Christmas Morning Walk on Level 34
December 25, 2017
Level 34 on the C&O Canal, which starts at McMahon’s Mill (mile 88.10) and ends at Opequon (pronounced “Opekon”) Junction Hiker/Biker (mile 90.94), was Arthur’s favorite place on the Canal. It is on the Big Slackwater area of the Park above Dam #4 where the proximity of limestone bluffs and cliffs made it easier for the canal builders to build a dam to make the water deep enough to move the canal boats in the river and negate the work of carving the canal through solid rock. This has made for some beautiful and interesting terrain. There are the aforementioned cliffs, caves, spectacular views, interesting plants, and lots of wildlife. This area is also prone to flooding and requires much maintenance, especially in the spring.
I am a volunteer level Walker for the C&O Canal Association and Level 34 is one of my levels. This means that I walk the level periodically and monitor conditions, pick up trash, and generally be helpful. Arthur and I spent fair bit of time on this part of the Canal and I find it a privilege to help take care of this part of this wonderful Park. It has become a tradition with me to walk this level on Christmas Day and have a cup of Arthur’s favorite tea on Arthur’s Rock, a place where he and I would often sit and have lunch when we were out.
TC, December, 2017