Monday, June 6, 2016

6/06 Locks 14-20 Up 420 feet

We woke to sunshine!!  A clear crisp day!!!
Blue and yellow are the colors of New York.  I didn't know that until today.  But all the boats along the Erie Canal and the locks are colored blue and yellow.  The blue and yellow boat in the picture above was taking trees out of the dam.  The trees had floated down in the heavy rains yesterday.  Sailboats have their masts taken down and strapped to their boats so they can get under the bridges.

Again, the scenery was gorgeous.  There were amazing vistas and farms to see.

Near Little Falls, the sides of the old Erie Canal and falls were visible.
Periodically, along the Canal are Guard Gates.  The Guard Gates can be put down to prevent boat traffic on the Canal.  Just in case you don't know how to go under them, there are arrows.  In this picture, it is telling us we can go through on either side.
The most exciting part of the day was going through Lock 17.  Lock 17 raises you up 40 feet!   It is also unique because the lock has a gate that raises straight up to let you into the lock. Here is the lock in closed position.
It raises slowly to let you in.  Here it is raising.
Once it is up under you go but you do get wet as the excess water drops off the gate.
The lock then becomes intimidating.  As the gate lowers behind you, you have the sensation of being in an Indiana Jones movie.  The walls and gates are up 40 feet all around you.
The water slowly rises and you go up and up and up.  Then the front gates open and off you go.  Of course, I can calmly say that now.  Since we started on the Canal we have gone up 420 feet!!!  This is the highest level of the Erie Canal.

We ended the day locking through Lock 20.  The wind had really picked up and that was a hard one to hold the ropes.  Right after most of the locks there are lock walls where you can tie your boat up for the night.  So after Lock 20 we tied up to the lock wall.  There is a small park here and the Erie Canal Way bike path goes by.  They have electrical hook ups for the boats too.

After dinner, I walked back to the lock.  Here you could walk on the lock wall so I got some great pictures.
Looking east from the side of the lock

Looking down on the lock wall

View from the top center of the Lock 20 gate

This is what a full lock looks like from the top
Tomorrow, we get closer to the Oswego Canal that will take us to Lake Ontario.

Lat 43 degrees 8.66 North
Long 75 degrees 17.61 West

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