Westward on the Erie

Rome, Brewerton, Clyde. All names of towns along the Erie Canal where we’ve spent the night as we continue our journey westward. Like our first stops in Amsterdam and Little Falls, all offered free or inexpensive walls or docks to tie up for the night. (Some canal towns go even farther to make boaters feel welcome.)

We left Rome (Erie Canal Mile Marker 115) at 0600 in a steady rain in order to cross Oneida Lake during the best weather window. The lake is about 20 miles long and can get rough; it wasn’t. At Brewerton, on the west end of the lake, we dined in a real restaurant, which is a rare treat for us. After Brewerton, we split company with Superior Passage as they headed north up the Oswego Canal and into Lake Ontario and Canada. Now that Canada is reopened to boaters, most Looper boats are cutting north rather than staying on the Erie Canal. (The Loop route offers both options.) However, vaccinations are required to enter Canada, so that is a show-stopper for some.

We expected to spend the night alone in the small town of Clyde, but a Looper boat named Tricia Ann came in behind us and we enjoyed a visit on their boat. We expect to connect with other Looper boats heading in our direction before too long.

Captions and photos below…

Many Moons and Superior Passage at Bellamy Park in Rome, where the floating dock is well below the wall.
I had a nice quiet sit-down in a Roman Catholic Church in Rome.
Fort Stanwix in Rome dates back to the Revolutionary War and even before. Its construction was a consequence of the French and Indian War, when the French and their Native American allies invaded the Mohawk River Valley to attack the British.
In Lock E19, we saw our first rubber-coated cable. We looped our line around it to hold us against the lock wall.
We passed close by this dredge, who warned us that he had cables running to shore. The Erie Canal is maintained at a 12-foot depth (or more), so of course dredging is sometimes required.
The rainy day made some of our green canal-side views even more beautiful.
A sailboat named Fantastic ran with us for days also. She’s barely visible behind us in this lock, seen through the rain-covered plastic that protects our stern from weather like this.
Lock #21 was our first “lock-down” (entering when the water is high and leaving when it’s low) on the canal. The canal lifts boats more than 500 feet in the 350ish miles between Albany and Buffalo, but it does go down a bit before it goes back up again. Jeff tried a new method here–hanging onto just one line (rather than the usual two) through the boat window.
Moody skies can be beautiful at times, even if they do cause us to keep a closer eye than ever on the weather apps.
At the floating dock in Brewerton, the sun came out just before sunset. This was our last night with Superior Passage after traveling with them for about a week.
In this segment of the canal, we began to see these signs at the locks.
This aqueduct was part of the original canal in the 1860s. It carried car traffic over the canal!
Locals fishing from a canoe….
So many picturesque RR bridges, many of them abandoned….
In the small town of Clyde, this group of local kids came by to chat. I tried to teach them compass directions and a few boating terms, but they were more interested in sweets and treats! This was our 5th stop on the Erie Canal.
Speaking of kids…this 4th-grade class from a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, not far from my hometown, joined me virtually while we were in Little Falls to hear about our travels on the Erie Canal, and life underway generally. Hats off to teacher Christine Martilla for finding ways to engage her students in new ways!
This map of the Erie Canal shows the start in Albany and the end in Buffalo, plus our five stops so far.

6 thoughts on “Westward on the Erie

  1. Mary, As much as we might like Jeff, can you slow him down? To come home and read your posts is a true reward for a day’s labor!

    John K. Cowperthwaite, Jr. PO Box 261 Tenants Harbor, ME 04860


    1. Um, not much luck on that front so far! 😄 But it’s been more relaxed the past few days. Nice to “see” you here again. I did not get the last email you sent. I sent a text to Day saying so…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s