1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Erie Canal Update, from Al McGillivray

Friday, September 20, 2013

Erie Canal Update, from Al McGillivray

Heading towards Buffalo
Special thanks to LiveBlogger Al McGillivray, who is making his way to the Erie Canal and thence south to paradise. As readers know, the Canal is shut for from two to three weeks for repairs at lock E-13. Al has provided us with an update of the situation, and how to deal with it in a 'cruiserly' fashion! 

Black Rock Lock
Hello all, I called the New York State Canal phone line this morning and talked to Jeff in Navigation with respect to the Lock 13 shutdown. I am more positive about continuing through the canal system after our discussion. Jeff indicated that the Governor has set a high priority in completing the repairs ASAP as there is commercial traffic that must move. He says the crews are working diligently on completing the repairs in a safe and timely manner. While Jeff works for the Canal System, he is also a boater who spends most of his vacation time exploring various parts of the waterway. He offered some ideas for slowing down as well as getting off the beaten path and enjoying some areas of the system we may not have seen otherwise. Most boaters on a transit schedule make 30 to 40 miles per day stopping only once. A slower pace will allow us to stop at some of those neat spots that one makes mental notes about stopping the next time through but never manage to. One of these areas off the transit path is the Seneca Falls / Cayuga area - wine country. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is one of the largest appellations in the eastern USA. The Trail boasts a diverse variety of wines from classic vinifera to hardy native grapes, premium hybrids and even mead. Over 30 wineries dot the shores of Lake Seneca.

At the southern end of Lake Seneca is Watkins Glen. From Wikipedia; Located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake, one of western New York's deep, glacial Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen is the site of scenic Watkins Glen State Park, but is probably best known for its role in auto racing, It is the home of a street course used in road racing, a famous racetrack, Watkins Glen International, and a historic race, the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. The racetrack was also the scene of the 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen rock festival attended by an estimated 600,000 people. With all this to see, I'm beginning to feel rushed already. Wally may have to send in the troops to drag me out before the weather on the New Jersey coast turns too nasty.

(ed. note - I'm not too worried about Al - I know he wants to get to the Annapolis Boat Show and spend some more money...besides, the Canal Authority will throw him out come November!)