Saturday, October 16, 2010
Elizabethtown Lock and Dam: by car.
A few months ago while riding Dean's Tarheel 200 Permanent, a friendly fellow at the turn-around control told me about the lock and dam in Elizabethtown just a "short ride" away. Turns out a short ride is more like 35 miles round trip, so I filed that fact away for a later date. I became fascinated with these engineering marvels during a long, albeit shortened thanks to Katrina, bicycle tour down the Mississippi in 2005. The three locks on the Cape Fear aren't nearly as large as those on the Mississippi but they're pretty cool anyway although there is some controversy on whether they should be removed to allow a more natural flow of water for fish and wildlife.
When Tony's 600 went through the town last weekend, I looked up and downstream when we crossed the Cape Fear but saw no signs of a dam, so while driving home from the beach yesterday, I stopped at a cafe on the corner of Poplar and Broad Streets and found out the dam is about three miles downstream off Broad Street. Branson remembers Butler family picnics at the little park adjacent to the dam. Below is a short movie of the lock and dam and the park. The final image is a funny prayer found in the cafe.