Sunday, July 18, 2010

365 Challenge, Day 1: The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

It starts here, folks: my ambitious 365 Challenge!

Let's see if I can find something interesting to take a photo of every day for the next year. I was talking to TJ this morning, and I mentioned that I thought this would be a neat idea for when we moved to Mexico. TJ, never thinking highly of my ability to procrastinate, was kind enough to point out that there wasn't much of a reason for my not starting now. So there ya go.

TJ was heading into Georgetown this afternoon for some shopping, and suggested I come along. He conned me into going by saying that perhaps my first photo could be of a cupcake. When I rationalized that I would probably need to buy a cupcake to do this, and should then probably eat said cupcake, I realized that, yes, I would be starting this project today.

Georgetown Cupcake was one of our first discoveries upon moving here, and the thought of noshing on a red velvet cupcake today sounded lovely. Unfortunately, the always-popular bakery has been met with a surge in popularity recently thanks to its starring role in the TLC program DC Cupcakes. Personally, I doubt any cupcake is worth an hour-long wait outside in the DC summer heat, so no cupcake pictures today.

We did, however, stumble across this:

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal begins its 184.5-mile journey to the reaches of western Maryland right here in Georgetown.

Georgetown, located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, DC, was established in 1751 and flourished as a tobacco port until the mid-19th Century. By the time planning began for a Potomac River Valley canal in the 1820s, Georgetown was little more than a sleepy market town. When the decision was made to have the canal extend into the heart of the village, Georgetown's future as not only an important capital city neighborhood, but also a vibrant industrial community in its own right, was ensured. Today, Georgetown features some of the most popular shopping and dining DC has to offer.

For $5, one can take a tour of the canal via mule-drawn boat and explore Georgetown's historic warehouse district. The National Park Service offers walking tours on the weekends during the summer months, and boat rides Wed.-Sun. during Spring, Summer, and Fall.

It was amazing to me that such a peaceful scene could be found just a few blocks off of the chaos that is M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. That's why a project like this is so interesting. If I feel the pressure to take photos every day, I'm not going to want to bore my readers, or myself, with the same old stuff. I will be more in tune with my surroundings. More appreciative of my environment. Chances are good that, every so often, I will run into something like this. Something that I didn't know existed, until I walked down a road I had never even noticed before.

I'm sad to say that we did not have the opportunity to take a tour or boat ride today, though I am hoping that one of the remaining 364 photos I have for this year will include a photo of a mule-drawn boat. Or a cupcake.

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