It’s hard to believe all we have done in the past four months. AfterMath truly feels like home and our life on board doesn’t feel the least bit strange anymore. We handle the boat easily now; John pilots her competently and I find that many times, when someone offers to help us dock, I would really rather toss my own line around a cleat, but I accept because they are trying to be helpful. We love our traveling days and our days when we decide to stay put. Our lives on the water have settled into comfortable rhythms that suit us well.
Passing all kinds of tugboats along the way.
Beautiful scenery along the way.
Urger, the tugboat.
We left Utica and traveled to Little Falls, NY Monday the 14th. At the small marina there, we docked in front of a beautiful tugboat called “Urger”. When John was a young child, he wanted to be a tugboat captain and he still loves looking at them to this day. As it turns out, Urger is the flagship boat owned by the New York Canal Corporation. Built in 1901, it is one of the oldest working vessels in the country that is still afloat. Originally a fishing boat, it was sold to New York in the 1920’s. The engine was originally steam, but it was replaced with an Atlas Diesel in the 1940’s. That engine still powers the boat today. She was used as a tugboat into the early 1980’s and was put back to service in the 90’s as a teaching boat. Now Urger travels to cities along the canals to festivals and to schools. Fourth grade children at many schools tour the tug and learn about the Erie Canal. Urger is beautifully maintained and we enjoyed getting a good look at this historic vessel.
This lock is unusual in that one end is a guillotine door that drops down and lifts up.
You have to love the originality of this bench.
A little tug!
The park at our dock in Canajoharie.
Around town in Canajoharie – note Peruzzi’s Meat Market.
How about those lamps?
On Tuesday we set out for a twenty-mile trip to a little village of Canajoharie. John remembered passing by this town when he traveled for work and always wanted to get there by boat, so we made sure to stop on our way east on the Erie Canal. Docked at a little waterfront park, we were able to walk to the center of town in just a few minutes. We had been told of a little meat market in town that had wonderful homemade sausages, so we decided to pick some up to add to our freezer. We arrived at Peruzzi’s Meat Market and were surprised to see that, not only did they carry great meats and sausages as well as other groceries, but they also sold furniture in their store! We had a great time deciding what to buy and pretty much bought one of every type sausage there was along with whatever else Mr. Peruzzi suggested. We had a great meal that night and I went back in the morning to buy even more. Until everything froze solid, my freezer had the strong aroma of well-seasoned sausage!
Canajoharie has a population of about 2700. According to Mr. Peruzzi, the town really came to being as a hunting town. People came to hunt and many industries made furs and leather products. As hunting became more regulated, it lost most of those businesses, but in the late 1800’s Beech Nut Baby Food was founded. Until 2011 when it relocated, Beech Nut was the largest employer in the town. I walked around Church St, the main street in town, Wednesday morning and took some pictures, and I promised Mr. Peruzzi that, when we got as far away from his store as we could get, I would post a picture on his Facebook page with a sign saying how many miles we were from this nice little meat market with incredible sausages.
Wednesday morning also brought us the fun of having my brother, Jack, join us again for a day on the Erie. Jack has been fascinated with the canal since he was in sixth grade and was happy for another day as we traveled along. Jean dropped him off in the morning and we had a beautiful ride. The water was truly glass-like and as always, I just couldn’t resist photographing some of the perfectly symmetrical reflections. Canajoharie was near Lock 14 on the canal and we told Jean we would meet her at Lock 8, which is in Scotia, NY. After a day of sunshine and warmth, Jean arrived and we had a dinner of, you guessed it, sausage, salad, and the angel hair pasta that Peruzzi’s highly recommended. It was so nice to spend the time with Jack and Jean and we were happy Jack got some more time on the canal.
Leaving Waterford and the Erie Canal
Entering Troy Lock
I’m not sure why, but this is one of the dogs that guard this lock.
In the lock
The 220th lock!
Our last day on the Erie Canal happened on Thursday when we traveled from Lock 8 to Waterford. It felt strange to think we were finished with the canals in New York and Canada and to be back on the Hudson River. Yesterday, Friday, we went through the last lock in the North East, Troy NY’s lock. In total, we traversed 220 locks since June when we started the canal systems of New York and Canada. I found it bittersweet, but John said he was happy to be done with locks!
Passing through Albany, NY
A lighthouse on the Hudson in the sparkling sunshine.
Olana State Historical Site – This was the home of Frederic Church, a landscape artist
We traveled back to Catskill, NY, where we stopped at the beginning of our trip. Our niece, Cheryl, and her family came to visit us and brought us a great pizza dinner, which we were able to enjoy outside at the marina’s picnic area. We loved having family around, as always, and thank them for coming to visit us.
It’s hard to picture, but this is a 20 foot bridge that our 19 foot, 7 inch boat had to pass under.
Catskill Marina was where we originally lowered our mast, took down the radar and GPS antennas, and did anything else we could to get our boat down to 19 feet 7 inches high, a height interestingly called “air draft”. This was so important to be able to fit under all those 20 foot bridges we had to pass under on our way west and north. Today, though, the mast and antennas have been raised again, the bimini for the dinghy is back up, and John is upstairs right now getting everything back where it belongs for the next couple of years. Our air draft after he finishes will be 32 feet.
Some of Catskill’s cats.
A walk around Catskill, NY.
When we were here those months ago, I enjoyed walking around town and seeing all of the beautifully decorated cats that were near the businesses on Main St. I never got to photograph them at the time, so I was excited to have an opportunity to do so on this return trip. However, I saw online that today is the Cat Auction. I hadn’t realized that the cats are all on the street for the summer, but then auctioned off each September for a good cause. Of course I hurried to town to see if I could find them before they were gone for good and, luckily found a few in the store where the auction would be taking place this afternoon. While it wasn’t quite the same as seeing them on Main St., I was happy to get a couple of shots of a few of these statues. I also took some time to photograph other sights along Main St, including a little garden park with beautiful flowers and some friendly bees.
Soon we will be back in New York City and getting ready to pass New Jersey on the Atlantic, but we are carefully watching the weather that has predictions of some strong winds and high seas. Because hurricane Sandy damaged the Intracoastal Waterway in New Jersey, we will have to go offshore to head south before we can re-enter the protected path. We will wait out the waves and go when we feel comfortable and safe. We will keep you updated as to what is happening in the next blog post!
For now, here is where we are today: