This is what Bicycling the C&O Canal Towpath is all about.
Since we live near Washington, DC it is easy for us to go ride
the C&O Canal Towpath on a nice day. What people may not realize is
that there is significant history depicted just in the course of this
very short cycling tour. The history
of the C&O Canal
is a remakable saga of American vision, ingenuity and determination.
The early concepts of a canal along the Potomac River date back to George Washington.
He actually invested in a project to build a canal on the Virginia side
of the River. That canal was not as long and it worked for a few years
but it did not stand the test of time very well. It was eventually abandoned. The next project on the Maryland side of the River involved significantly more capital and took many more years for construction. Design and development began in the 1820's.
Work was discontinued for a time and yet the much longer version was
finally completed in 1850. The C&O Canal operated until a series of
floods in 1924 and 1936 which basically caused it to be abandoned. It
was acquired by the US Government in 1938.
The engineering that went into the project was astounding for
its time. The workmanship, especially on the locks, is extraordinary.
The enire 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal is now a National Park.
It is one of the most frequently visited parks anywhere on
The music for this particular clip is performed by "The String
Dusters" of Maryland. The songs are entitled, "Waynesboro" and "The Old
Spinning Wheel." These are authentic musical pieces from the time when the Canal was being built. The songs are in the Public Domain.
The start of the C&O Canal is in Georgetown and it goes all
the way to Cumberland, Maryland. From there, a cyclist can then ride
all the way to Pittsburgh on the Great Allegheny Passage. The Canal and the Passage are over 300 miles of very scenic and historic cycling.
We love to ride our bicycles and that is why we created these video clips, so that others can see what it is like.
Our series of online videos will present American History by going in a logical, sequential order.
These segments show the sequence we suggest, however, viewers can obviously choose whatever they want.
More video clips are in the process of being uploaded. It takes time to build the site, so please be patient.
Columbus - featuring a ship like the one he sailed to the new world.
Somehow, we got off the trail of "normal" American history. We were drawn to true stories that are rarely told or described in text books. As with the entire series, we seek out modern day subject matter experts who combine vast personal knowledge with a spirit of adventure to relive history around us today.
Because video on the web has become so popular, and because we have had so many requests for it, we are now providing a few unusual segments. These pieces simply did not fit into the sequential order we try to present on the DVDs. We find them fascinating and perhaps you will, too.
There are many ways to display video clips on the web. We have chosen MP4 as the format to use. It makes small files with relatively good quality.
Our intent with online video is merely to provide a brief glimpse into the more complete coverage provided on the DVDs. We also want to show footage NOT included on the DVDs.
The MP4 format makes these clips easy to download for display on a laptop, an iPod, iPad, tablet, smartphone or similar device.