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May 21 – Tribes Hill, NY

Erie Canal Lock 12 Wall

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” —Unknown

Looking west at Lock 2 and 3. Waterford is on the right

We went through eleven locks (264′ up) today. The first five are known as the Waterford Flight and must be done all at once. “The Waterford Flight” is a set of five locks, built in 1907, which raise watercraft 170 feet in a mile and a half. It raises boats from the Hudson River at Erie Lock 2 to the Mohawk River at Erie Lock 6. This is the greatest lift in the shortest distance on any canal system in the world. These five locks are necessary to navigate around the Cohoes Falls. Lock 2 in Waterford harbor is the most visited lock on the Erie Canal. The American Society Of Civil Engineers has named the flight of locks as a significant historic civil engineering landmark, because of their innovative design and protective gates.

May 20 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?” ― Hunter S. Thompson

Our decision not to leave with the crowd yesterday was a good one. It was fun to watch the boats moving west through Waterford, but getting to enjoy the Troy Framers Market today was even better. We took the Black Bridge Trail over to Troy again…what an easy way to get around. 

May 19 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” —C.S. Lewis

Today was the day…the Erie Canal opened for it’s 193rd year. This year marks the beginning of their Bicentennial Celebration. After a little entertainment and many speeches from state and canal dignitaries the boat horns were blown and the locks were officially opened. Most of the boats on the dock and even more boats that moved up the Hudson came through today. I’m glad we decided to wait a few days.

May 18 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

“What if, instead of thinking we have to choose between our ordinary life and an extraordinary life, we began to realize they’re the same thing?” ―Emily P. Freeman

The Eric Canal is scheduled open tomorrow and the Welcome Center was a busy place today as flags were hung, bleachers were set up, wires were laid for speakers and the yard was mowed. It was another extremely hot day, so we took our new blow up kayak out for a spin. It felt wonderful being on the water. We paddled over to Peebles Island…Stan fished and I did a little hiking and a lot of relaxing. 

May 17 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

“If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world the best you have.” —Neale Donald Walsch

Another beautiful day in Waterford, although a little warm…in fact it was warmer here than at home in Texas! At least these temperatures won’t last long. We spent the day visiting with people on the dock and riding our bikes. It felt nice to get some exercise after our long days on the boat last week.

Today we took the Black Bridge Trail across to Peeble Island and over to Green Island. From there we crossed the Hudson River and had lunch in Troy. We’ll head back this way on Saturday to visit the Troy’s Farmers Market. Our ride today was about nine miles along the river on a peaceful easy trail. 

The waterfront in Waterford is a popular place for locals to walk, so we’ve met a lot of nice people and there is always something entertaining going on. One lady we visited with yesterday told us her husband had family in Port Lavaca (our home town), today they came by for a visit and Stan realized he use to ride the bus to school with several of his cousins. It’s a small world and we truly enjoy meeting new people.

Another view of our wonderful home this week. You can just see part of the first lock on the left of the picture.

An old railroad trestle that is now part of the bike trail

Troy, NY the home of Uncle Sam

Some of the wild life we saw today…can you find the second deer?

Another one of the many bridges we crossed on our bike ride

The Pokingbrook Morris Dancers. A group of dancer from Albany that practice in different places each week. The group is dedicated to keeping the living dance traditions of England alive. They were very fun to watch.

Our visitors (John and Vicky) brought us this wine cork this evening. John made it…the yellow rose of Texas. It’s beautiful and we love it. Thank you so much. 
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May 16 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

“Traveling is like a drug, forming an addiction that controls your entire being.” —Kiana Azizian

The weather has finally warmed up and the welcome center was alive with activity…boaters washing their boats, school children on a field trip, workings finishing projects before the canal officially opens and locals out for walks enjoying the beautiful day. Stan and I decided to take a bike ride along the old Champlain Canal to visit Waterford’s Museum and then over to Cohoes to see the falls and where the original Erie Canal was located. 

The Erie Canal

Waterford Canal Welcome Center

We have a slip rented in Ithaca, NY on Cayuga Lake for the summer. The map above show the Erie Canal, the Finger Lakes and Ithaca. The only way to get to Ithaca is through the Erie Canal. While we wait for the season opening of the canal we’ll enjoy Waterford. Here’s a little history of the Erie Canal. 

Construction of the Erie Canal began on July 4, 1817, in Rome, New York and was completed on October 25, 1825. This year begins the bicentennial celebration that will last eight years. The original Canal was four feet deep and 40 feet wide, it cut through fields, forests, rocky cliffs, and swamps; crossed rivers on aqueducts; and overcame hills with 83 lift locks. The project engineers and contractors had little experience building canals, so this engineering marvel served as the nation’s first practical school of civil engineering.

May 13 – Waterford, NY

Waterford Canal Welcome Center
1 Lock – Up 14′

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill

We traveled in the rain all day Saturday (65 miles) to get to Waterford. Waterford sits at the beginning of the Erie Canal and the Champlain Canal. It’s a small charming town that really caters to the boaters transcending the canals. The people are friendly and go out of their way to make sure your stay is comfortable. The town dock is filling up…with boaters waiting for the canals to open. We lucked out and squeezed into a spot between the Visitors Center’s canal barge and a large catamaran. We are front and center for all the festivities that will be taking place this next week. Sometimes it’s nice to be little. 

May 12 – Up the Hudson River

Ole Savannah Restaurant Dock

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” ―Moorish proverb

The Pearl looks very small next to the Manhattan skyline

Our plans really have changed every day…we were going to take our time going up the Hudson from New York City since the Erie Canal isn’t scheduled to open until May 19. But…the day was so pretty and the current was giving us a nice push, so we decided to keep moving. I called the Waterford Visitor Center where people dock before entering the Erie Canal and they told me they still had room on their dock for us. So we made the decision to head to Kingston today and Waterford on Saturday. We docked at the Ole Savannah Restaurant, which offers free docking if you eat there…the food was decent and docks were adequate and we had dinner with a nice couple on the boat docked in front of us. It was a beautiful day on the water.

May 11 – Over Nighter to NYC

Hudson Point Marina

“The sea isn’t a place but a fact, and a mystery…” —Mary Oliver

The Delaware River…I wish the Atlantic had been this smooth

When you travel on a boat…schedules have to be very flexible. Weather plays a big part in when and where we go. Our plan to stay in Cape May for the night was scraped because we wanted to make it to New York City and the Hudson River before a strong front moves in this weekend. We could tell the condition in the Atlantic we’re going to deteriorate quickly so we decided to keep going. We did 225 miles non-stop…that’s a record for us, one I don’t feel we need ever break!