"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away
from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

Monday, May 31, 2010

Elizabeth City and Dismal Swamp, N.C.

Elizabeth City is the stop before entering the Dismal Swamp.  A small waterfront town that has suffered in this economy, and is struggling to survive.  The waterfront is beautiful, as you walk in to town there are many buildings that are now standing vacant. A site that is all too familiar as we travel these beautiful waterways. They still offer complimentary docks to the traveling boater, no power or electric, but a secure place to spend a night or two.  We stayed in Elizabeth City for a night an explored the town.

The day started out a bit overcast but quickly started to heat up, and by early afternoon the sun was out in full force.  We headed to the Dismal Swamp, a very protected canal with tall trees and water so calm its resembles glass.  Construction began in 1793, and  had to be dug completely by hand so progress was slow and expensive.  Most of the labor was done by slaves hired from nearby landowners. The slaves became so familiar with this swamp that it eventually became a haven for runaway slaves.

There is a bridge and lock at the beginning and end of this canal, with only 4 openings a day. We took 2 days to go through this fascinating area. 

Look closely at this picture, it is not upside down, you are seeing the reflection of the blue sky and trees in the water. The next picture shows the rails on the side of the boat to show that we are in the water.

We stayed overnight at the welcome center along the canal, and went to the Dismal Swamp National Park across the foot bridge.

The next 2 pictures were taken as we walked around the park.

Last bridge, with the lock about 1/8th of a mile up the canal, we are almost through the Dismal Swamp. It is about 9:00 a.m. and we are headed to Norfolk, VA.

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