The park in Phoenix, N.Y.
Little businesses in Phoenix
We left Oswego on September 8th and made our way to Phoenix, N.Y. Phoenix is a little town that we passed by on our way west on the Erie and I really wanted to stop there going back. On the weekends, in this town, a group of young teens called the Bridge House Brats gather at the dock. They get boaters food from restaurants, escort them to stores and carry packages, and generally do anything they can for tips. They also work on keeping up the park’s grounds. Although we were not there on the weekend, evidence of these young entrepreneurs is everywhere. The whole area is very eclectic. Duck houses abound, flowers are planted cheerfully around the grounds, there are tables and chairs along the docks and picnic tables on shore, flags of every sort are flying and the whole little park is colorful and charming. We took a walk through the tiny town with a population of about 2800 in the evening and found everything closed up and looking a bit depressed. In the morning, though, all the little cafes and restaurants were open and things seemed much brighter. I found a produce stand with fresh fruits and vegetables and bought, among other things, some wonderfully delicious peaches that seemed to be just picked.
Our next stop, on September 10th – 11th, was Brewerton, N.Y. At lock 23 on the Erie Canal, Brewerton is known for having the least expensive fuel in the area. While we still really had plenty to get us as far as Norfolk, VA according to John’s calculations, he wanted to put in a few hundred gallons to allow for any side trips we decide to make. Norfolk apparently has very inexpensive fuel, so that will be our next big fill up destination.
We stayed at a wonderful marina in Brewerton where the people were very friendly and helpful. They offered us a courtesy car, which I used to get a few things while I had the opportunity. While driving to town I passed the fire department on the 11th and saw their very simple and tasteful display of remembrance of that terrible event 14 years ago.
We left Brewerton the afternoon of the 11th and motored to Sylvan Beach. We arrived around 5:00 and while enjoying happy hour we noticed a lot of fire engines heading to town. A quick check online showed us that there would be a memorial at 7:00 PM. Of course, New York is especially sensitive to the happenings of 9/11 and Sylvan Beach was no exception. We walked to the town green in time for the ceremony and we were really touched by what we saw there. Firemen from all over the area came with their trucks, the observance was beautiful, and we left feeling very touched by all of the sentiments expressed during the event.
We stayed in Sylvan Beach an extra night as the weather was predicted to be rainy. Although it was never too bad, we enjoyed our time relaxing, reading, and working on projects. Late Sunday morning we left and headed to Utica, N.Y. We stayed at Lock 20 along the Erie Canal and along the way we noticed that there are signs of autumn in the air. When we were traveling west last spring, the leaves had just come out and were bright green. Now we are starting to see the change. It is time to move south for those of us who are Floridians at heart. We need to beat fall and live in our never-ending summer!