7/21/04 After spending two nights at Newark we made it to Fairport, NY today. Fairport has been our favorite town
on the Erie Canal since we started renting canal boats some years back. Nice resturants, nice people and great tie ups for
boaters. Sea Rose, a boat we have been following is here and we will have dinner with them tonight. We saw the amphibicar
come by today after we tied up. It's always a little different when you see a guy drive by the boat in his car. This is the
second time we have seen one of these cars on this trip. Fairport has a one of a kind lift bridge. It is higher on one
end than on the other and when it is raised it goes up tilted instead of level like all other bridges. We are meeting family
here tomorrow and will take them for a ride so they will get to open the bridge for us twice. It's finally hot!! Must be about
90 today and very little breeze. Good thing we have power tonight so we can run the fan. Pulling into Fairport today has really
made us realize how good this trip has been and how far we have come.
I never really thought about what it's like to be "cool" but apparently we are. At least that's what the kids around
the towns we're in say when they see our folding bikes. We are starting a nickel jar for the bikes. We are the envy of every
5-12 year old we come across. If I knew it would have been this easy when I was a kid I would have bought a truck load
of folding bikes.
Cool boat, cool bikes. Cool, huh?
7/24/04 We bypassed Pittsford, another of our favorite towns and decided to head to Spencerport to get a
spot on the wall for the Spencerport Canal Days event. We were just in time to get one of the last spots. The festival was
nice with lots of people.
7/27/04 We spent the last two nights at Brockport. Stephanie and Fred Kaufhold onboard the River Runner met up
with us and we had a nice dinner right next to the boat at the Galley Resturant. Deb and I had eaten there the last time we
were on the canal and it has since changed but the food is still great. We left for the small town of Holley just 5 miles
down the canal for the night. We arrived at Holley and found a spot for two boats with 30 amp power, showers and restrooms
right next to the dock. Holley is a nice small town on the way back. Their tie ups are some of the best and very quiet at
night. The four of us took a walk to the waterfall and then Debbie and Steph went off to a quilt store while Fred and I walked
back to the boat to do some work. The phone rang a while later and it was Debbie and Steph wanting Fred and I to join them
for lunch about a mile back to the quilt store that also has a cafe in the same store. Very nice lunch and good deserts and
then back to the boat. We went to our 7th free concert to hear the Stright Shooters play country music until we had enough
and back to the boat again. Holley was going to be a day stop for us but with Fred and Steph's company and everything to do
we ended up staying the night and enjoying the sound of rain on the cabin top.
7/28/04 Left for Middleport after a nice fresh blueberry pancake breakfast onboard our boat with Fred and Stephanie
as our first dinner (or breakfast) guests. Made it to Middleport. Not much here but they are trying hard. The laundry is just
steps from the boat so we will stay the night. We are grilling out with Fred and Steph after the wash gets done. No food around
here unless the work is done!! Debbie just told me they are having BINGO at the fire department and the jackpot is $1000 bucks.
More local flavor. We'll see who wins.Debbie and Stephanie got to the fire house 15 minutes late so they would not let them
play. Oh well.....
7/29/04 The River Runner and the Leah Gent made it to Lockport, NY and found a place on the dock for the night.
Fred and Stephanie told us about the caves at Lockport so we decided to check it out. There are hand dug water tunnels under
the town of Lockport that onced were used to power the mills there. Very interesting tour with a boat ride in the tunnel at
the end of the tour. They are very much like the cave tours we have been on at home. Lockport at one time had a flight of
5 locks but today only has two big locks to lift you above the Niagra escarpment. These locks are really big and they lift
you 25' each and are end to end. That means you drive out of one and right into the next one and get lifted again.
7/30/04 On to Tonawanda today. We wanted to get there early to get a dock and it's a good thing we did because
they were full and rafted 3 deep the next day. Eddie Money was playing a concert at the harbor and we had a great seat on
the dock next to the boat. We spent the next 3 nights there and had a great time watching all the goings on in the harbor.
We are only a few miles from Niagra Falls at this point. Julie came down from Dental school for the weekend and slept on the
boat. It was her first time seeing the boat in the water. We took her car and made a trip into Canada at Niagra Falls. Nice
to have a car again!! I also bought a guitar to learn to play. I'm working on Christmas songs. I figure I might take a while
to learn one song so it makes sense to learn a Christmas song.
8/2/04 We said good bye to Fred and Stephanie Kaufhold, our cruising friends for the last week, as they head west
to Lake Erie and Lake Huron and we head back east for Oswego and Canada. We sure will miss them. We have a lot in common and
Fred and I are in the same story telling league. Debbie and Stephanie had a great time shopping and our dinners on the dock
were the best. Maybe we'll cross wakes again someday. We made it to Brockport for the night.
8/3/04 We waited in Brockport until after lunch to pick up a WiFi finder that my brother, Rob, had mailed to me and tonight
we are back in Fairport for the night. It's further east tomorrow and hopefully we will be in Oswego by Friday to wait for
a good weather day to cross Lake Ontario.
8/05/05 We are in Baldwinsville again on our way to Phenix? for the night. We stayed on the lock wall in the middle of
nowhere last night and I caught my first Northern Pike on a nightcrawler. He was big enough to keep but I released him to
fight again. It's COLD here. High of 66 today and very windy. Same for tomorrow. What happened to hot August weather. And
we are heading even further north?? Today was our 60th day and 1500 miles on the boat. Still married, talking and having a
great time. We also got the good news that we closed our deal with the Dept of Transportation and we now own our house free
and clear. Finally, retired and debt free. Yippeeeeeeeeee..............
8/05/04 We made it to Phenoix, NY which is know on the canal for the Bridge House Brats. These are the local kids
that have formed a business of sorts and help boats tie up, pump out and deliver food from the local resturants. Carlin
was our waiter and brought us breakfast on the dock the next morning. Carlin is 12 or so and it was a real pleasure to have
made his acquaintance. More communities should have something like this for their youth.
8/8/04 Left turn. That's what Debbie and I are known for the best. We really don't make plans so we can make left
turns in the middle of our lives sometimes. We had planned to go to Ottawa and waited 3 days in Oswego to cross Lake Ontario
but as the old saying goes, " The sea is so great and my boat so small". The waves were crashing over the 8' breakwater
as we ate dinner Saturday night so we decided to error on the side of caution (a smart thing when one sails a flat bottom
boat) and head back down the (safe) and (flat) Erie Canal towards Waterford and the Champlain Canal to see the sights in upstate
New York and Vermont. We will be more able to take our time and relax than if we waited longer and hurried thru Canada. Maybe
next trip. Maybe in a motor home. We are back in Brewerton tonight and will cross Lake Onidea tomorrow on a west wind we hope.
We were really geared up for Canada but it just was not to be this time. We still have several thousand miles to put on the
boat this winter so we will save our thrills for then. Besides, it's really cold up here and going to a more northenly latitude
didn't sound like a warm idea. Remember, I'm trying to stay in 84 degree temps. I don't know if it's been out of the 60's
this week. Makes one wonder what the winters up here in New York are like. The locals talk of 200 inches of snow. Key West
sound good right now.
8/12/04 We are sitting in Amsterdam,NY again as we head east to Waterford and then up to Lake Champlain.
We had another case of just how small the world is when we got here last night. There is a catamaran tied behind us heading
to Rochester. We stopped to talk to them on our way to dinner last night and I had a strange feeling I knew these folks.
Come to find out we were in Annapolis for the boat show last year and we met them on the street and they invited us to walk
with them to a surplus sale that takes place the same weekend as the show. They were the ones that suggested I buy the plow
type anchor that hangs on the roller at the bow. Small world. We had a rain last night and the drops looked like pearls when
they hit the water. They had some sort or glow to them. I'm not sure what caused it but it was interesting to see. We get
the same thing in North Carolina from the alge in the water and their biolumanesence.
8/13/04 We awoke this morning to the sound of rain on the cabin top and the threat of hurricane remnants heading
our way. We are in Waterford,NY again waiting to see what the weather is going to do. They announced at the dock shortly after
we woke that lock 11 and 12 going up to Lake Champlain are closed due to high water and debris in the water. With the idea
of spending a weekend in the rain on the boat we decided to rent a car and head east to Mystic,Conneticut. It is hard sitting
in a hotel tonight spending our first night off the boat in 68 days. The king bed is nice but I still worry about the boat
when I'm not on it. I've noticed a few things that we take for granted when living on terra firma. It's been 68 days since
I've seen myself in a full leangth mirror. I'm pretty tanned. The TV picture is sharp as a tack. Airconditioning!! Phones
with wires and a real couch. And best of all....a bath tub in the head. Excuse me, bathroom. Oh how I miss taking a bath every
day. I can't wait to get back to the boat!!!
8/15/04 We took a ride up to Lake George in the Adirondak Mountains and it reminds me of Gatlinburg,Tn. with a lake.
We were told to stop at Saratoga Horse Track if we had time. We got there as the third race was starting after parking about
a mile away. It was umbrella day and we needed an umbrella anyways so that was nice. The national past time in New York IS
horse racing. There had to be 50,000 people there. Everyone brings the kids and makes a day of it and the atmosphere is like
a big picnic with a lot of people. The track is fantastic with it's old architicture and tradition. All the best horses have
raced here. Debbie and I placed a few wagers (I won 2 of my 3)and generally had a wonderful time. If you ever get to upstate
New York be sure and visit Saratoga on a Sunday while the ponies are running.
8/16/04 I took the car back to Enterprise first thing and had the holding tank pumped out then we cast off the
lines and headed north. We are in Fort Edwards in another blinding rain storm. This one even has lightning!! I ingested the
bow line in the bow thruster briefly while trying to throw it over a cleat ont he dock, unsuccessfuly. My heart sank
at the thought of putting a new sheer pin in but lucky for me nothing was damaged. It looks like we will be alone tonight.
Fort Edwards has a lot to offer but we will wait until morning to get out and check things over.
8/17/04 We got up and decided to head to Whitehall but found out when we got near lock 7 that the canal was closed due
to the rain last night and high water. Back to Fort Edwards. The lockmaster had said the locks might open in a day or so.
We took the city bus to Glens Falls and took in the movie Collateral with Tom Cruise. Maybe tomorrow we will get to leave.
8/18/04 The locks were open and we made Whitehall today. Whitehall is the birthplace of the Navy. The first twelve
ships were built here. We went to the museum, ate at the Finch and Chubb and walked around town to find ice cream. Whitehall
is in need of an industry. The city is in need of repair but without the money to spend they will find it hard to revive.
8/19/04 We woke to an overcast sky and lots of wind. The forcast is for showers and 20 knots of wind so we will
stay put and catch up on some sleep and getting this page updated. They have a library here that we will head to after lunch.
We haven't had any wireless internet connections since leaving Fairport a while ago. Well we decided to head up the river
and are in Chipman Point Marina tonight. We often change our minds in the middle of a sentence and that's what happend today.
We left Whitehall after I had written my update but instead of changing it I left it alone to show just how unpredictable
this cruising life style is. We really never know were we will be.