Just Relax travel blog

Canajoharie tourist office. This gent was very helpful and we talked quite...

Beechnut did much for the town, bring new employee benfits unheard of...

Erie Canal has much history to offer jsut in its' bridges. It...

Sue loses at Putt Putt. John finally finds something to beat her...

More sights o the Erie. We see this sort of thing many...

Sue just loves the critters. She taked many pictures of them

Most locks have waterfalls/dams with spillways.

J. Relax looking good at a free lock wall for a nights...

Lunch in Herkimer - We pick up some babes here and take...

NY out up many historical markers in the early 1950's and keep...

Boiling Pot. This was formed many hundred's yrs ago. We hike thru...


We part our good friends on Still Busy, as they leave Waterford for the Lake Champlain and we make a left turn at Waterford and head up (down?) the Erie Canal. We did the Champlain Canal when we did the Great Loop, so wanted to do the Erie this time, even though it adds about 450 miles and maybe 3 weeks to the trip. The Erie Canal is full of history. John being a history buff, loves reading all the stories about the place.

Our first stop is Amsterdam tied up adjacent to the lock wall (we have about 2 dozen locks to go thru on the Canal. A "happy" fellow at the lock wall (how do you spell Miller Time?!) grabbed our lines and helped us tie up. We talked for quite a while and offer him a beer for thanks (as if he needed one). Well, as the afternoon progressed into evening, he and his buddies were still there, drinking, but not causing any problems. We felt that we should not leave the boat for touring and supper, so we ate on board. Sue made a great home made cheese ball for everyone. A new boat we met, Carolyn Ann, joined us at the wall, and we along with HC have a good evening. Doug, John and Joe talk politics - but Joe would not commit to a side. We will get him to commit tomorrow we say, but were not successful - LOL Then a little later, a couple of kids come by and want to get on board, etc. John gently got them to stay off. Not a great nite, but not bad either. We make sure the boat is tied secured so that if someone tried to untie us, we'd be awakened. But things turned out fine. Amsterdam is a very depressed town due to the bail out situation. Unemployment is very, very high.

We leave early the next day we head for Herkimer, NY - named for a Revolutionary war general who won a battle near here. This town is clearly a gem, and we loved it. We got to tour the Remington Gun Factory after begging some what at the front desk. We told them we had ridden our bikes for miles to get here (true). Talking to the craftsman was educational and John got some new tips on how to finish wood. We watched a craftsman working on Shotgun model 870 that is the 10,000,000th one made - the most of any production gun ever in the world. Remington is the oldest continuous manufacturing company in the USA. Sue and Leslie shopped and then boaters (R&R)we met on the wall here had a birthday, so we celebrated on our boat with them that evening.

Sue is beginning to drive the boat out of locks now, as she learns the intricacies of a single engine boat. Our goal each time we dock/lock is not to use the side thrusters. We are improving each time. So far, we have not lost any fiberglass - LOL. Leaving Herkimer for Sylvan Beach, NY free dock (all the Erie Canal is free overnights) which does have a nice sandy beach. We walk around, eat at a local place that is supposed to be somewhat famous, and retire early for the evening since we are exhausted. being a Friday nite, the towns folks are partying big time. Two guys get in a fight with the cops having the final say. Then we have a car back into another car across the street from us. Then, we have people walking thru the park stopping to gawk (with their constant questions we hear all the time - "how did you get that boat from Lk. Norman to the coast?" - LOL. Well, about 3:00 a.m. we hear a large thump on the boat and the boat rocks. Some nut had jumped on our boat, but got quickly off and then went to HC's boat and did the same, but Doug was there to run him off. There are just as many rednecks in NY/NJ s there are in the south, we conclude - LOL.

Today, we arrive at an actual marina (Ess-Kay) in Brewertown, NY, near the junction of the Oswego Canal, where we part the Erie and head north (we have been traveling west all this time) for Lake Ontario. We plan on spending the night at the end of the Oswego to rest and hopefully cross Ontario the next day for Kingston, Ontario. The marina here loans us a car (this is a great marina) and we run errands. Wal Mart and our last West Marine for 3 months (there are non in Canada) are of course required stops. We also go to a few other places. Back at the boat to clean strainers since we have been traveling thru weeds on the canal, top off boat with drinking water (100 gallons), and another early evening since we need to be up at 0630 at the latest to leave for the first lock. During the crossing of the Erie, we are spending a lot of time plotting courses and planning more for our dow east portion of the trip (Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, since it is new territory for us and also so remote. We discover that our boat will not be able to use marina power much of the time once we get to the middle of the St. Lawrence, so we are making provisions for that event, along with some other preparations.



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