This morning in Tonawanda, we had a treat of bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast. We looked around to see what restaurants are in the area, but decided to manage our budget and not eat out. Phil said the food was better than a restaurant, so Lorraine was happy!
We walked to the Post Office to mail postcards to the grandsons, then walked back through Main Street. We started with calm winds and blue skies with the winds getting stronger as the day has progressed. It was very quiet at the dock this morning, not surprising how late people were up last night with the band playing we expect to 1am. We went to sleep at midnight with ear plugs in and I for one didn’t have any trouble falling asleep. Did I mention that I bought 200 pairs before we left??
We started the engine at about 1045am and left a few minutes later with our destination to be Lockport to tie up for free before the first 2 locks, 34 & 35. These are step locks, which means you go directly from one into the other. Lock 35 has a 25′ change in water level and lock 34 has a 24′ change in water level.
For those interested in reading about the History of the Erie Canal, you might want to download the 28 pg PDF book written by Roy Finch in 1925 with more information updated at the end in 2000.
From Skipper Bob’s guide, “Originally there were two sets of 5 step locks at Lockport. This allowed boats to go both east and west at the same time. Today, two modern locks have replaced the southern 5 locks. The original northern five locks are still in place, but now used as a spillway for overflow.”
This afternoon we took a long walk around Lockport. We came across an old hardware store that had about everything. They are an authorized dealer for Lionel Trains and have everything you can think of. Trains, used track for $.50 a track, fake grass, new track and all the paraphernalia that goes with it.
Phil was able to get 2 metric screws that he needed for the alternator bracket. BTW, the alternator belt is still squealing, so Phil will tighten that in the morning.
We continued on towards the locks 35 & 34 and found that we could walk down steps overlooking the locks. One of the tour boats was in the bottom of lock 35.
It’s really amazing how quickly the locks fill with water.
After watching the lock, we continued down the hill looking at the old step locks with the water rushing down them. We continued to the Erie Canal Museum, which is in a small square building at the base of the locks.
We continued across the step locks, taking photos as we went.
The following 2 photos tell the history of the area found on a display.
On the way up the hill, a man and his friend had ice cream cones. We were VERY hot and sticky, and though bad for the diet, we stopped at the ice cream store started by brothers in their garage I this area. They had very good ice cream with unusual flavors. One of the flavors had labatt blue beer, peanuts, and chocolate seeds. Another had gin with grapefruit juice and orange sherbet. We went with standbys, Lorraine had strawberry cream and Phil had butter pecan.
We continued walking home, now on the other side of the canal from where we started, stopping at Walgreens and then taking a shortcut to get back along this old road made of stone “bricks”. We came across this huge Mulberry tree. I haven’t seen one like this in my life and YES! We picked and ate some berries making our fingers purple.
We spent some time reading and Lorraine did some knitting. Then teenagers came to a ledge under the bridge across from where we are docked. We watched the show. I said they are going to jump in the water. Phil didn’t know how they were going to get out, but eventually they did jump climbing up the blocks of stone to get out. Some of the boys jumped off the bridge.
Phil jumped into the canal to clean up and Lorraine used the nicely warm sun shower water to take a shower in the head (boat speak for the bathroom).
After a light supper of green beans, cabbage and warmed up chicken breasts that ended up being VERY dry, we’ve been hanging out. I wanted to include 3 more photos. The first is Phil at the helm and then 2nd is Changes tied up at the wall at the commercial quay before the locks. The last is Lorraine hamming it up at the welcome sign.