Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pappa at the Paw Paw - A Father's Day Trek with Kristen

A few years ago I purchased a book titled Weird Maryland. Yes, there are books for other states in the series, and for the USA as a whole. A sharp marketing concept for sure. Anyway, in the Maryland edition, space is given to the Paw Paw tunnel, the largest structure on the C & O Canal, and a major engineering feat when it was dug in the mid 1800s.. Why it should be designated as weird rather than interesting or historic, I don't know. I guess they had to fill the book, and there weren't enough truly weird places in Maryland.  But, Paw Paw got my lovely daughter's attention. She was seized by a desire to go there and suggested it as a Father's Day adventure for the two of us. It fits right in with my railroad hikes and the tunnels on the Old Main Line of the B &O Railroad. So, off we went. It was a return trip for me. I had walked the tunnel before, about 50 years ago, when I was a Boy Scout on a canoe trip along a parallel stretch of the Potomac river. The walkway is the towpath used by mules that towed the canal boats. It was dark then, and it's still dark in there. Not like this long exposure. More like the one below it.

Take a flashlight, or a headlamp. The tunnel is 3,118 feet long and unlit.

More photos here.