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We Chose the Erie Canal

  • June 12, 2012

If it's June and if you're on the Great Loop you're probably in upstate New York heading for the Erie or Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain is still on our bucket list, however Lisa and or I have been through the Erie Canal three separate times and have enjoyed it immensely. Not only will you be surrounded by history at every turn of the waterway there are wonderful canal towns with friendly helpful people. From Waterford's Erie Canal Welcome Center – a…


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Oswego, New York

Oswego, New York was our last stop in the United States until we get back to Michigan. An old port town that again has a rich military history between the French, English, Native Americans, and ultimately what would become America. Oswego sits at the mouth of the Oswego river and Lake Ontario.We stayed an extra day because Lake Ontario had high west winds, therefore high rough seas and boating can be dangerous under these conditions. We took advantage of the…

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Erie Canal/Oswego Canal – To Phoenix, New York

We left Sylvan Beach today, Sunday the eleventh. We cruised across lake Oneida (40 miles with 2 locks). Oneida Lake is a 24-mile long, shallow lake that can be as rough as Lake Michigan. It is considered the 5th most dangerous lake in the United States. Although it was quite rough, as the winds had picked up the last few days... we survived.In Phoenix we docked at yet another free dock. No other boaters here. Not much rain today. Still…

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Erie Canal – To Sylvan Beach, New York

Sylvan Beach is an old resort town. Two locks and 28 miles and more rain. We met up with Todd Smith, on Egress, whom we first met at Hoppie's on the Mississippi. We had not seen him since Fort Myers. Todd is from Minnesota and is doing the Loop single handed. We went out for a fantastic dinner at the Crazy Clam and had fun catching up on both our adventures.Sylvan Beach was our first marina stop in the last…

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Erie Canal – To Rome, New York

Rome, New York was another 2 locks and 28 miles up stream. Rome has a great deal of historical significance. In 1758 a Fort Stanwick was built and played important roles for what would become USA. Also in 1817 the Erie Canal was started nearby and would play a great role in the development of commerce throughout the Great Lakes and northeast United States. At this juncture on the Erie Canal we traversed 20 locks and have risen 420 feet.

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Erie Canal – To Herkimer, New York

Five more locks and another 26 miles brought us to Herkimer. Herkimer was our last mail drop until we arrive in Charlevoix. We took a cab to the Herkimer Diamond Mines to hunt for gems in the two mines they have. We came back with 2 large rocks that look promising - more later. A few miles up river is the home of Remington Arms. although we did not tour the plant or museum we received a report back from…

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Erie Canal – To Canajoharie, New York

Canajoharie was a 23-mile, 2 lock move in the rain. The Erie Canal has free docks, or walls, all along the river. Most don't have power or any services, but when it is free one really cannot complain. Canajoharie is the home of Beech-Nut Gum and a rather nice small town. We spent the night rafted together with some other "Loopers" we've had the pleasure of getting to know along the way. One couple from Arcadia, Michigan, another from Tennessee…

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Erie Canal – To Amsterdam, New York

Up until Memorial Day weekend we had only had about 5 days of rainy weather the whole trip. Since we arrived in Waterford and the start of the Erie Canal it has rained about 9 days straight, with only one afternoon of sunshine today, making it seem more like a typical northern Michigan June.After leaving Waterford we headed west on the canal with 10 locks the first day we ended up in Amsterdam, NY. Most of the towns on the…

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Erie Canal – Waterford, New York

This day was somewhat exciting for us in that once we arrived at our destination, Waterford, NY, we would not have any more tidal waters to deal with and we'd be into fresh water again. The dockage here is free for the next 150 miles.We walked a long way to find a grocery store today. We heard from other boaters on the wall that it was okay to use one of the grocery store carts to bring our stash back…

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Erie Canal – Last Night at Waterford, NY

Tonight really felt like a home away from home. Today the boaters and Loopers docked at the wall organized a potluck for just to celebrate us all being together on this beautiful day in this incredibly friendly town – Waterford on the Erie Canal.The volunteer harbormaster, Rob (the one who loves to kiss the women boaters hands) stayed late to make sure our evening was warm and welcome. He took the group photos and passed out bookmarks with the words…

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