.com

SHERRY CERTIFIED HEALTH & NUTRITION COACH

For HEALTH & NUTRITION

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

email ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Tom ( PAPA ) JIM & Buck

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Papa’s World – surrounded – by water – Eldred Pa. ’72

It started with some rain –

I was working second shift –

in Olean N.Y.

Around 9:00 P.M. –

I looked out back at the river –

IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE AND GO HOME – TO ELDRED PA.

Good morning

I left and drove through Portville N.Y.

– still raining –

and I came to the bridge that turned right –

And would take me to the border and Pa.

They had just set up the barriers –

I would be the last car through.

I had to go across the “FLATS” and it already had started to flood.

Here we are in the hills or mountains of the Allegany River

which flows North into New York State –

before it turns South back into Pa.

Eventually ending up in Pittsburg Pa.

I pushed water with my bumper –

almost up to the headlight –

But after one hour to make a thirty minute trip –

I was home.

This would be the last time I would get out for almost two weeks.

We would be completely surrounded by water !

Main Street Eldred

In this picture –

I had moved from a apartment over top of the Western Auto

Six months before the flood from Hurricane Agnes

which dropped 12 . 5 inches of rain

The water would continue to rise another three to four feet in this picture.

I never went back to work for over two weeks –

Almost to second stories

The town was devastated –

one point five million dollars in destruction.

With a population of 800 to 1000 –

The water destroyed almost every business and home in the Boro.

We were lucky – we had moved to North Mani Street – high above the water.

We were constantly moving people and furniture only to see the water rise

and cover everything we had moved up.

A helicopter made trips into the ball field before it

( the ball park ) also vanished under water

Soon the Elementary school where we had set up a sort of place to meet –

was under water.

About twelve feet of water

Through all of this –

main street turned into a water way for boats –

As did the side streets

Supplies were getting thin –

trying the back roads through the hills –

was almost impossible as almost every community from miles around

was in water or surrounded.

Rain bow

But there is a good ending to all of this –

ELDRED survived and came back –

rebuilt -and a few years later –

The Army Corps of Engineers built a dike system –

And even though there were dikes before –

this was much improved –

And as far as I know –

has not flooded since!

The Sun came out and at the end of the Rain bow –

Main street Eldred – many of these buildings still remain

She still stands there today –

The little community –

Where everyone knows your name –

Continues on as it has since the 1800’s!

Tom & Sherry

I hope this brings back memories for those that lived it.

Hurricane Agnes in June 1972

wrought much destruction in our area-

This is but one point of view.

Thank you for reading.

For more blogs that I have written just type in the following

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For email to contact me

fitztdf@aol.com

For general HEALTH ( sherry is a certified Health Coach )

http://www.sf.juiceplus.com

for her email

ssherrylynn49@aol.com

Thank you for reading

and Welcome to PAPA’S WORLD