Friday, October 08, 2010

Lotsa Locks

We live near a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rideau Canal, and while we have visited some of the nearby locks including those in Ottawa itself, we had neglected the more removed locks towards the southwest of us. It was time to remedy that today as we set out in perfect Thanksgiving weekend weather. So with cameras in hand, of we set.

Before I get to the picture show, however, let me digress just a little to explain what the Rideau Canal or Waterway is.

It was planned after our 1812 overture with the good, old US of A: a war which we claim to have won by the way. The idea was to enable ships to bypass the St Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston as we feared those dastardly Americans who lurked on the southern bank of the river had nothing but mayhem on their minds. The canal with its 49 locks was completed twenty year later in 1832, an engineering marvel that has withstood the test of time. The thing still works in the way it did almost two hundred years ago.

Just one caveat about the use of the word canal. People tend to think of a canal as a completely man-made channel with or without locks. In fact, the Rideau Waterway is for the most part a natural waterway, but to make the whole thing navigable, locks were constructed here and there to bypass rapids and so link two bodies of water of different heights.

Having disgorged that bit of pedantry, let's gets around to the photos. This first set is from Chaffey's Locks. Yes, it was a beautiful day in a beautiful spot. I wish that the heron in the fourth picture had been closer, but you do what you can. The final picture is or was a mill.

Then we were off to Davis Lock in a very secluded spot. I stopped on the road to take the first photo, but the rest are around the lock itself. The final picture in the Davis series is of the guardhouse, or whatever it was properly called. It was well constructed just in case those nasty Americans were to sneak up on it. I'm not sure how they would get so far into Canada from the border and, if they did, why this particular lock would be so vital because they would have done a lot of damage by the time they had made it this far, but there you have it.

Finally, we were off to Jones Falls, which required four separate locks in order to overcome a significant change in elevation. The first photo, below, is taken from the second lock, looking down at the first with Cuppa looking up towards me. The second is from the third lock. I had stupidly walked along the gateway bewteen locks two and three to get this picture. I say stupidly because I don't do heights very well.

Above, Cuppa climbs the stairs from the third to fourth lock. Below, I shoot back form about the elevation of the fourth lock back to the lower locks. The third lock is plainly visible, and one can also see how much lower the end point is from way up at the height of the fourth lock.

There was an inn/hotel at Jones Falls (below). Sadly, however, we were 15 minutes late for lunch. Somewhat famished after only having one piece of toast and one donut since early morning, we made a beeline to the nearest town, but it was a lot farther than your average bee might fly in a half hour, let me tell ya.

Note: I'm tired, so I'm going to post as is without editing and revising. Sorry, but the wit, such as it is, will have to wait for another day.


Garnetrose said...

You live in a beautiful area, AC..just gorgeous pictures.

Bernie said...

your weather looks really nice, and the pictures are brethtaking. What a nice way to spend Thanksgiving weekend.....:-) Hugs

Donna said...

Well, the photos are Wonderful! It's a beautiful area!
As to those pesky Americans...I think, now that you Canadians have managed to "pretty up" the area...we would Now like you to just peaceably, turn it over to us! It looks like there's nothing to Do there except walk or drive boats around...You wouldn't miss it!! I think I'll pull out my old history book again....'Gotta read that "story" again....Hahahaaaa
It Is a beautiful area!
Happy Thanksgiving Ac!

Anonymous said...

There is little that is better than a walk in a beautiful setting on a perfect fall day. Lovely, lovely photos.

Mary said...

AC, I have never visited these particular locks. Great photos and a marvelous description of the history. I'm glady you and Cuppa could get out on such a beautiful day. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you and your family.


Diana said...

Again, more beautiful photos! Our fall is looking much like yours right now. Isn't it just gorgeous?!
Love Di ♥

Kila said...

Very enjoyable post, thank you for sharing :)

It is odd in Florida in the fall to not have leaves changing color. Still green like summer here.

Mary G said...

I've got some photos of the same locks from the water here and there on my blog. Lovely weather for a photo day! And some great shots.

Anvilcloud said...

MG: it's your photos from the canal that had me presuming you lived down south -- so to speak.

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

Well Mr. North American this is Ms. Middle American have you been to South America yet? Some great photos for sure. Lots of water around up there.

Doris said...

Beautiful photos and so nice to see the blue sky / blue water. My trip lately was full of gray skies (but still a nice time)!

Anvilcloud said...

It's been a very nice TG weekend here. I have the general impression that this weekend is usually nice weather-wise.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Beautiful colors, AC, looks like you are having a very colorful autumn. The colors are becoming more intense in Maine, the farther south we travel.

Ruth said...

I have only seen the locks along the road into Ottawa and that is a very scenic drive too. I like your history lesson.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The Rideau is a beautiful waterway. It would be a wonderful paddle fora canoe trip. I have paddled the Trent. I expect the best I could hope for these days is to view it as you do. from the shore.

Anvilcloud said...

The old back ain't what it used to be. Nothing is what it used to be.

JunieRose2005 said...

AC-I enjoyed all the pictures- your part of the world is very beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Those are some amazing shots you have there...the colors remind me of when we were in Vermont last year. Love this post.