• Published 3rd Feb 2023
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Up The Ohio Canal - BlueBook

J.H. Wilkins is a prominent Cleveland businessman in 1850. He takes a trip on the canal boat Sylph to Akron. However, it turns out to be more than he bargained for when he catches the eye of the boat's captain... a lady pony!

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Lock 29: Peninsula Aqueduct

We passed another mill, its side proclaiming ‘Elevator B, Mood & Thomas Milling Company’. A line of freight boats was tied up alongside it, their crews hard at work loading them.

We rounded a bend, and I saw that before us stretched a huge wooden trestle. The canal carried on over it, in a sort of wooden trough. It was mostly water tight, which is to say that falls of water flowed freely from its seams, plummeting to the river below. Those passing beneath it on other boats were, no doubt, suddenly baptized.

“All clear ahead, Mr. Garfield!?” Rosemary shouted towards the bow ahead.

“All clear, Captain!”

Rosemary sighed in relief. “Thank goodness. I hate going across this thing.”

As we passed onto the great wooden span, I soon saw why. There was nothing, but a small boardwalk just wide enough for a single team, between us an oblivion. “I take it you’re not fond of heights?”

Rosemary gritted her teeth. “Who do I look like? Pegasus?”

Slowly, we inched our way across the span. The wind whistled around us, sparkling waters beneath us and a bright blue sky above. It was a beautiful sight, but Rosemary saw none of it for her eyes were as ever fixed upon the channel ahead. From the tension on her face, it was evident she had no interest in looking down, or for that matter conversing. So we sat, in silence, as our canal boat soared over the void, from one cliff to another.

We were a flying ship, something for which man has no doubt dreamed of since time immemorial, and yet the crew and other passengers regarded our flight as mundane as the passage of an ordinary bridge in a carriage. Such indifference, I suppose, is bred by great familiarity. And yet, I must admit it robbed me of breath, for it was the most dazzling sight in the entirety of our trip.