Underway Again

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Clear and calm on our first “carefree” day on the Erie Canal.

All these posts were written previously, but are coming out now because we finally have a little downtime at a hotel in Boston with great wifi. Also, as mentioned before, whenever Paul is with us his photos often appear here.

After the repair Wednesday morning we still started back across the lake before 8 AM. This time the packing was perfect on both sides, running cool with just a steady slow drip of water. The weather was even better than Tuesday, sunny but not at all too hot with maybe a slight wind at our back. I thought about how great boating can be when everything is working.

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In one of the world’s longest state parks, approaching our first lock.

We took a longer ride this time, continuing past Sylvan Beach for 40 more miles, through 4 locks, E22 – E19, to the Village of Ilion Marina. Ilion is probably the first decent place to stop past Lake Oneida. We did pass Rome, but last year we found it to be a difficult stop. We’re in a small “resort” with a concrete wall along the south side of the canal. They get more business from the motorhomes and trailers than boats, but there’s decent power, water and restrooms. Our next few stops may not have that.

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At another lock, our wait for down locking traffic is nearly over.

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In we go under a bridge. 20′ height is guaranteed. We’re over 19′.

We stayed the next day to visit the Remington Arms factory museum in Ilion, but discovered when we got there that they whole factory was closed for 2 weeks to refurbish something. With that out we continued in our Uber ride (it works outside of NYC now, unlike last year) 10 miles away to Utica.

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Like other cities along the canal, Utica has less than half its former population. There is a spur with a working lock off the canal that ends in a square harbor like a small version of Baltimore’s inner harbor. They are talking about redeveloping this old industrial area into shops, a marina, etc. I think boaters would love to come into such a place. I certainly would.

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We’re past the summit. Paul ran ahead while we waited for this first down lock.

Just like in Baltimore, boater traffic could not come close to supporting such a place, however. It would take people coming in off the freeway as well as locals coming in for the waterfront – harbor atmosphere. We would help by supplying the boats. Hard to say if it would work. Today, 10 miles away is as close to Utica as we could stop.

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