Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Survivor: Erie Canal - A Perspective

In 3 days we will have been on the Erie Canal for one month.  What do we have to show for it?  88 miles and 18 locks.  That's an easy 2-day run, 3 max.  Here's a summary.

- 4 days at Waterford and waited out the first heavy rains upstream.
- 1 night on the wall at Lock #7 after the water eased up a bit.
- 3 days at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam with significant rain and flooding again.
- Moved into Lock #11 for our safety per the Erie Canal Authority with significant rain and flooding coming.
- 14 days in Lock #11 for repairs to be made all over the canal system and floodwaters to recede.
- A "hasty" 50-mile and 7-lock run to Ilion to avoid more anticipated problems with more flooding expected.
- 4 more inches of rain fell putting the water over the dock wall at Ilion.
- 5 days at Ilion Marina waiting for floodwaters to recede.
 - 3 to 4 more inches of rain last night bringing the water to within 3 inches of going over the dock wall again.
- More rain forecast for the next 4 days and 8 of the next 10 days.

You would think that we are discouraged, but you also have to consider the positives.

- We have traveled by boat 7004 miles in the past 5 1/2 years.  (The picture above is of our last boat leaving Ft. Smith, AR on the Arkansas River as we traveled from Muskogee,OK to Galveston, TX).
- Traveled from Alabama to Oklahoma to Texas and ran the Gulf and Atlantic coasts to here without incident or significant delays.
- Got to run a marina in Oklahoma for 2 1/2 years and made friends for life.
- Were able to help our older son's family in Texas through a long and very tough battle with cancer.
- Our daughter-in-law survived Stage 3 melanoma and just recently completed a triathlon.
- We have reconnected with some old friends along the way and had other friends joins us for parts of the trip.
- Spent some quality time with family in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, and some road trips home.
- We have seen this great country from a very unique perspective and learned so much about it we didn't know previously.
- We have met many wonderful people along the way - the good far outnumber the not-so-good.
- We have experienced this Erie Canal mess with some of those wonderful people.
- As we look around and see the devastation the local communities and residents here have experienced the past few days, our "plight" is not so bad in the big scheme of things.

We spoke with the Utica section of the canal authority yesterday, and they are confident they can get us underway again, hopefully sometime this week.  There is no damage to the system west of here, they just need to move lots of water before we resume our travels.  We are so appreciative of the Lock #11 folks who made some special efforts and planning to get us from there to here in that one-day window of travel that we had.  There is lots more damage east of our location now, and we are very concerned for those still waiting for that section to reopen.  Many have now opted to take the alternate Champlain route and we wish them safe travels - hope to see you in Canada in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, we are safe and secure at the Ilion Marina and wish everyone the best.  We'll keep you posted.


Mariner said...

Very nice perspective. I hope you make it out to Oswego this week. We're leaving Thursday from Irondequoit Bay on Lake Ontario to head to the 1000 Islands and then do the mini loop back through Lake Champlain and the Erie canal. I hope we don't have to backtrack and avoid the canal next month.

Gary & Peggy Gleason

ME2NC said...

Glad to have an update from you all. We don't know you but we followed your Blog almost since we began the loop about a month and a half ago. We feel like we know you just from reading the blog.

Today we left Half-MoonBay Marina and tonight we are in Shadows One In Poughkeepsie. As we were leaving the Marina we saw a soccer ball float by us and I told the hubby about your soccer ball story. Lo and behold, we were sitting on the aft deck this evening, 30-some miles up river, just before dark when a soccer ball floated by again. Perhaps this is a relative of Wilson coming to visit him. (Grin)

Waiting to hear that you all are off the Erie Canal and on your way again. Stay safe.

Gladys & Steve
MV Misty Moose

Stacy Waner said...

Hello! I have to say I feel a bit like a stalker leaving a comment on your blog. To be honest, I rarely read blogs and I have never left a comment on one, but I have been so intrigued by your journey and I wanted to thank you for sharing it.
I live in South FL now, but I was born and raised in Upstate NY. I was on the Amsterdam Recorder FB page and saw a post about your adventures there. I grew up in Johnstown, about 15 minutes NW of Amsterdam. My parents are both from Amsterdam. My husband was a police officer there and I was an EMT there as well for many years. I noticed you had the chance (although it looks like you may have had enough of it after awhile) to enjoy Russo's. My dad practically lived there growing up and they started bringing me there when I was a week old. I went home to visit last summer and brought 4 lrg. Russo's pizza home with me in my suitcase (the airlines thought I was crazy).
My husband grew up in Ft. Plain, the village that was devastated by the floods on June 28th and his family is still there. Thankfully, they are all OK, but many others have not fared so well. My mother in law is from Herkimer/Little Falls and, as you know, they have received major damage as well.
I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and posting the incredible pictures. I've seen countless pictures and videos from land, but it is rare to get the scene from the water too. I've really enjoyed reading your story and seeing Wilson makes me smile =)
It looks like you've already passed through Lake Ontario, but if you are in the area again keep an eye out for Empty Hook. That is my brother in law, Jeff Waner. He has a camp up there (Mexico, NY) and keeps his boat on the lake. He does fishing charters with it along with personal use.
Thank you again and I wish you safe travels!!
Stacy Waner
Port St. Lucie, FL