Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I will never tire of visiting the Dismal Swamp Canal. I have driven often along the path of the canal for the last twenty some years and almost without fail I will pull off of the highway and walk to edge of the ditch dug by hand over 200 years ago. Maybe I'll be there for just for a few minutes, maybe sometimes more. Spring, summer, fall and winter, I find it to be a beautiful place.
I have gone up and down the full length of the canal just one over the years, it was with my friend Paul on his 34' sailboat. I have canoed stretches of the old waterway. And I have even hitch-hiked the canal, catching brief rides with people I did not know until they kindly invited me aboard.
The canal starts in Deep Creek in Chesapeake, the town where I live. It head south along the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp to a set of locks in South Mills and then to Turners Cut where it spills into the Pasquotank River a few miles north of Elizabeth City.
Along the waterfront of Elizabeth City the Pasquotank widens and turns southeast towards Albemarle Sound. Twenty years ago I kept my old boat, the original Spartina at a dock in Elizabeth City. That dock was over near the metal buildings at the right in the photograph above.
Someday I should take Spartina down the Old Dismal Swamp Canal. Maybe late in fall when the leaves are turning and the last of the snowbirds are passing through on their way south to warm weather. A couple of days on the canal, calm water reflecting the deep blue sky.
I will never tire of the Dismal Swamp Canal.