Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Erie Canal, Day 2 - Seneca Falls to Lyons

Morning in Seneca Falls

Day 2 - 10/11/16 With no deadlines and the whole day ahead of us, we didn't bother with an alarm clock. We slept in a bit, as we did pretty much every day, we both work pretty hard and have a tendency to not get enough sleep in day to day life, so vacation ends up being a time to catch up on zzz's, and did I mention that the bed arrangement was really comfy? Sleeping on a boat is great! Eventually we got up, had a good breakfast and idled over tea and coffee before really getting going on our day. I didn't take notes on breakfast in my journal, but I know we had eggs and some really amazing bacon from The Piggery (unsolicited plug, it was just really good, my friend Louise had recommended it and she was right!) in Ithaca so I suspect this was one of a couple of team-effort mornings when TQ took the bacon out to cook on the grill on the back deck while I did something with eggs in the galley.

After we'd cleaned up, we spent a little time sightseeing in Seneca Falls. The town is famous for 2 main things (or at least I know of 2 things it's famous for, there could be more!) - it was supposedly the real-life model for Bedford Falls in the movie It's a Wonderful Life (which I found out as we were getting ready for the trip, the charter company provided a couple of itineraries with info about the various towns where you could stop) and it's also considered the birthplace of the women's rights movement - so being a woman who appreciates her rights, I owe a debt to the people who started it off here, and I especially enjoyed visiting this town where it all started during such a historic Presidential race.

The town has a small but very nicely done museum, the Seneca Falls Museum of Waterways and Industry, right on the town wall where visiting boats tie up during their stay (in fact the visiting boater services like laundry and showers are on the ground floor of the building); what with our slow start and 31 miles to cover before the end of the day,
 we didn't have time to visit the Women's Rights National Historic Park, but the Museum of Industry and Waterways did have a corner devoted to the conference and the movement, including a very informative video which I hope I can find on YouTube to watch again sometime. Very interesting how the canal system facilitated the movement of not just the goods it was intended to move, but new ideas, too - I found a good little article plus many more with a Google search under "Erie Canal as a counduit for ideas", which was a phrase we ran across many times during our trip.

The museum also had a lot of information about the town's industrial history; it seemed like every town along the canal had some particular industry at which they excelled, in Seneca Falls it was foundries and the museum has all sorts of examples of the things made of iron that the town's foundries produced. They also had lots of information about the canal, including a very cool wall painting of a canal boat such as you would have found in the original version of the Erie Canal, done life sized, with the boat seen from head-on, floating in a cross-section showing the dimensions and depth (40 feet wide, 4 feet of water) of the original canal. I got a few postcards there, and then we walked out to the main street and then back down to our boat.

We got underway around 1, retraced our path through locks CS 2 and 3 and then north into new territory through CS 1, and then hooray, we were actually on the Erie Canal! It was a beautiful day, so calm and quiet that in certain places you could see the tracks on the water as hundreds of water striders skimmed about. Loads of birds, too - herons, herons and more herons (I said to TQ at one point "Great Blues are like pigeons up here!", and I got a little obsessive about trying to get good pictures of them, eventually TQ started doing it too!), kingfishers, a hawk, and one possible bald eagle. There was also a swimming squirrel (it was chugging along quite nicely, not far from shore and headed in the right direction) and a zillion jumping fish - made us wish we had some fishing gear!

We made it through locks E 25, 26 and 27 without any trouble and got to Lyons, our next overnight location,
 around 6. We went for a little walk and noticed the familiar neon "B" that indicates a bar that serves the fine products of the Brooklyn Brewery hanging in a window; we decided that a beer or two would be just the thing and Growler's Pub turned out to have a really nice beer list (the Brooklyn sign drew us in but we ended up ordering some local brews, there's some good beer being made in this part of the state) plus some decent pub grub, so we ended up having dinner there before heading back to the boat for our evening journal and postcard writing, book reading, and eventually bed. Another excellent day!

click on pix for slideshow view.


Frankie Perussault said...

hooo haaa wow! such a great idea for a holiday. Nice of you to share.

bonnie said...

Thanks! It was lovely and I'm thoroughly enjoying revisiting!