Well I suppose I could say that this was more of the same, and to an extent that would be true. Following the Erie Canal is just motoring along a lazy river with some curves and stretches of long straight canal with nothing to see but Cottonwood Trees and banks lined with fallen trees and other debris caused by the heavy spring rains and flooding.
However, one of the things that has been most interesting about this portion of the trip has been a look at Americana, those small towns along the way that have made the trip so interesting. We have slowed down in many of these towns to wait for the Canal’s many lift bridges or to spend the night. We have seen home grown Home Town Celebrations in towns such Fairport or Spencerport, NY. You have all seen these small town celebrations and have been part of them at one time or other. The thing that struck me most about these events was that we found ourselves welcomed into these town and others as well by the cities themselves because they opened their arms to the boaters on the Canal and give boaters nice park-like surroundings in their cities with free power, showers, clean restrooms and in some cases even free clothing washers and dryers. These amenities are provided in the hopes that you will spend your money in their town and recommend their town as a stopping place to your fellow boaters.
Many of these towns and villages were established in the 18th century by those that help build the Erie Canal. We found that parts of the Canal were being worked on in 1817 which was possibly before the development of the steam shovel.
One of the most interesting Locks that we passed through was the last lock, number 34. It was interesting in that it was a double lock. There were four sets of doors, but the first three sets separated the two chambers which lifted the boat some 25 feet each time. The fourth set of doors was a second set which were on the outside of the West end of the lock which acted to assist in holding back the water from the Canal which is 50 feet higher than the East end of the lock.
Tomorrow, we will start to put the Mast back in the boat, not so sure how long the whole process will take, but inserting the mast into the boat doesn’t take but a couple of hours. It’s putting all the lines and cables back in their place as well as reconnecting all of the electrical that will likely take the most time.