Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Erie Canal...

Not so eerie; really quite impressive.  How do you connect Minnesota with New York City?  Why with the Erie Canal.  That is what you did back in the 19th Century anyway.  The industrial revolution in America owes a lot to the Erie Canal. We were camped near a cross roads called  Blossvale, New York which is in the heart of canal country.  We saw an old, little sign on the side of the road that pointed to "Canal Lock 21" and our curiosity was peaked.

From the top of lock 21 you can look down the canal across an old abandoned road bridge.

Looking the other way up lock 21.

The rather massive gates at the low end of lock 21.

About a mile down the canal is lock number 22.  We arrived in time to see an adventurer enter.

The gates at the upper end of lock 22 open...

...and in about 20 minutes about 2 million gallons of water fill the lock...

...the upper gates open...

...and the adventurers are on their way.  Some people travel the Great Loop, circumnavigation of the Easter United States, counterclockwise sailing down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico around Florida up the Inter-coastal waterway to New York Harbor and the Hudson River to the Erie Canal and to the Great Lakes and back to the Mississippi.  It's called the Great Loop.  Many Loopers are just like RVers living full time aboard their boats, wintering in Florida or the Bahamas and summering on the Great Lakes. The AGLCA, America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association, is like the association we belong to: the FMCA, Family Motor Coach Association. 
The lock keeper for #22 has been on the job since the Oneida Corporation closed their stainless steel plant in Oneida, NY.  He gave us the story of lock operation in modern times. The New York Canal System provides flood control for a great portion of the state.  Many of the lakes and rivers provide the gravity feed water to operate the locks.



1 comment:

  1. I've often wondered where people who live on boats would travel. Guess that is one of them! Thanks for the tour.