This Magnificent Waterway Is Called A "Ditch," And With
Equal Appropriateness Can Cleopatra's Barge Be Called A Box-Car.
There are no carriage roads through the ditch country, and before
the ditch was built, or bored, rather, there was no horse-trail.
Hundreds of inches of rain annually, on fertile soil, under a tropic
sun, means a steaming jungle of vegetation.
A man, on foot, cutting
his way through, might advance a mile a day, but at the end of a
week he would be a wreck, and he would have to crawl hastily back if
he wanted to get out before the vegetation overran the passage way
he had cut. O'Shaughnessy was the daring engineer who conquered the
jungle and the gorges, ran the ditch and made the horse-trail. He
built enduringly, in concrete and masonry, and made one of the most
remarkable water-farms in the world. Every little runlet and
dribble is harvested and conveyed by subterranean channels to the
main ditch. But so heavily does it rain at times that countless
spillways let the surplus escape to the sea.
The horse-trail is not very wide. Like the engineer who built it,
it dares anything. Where the ditch plunges through the mountain, it
climbs over; and where the ditch leaps a gorge on a flume, the
horse-trail takes advantage of the ditch and crosses on top of the
flume. That careless trail thinks nothing of travelling up or down
the faces of precipices. It gouges its narrow way out of the wall,
dodging around waterfalls or passing under them where they thunder
down in white fury; while straight overhead the wall rises hundreds
of feet, and straight beneath it sinks a thousand.
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