Friday, 31 August 2007
Lockport NY Lockport has the first 2 locks of the Erie Canal. Together they drop you almost 50 feet. We arrived late Saturday night and tied up alongside the top of lock 35. We all went for a walk around town to stretch our legs. There is a lot of work being done in Lockport to refurbish the downtown. This was a refreshing change from the economic depression we had seen in so many towns along the way. Sunday we toured the canal museum and took a cave tour and underground boat ride. Over one hundred years ago they cut an underground raceway to harness hydro power, for the operation of several factories, today they run tours in the abandoned cave. Of course the day wouldn’t be complete with out a bit of excitement. Our tour took an hour longer than usual as we were detained while one of the older ladies on the tour collapsed and then was exhibiting stroke like symptoms. Carolyn and Janine stayed with her until the paramedics could reach us down in the caves. By 2:30 we were starving and went for lunch at the locally recommended diner. After lunch we descended the locks ourselves. Being inside the lock is a very interesting experience, the doors close behind you and the walls grow around you as you drop some 25 feet in the first lock, then the next set of doors open allowing you to proceed into the second lock. After you move into the second lock the doors close behind you and you drop another 25 ft to the canal below. Then it was about 90 min to power down the canal to Middleport. Middleport is home to a restaurant called the Basket Factory. It had been highly recommended to us by some boaters in Dunkirk on Lake Erie so we had to stop for dinner. It was a good meal and there was a band playing out on the deck, they were great. The bar was filled with some local characters one guy was wearing a long blond wig. When the band stopped an older gentleman at the bar decided to serenade the patrons with a few old war songs. It made for an entertaining evening. Niagara Falls The eight of us, Bob, Carolyn and Sara are with us, wanted to see Niagara Falls. It seems the best way for eight people and a dog to travel is by limousine, so into the limo and off to the falls we went. I think the kids were more impressed by the limo than the waterfall. The day was cool and drizzling but we bravely climbed aboard the Maid of the Mist for the below the falls tour. The wind and spray at the base of the falls, with the boat lurching around in the current was exhilarating. After a very full day at the falls we returned to Middleport, with a stop at the beer store and a farmers market. It was fun to look out of the tinted windows and see the looks on the people passing by. We returned to the boat and continued downstream, with the bbq blazing, about an hour to Medina.