Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lunch at Great Shiplock Park

As mild as it was today, even should that Pennsylvania groundhog sees his shadow tomorrow and we end up having six more weeks of winter, we have nothing to complain about! I took advantage of the mild weather and a longer lunch hour to do a walk to Great Shiplock Park past Shockoe Bottom. It is about 1.7 miles each way from work, and while there, I explored about and ate my PB&J sandwich and my Greek yogurt - yum! Along the way, I took a number of photos, some of which I show here. And at the end, on this "winter" day where the high was close to 70 Fahrenheit, I hated to return to work - but I did.

This is the Tidewater Connection Lock in the downtown. It was once used to lower and raise boats between two canals at different levels.
I'm looking back from whence I came along the Canal Walk.
If you were enslaved, how badly would you want freedom? How far would you go to taste it? Well, in the 1850's, Henry "Box" Brown had himself nailed shut into a box and shipped to Philadelphia from Richmond. This box is the same size as the one Brown, with the help of friends, used to escape slavery. The local white man who helped him was eventually caught and punished. I put my day pack in there so you can gauge the size, but trust me, it would be a miserable trip even for an hour, much less for more than a day on a bumpy train.
Because I was shooting into the sun, I had to put the camera very close and on the ground in the shadow of the box to get my photo inside the box. And even then, my foot was sticking out. I cannot imagine how anyone could have endured the long trip to Philly nailed shut in a box - even one much larger than this one.
Here is the view back to Richmond from my arrival in this little park. See the tall building left of center? That is the James Monroe Building, where I worked as a contractor for six months in 2000. It is 29 stories tall. I know this because I used to walk to the top once a day - after I was able to do it. It took me about four months of working there, adding a floor a week, to make it to the very top, and it took about seven or eight minutes to walk to the top!
The mighty James River, the reason there is a city here, runs by. The purpose of the old locks here were to allow ships access to the river below the unnavigable rapids that Richmond is famed for. The James is, I believe, the longest river in the United States that flows in only one state.
February 1st???? Really!??
These geese and ducks are enjoying the spring-like weather.
Part of the path I walked to get here is on the Capital to Capital (or Cap 2 Cap) bike trail. When completed, it will run for 50 miles and connect Richmond with Virginia's original capital, Williamsburg.
The last time I saw "Connecticut", the Big Indian, he was being evicted from our baseball stadium. It is good to know he has a new home with nice river views.


  1. PB&J - a favorite of mine.
    Great weather for walking. I can understand why you wouldn't want to go back to work.
    Not a very pleasant way to travel!!

  2. Yeah - would have loved to walk and explore all afternoon, but I have bills to pay. Nope - a horrible way to travel. But I guess to him, it was the price of a ticket to freedom. Art

  3. Thanks for posting some once familiar scenes. Back in the 70's this area was not nearly as nice, but a great place to explore.

  4. Hey Les - yeah, no place I'd go for a classic hike, but for a lunch break on a gorgeous day, it worked out just fine.