Monday, August 7, 2023

Getting Well and Ohio Canals

Location: Grand Lake St. Mary's State Park; St. Mary, Ohio 

Well, I made it to Ohio. I continue to improve from what I've decided was a mild case of bronchitis. If it follows suit like other ones in my past, I'll be coughing on and off for about a week then it will be all gone. I've also used another cayenne/castor oil poultice on my left foot. This is the second time and the results have been very surprising. Swelling and tingling has stopped. And this is only after two treatments. Wow. Also, another curious thing to go with all the others, my blood pressure has dropped by 10 to 15 points over the last 8 days. I check it every morning, so I have a pretty good record of the results. We will see how things go from here on out but right now, I'm really happy with the results from the cayenne/castor oil poultice.

A couple travel pictures. This is typical farmland in central Indiana and Ohio.

Large churches like this is not uncommon along lightly traveled stare highways.

Back to RV traveling and exploring. The reason I stopped here was to learn about and explore one of the main man-made canals in Ohio. It is the Miami-Erie Canal which connected the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio to the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio. It took twenty years to build and was completed in 1845 which coincidentally was the same year the Erie Canal was completed in upstate New York. There is a large portion of the Erie Canal still in existence and you can buy a ticket to ride on it as it goes through some existing locks. I did that back in 2014 and is still one of my "wow" moments. The difference between the Erie Canal and the Miami-Erie Canal is the Erie Canal made tons of money for its owners. The Miami-Erie just barely broke even. The reason being, the Railroads in Ohio started coming online shortly after the Miami-Erie Canal opened. Even through heavy competition, the canal continued in operation until 1913 when heavy floods in the area destroyed much of the canal. 

This is a portion of the Miami-Ohio canal and lock. The large two-story building on the left is the lock-keepers house. They were on 24 hour call to lock boats through the lock.

The gates in the lock were hand operated using these timbers. 

The concrete sidewalk is where the mule path for the canal was located. I also found a nice bench.

This statue is a memorial to the young farm boys and the mules from their farms around the area. They would typically tow the boats about 10 miles before turning it over to another boy/mule team. No labor laws back then.

The campground I'm currently at is on the banks of Grand Lake. It was built as a water reservoir for the canal. It would provide water during dry times to keep the boats moving. It was completed the same year as the canal, 1845. It was hand-dug and is 9 miles long by 3 miles wide. It is an impressive project. At the time it was completed, it was THE largest man-made lake in the world and is still the worlds largest hand-dug lake. It also hold another "first" in that it is the location of the fist "submerged" oil well head in 1891. By 1915, there were over 150 wells on the lake. The lake is the predominate feature within a 30 miles radius. It is a recreational hotspot for people from tens of miles around. But even as crowded as it was on Friday and Saturday, I still got a nice, peaceful, good vibe from the lake and surrounding towns. It will definitely go on my "good vibe" list. If I return to this campground, I'll be sure to stay only during Sunday thru Thursday. 

The campground was super crowded on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, it was 75% empty. Good vibes though.

Grand Lake as a cold front was blowing through. It is a large lake.

Credit goes to the local authorities for developing and maintaining recreational items around the lake. Well done. 

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be heading north to a campground in the middle of farmland. I stayed there for a few days many years ago and I remember it being a very good place. It is described as a "farmland oasis". I'm looking forward to see if it has changed or not. 

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe I'll Cya down the road.


1 comment: