State #18 & The War of 1812

Did you know that Pennsylvania touches Lake Erie? I didn't. (It borders the lake for 45 miles, at its northwestern tip.) Did you know that the U.S. tried to conquer Canada? I forgot. (It was the main objective of the War of 1812, when the U.S. declared war on Great Britain. Canada was a British … Continue reading State #18 & The War of 1812

The Three Eries

From the Erie Canal, to Lake Erie, to the City of Erie. Three Eries in two days. Tonight, we sit in a marina - our first marina in almost two weeks -- in steamy Erie, Pa. We left the Erie Canal behind yesterday and entered Lake Erie this morning after spending the night at a … Continue reading The Three Eries

Niagara Falls!!!

Wow. You know you're going to get close and you're going to get wet, but you don't realize how close or how wet. It's so fun, it deserves three exclamation points! (And its own blog post.) Definitely the top side-trip of The Great Loop so far. I heard about Niagara Falls as a place for … Continue reading Niagara Falls!!!

12 Bridges & A Boarding

Today was all about the lift bridges on the Erie Canal that had to open for us. (Well, mostly about that.) We left Brockport at 0700, as soon as the lift bridge in front of our nighttime berth began operating, headed for Gasport or Lockport or Tanawanda. Our destination depended on how long it would … Continue reading 12 Bridges & A Boarding

Fairport to Brockport

Day 7 on the Erie Canal, from one "port" to another. As we cruise the western segment, the canal gets more narrow and the bike path that follows it is visible almost constantly. Our speed slows as we encounter lift bridges that must open before we can pass through. Today, we passed through two more … Continue reading Fairport to Brockport

A Fair Deal!

Fourteen bucks to stay in the most charming canal town ever? I call that a deal! Fairport N.Y., our sixth stop on the Erie Canal at Mile Marker 246, was the best yet. This town is built around the canal and makes the best of its waterfront. This is also where we met our first … Continue reading A Fair Deal!

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 … Continue reading Westward on the Erie

Big Lock & Little Falls

We've had bigger lifts on The Great Loop, but this one was exciting because of the way we entered it. In a rush. Why? Depends on who you ask, but if you ask's because all horses want to follow a stallion. The "stallion," in this case, was a large and masculine-looking boat named Zeitgeist, … Continue reading Big Lock & Little Falls

Nine Locks in a Day

They come fast, the locks on the Erie Canal, when you enter on the east end. Some were less than a quarter-mile apart. The first set of five locks as we left Waterford is called a "flight"... like a flight of stairs...because they collectively take up just a few miles. It took two hours to … Continue reading Nine Locks in a Day

Gateway to the Erie Canal

We're about to enter the Erie Canal. Exciting! We're tied up tonight at a free wall/floating dock in the town of Waterford, N.Y., some 25 miles north of last night's marina. Mainship Many Moons is tucked in cheek-by-jowl with many other boats waiting to go west into the canal or further north up the Hudson. … Continue reading Gateway to the Erie Canal