Amsterdam – Lock 11

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We left Waterford and headed west on the canal, locking through 10 locks by 4 PM. We are always amazed that the 18″ fenders we use endure the abuse of the locking. Locking up is more turbulent, and the boat swings back and forth in the turbulence. There’s no holding it, and the fenders take up the momentum of 25 tons of boat heading for the concrete walls of the lock.

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The Mohawk River meanders through small towns and rural western New York, a very picturesque cruise. We decided to stop just west of lock 11 where there’s a park adjacent to the lock wall. The 200+ year old manor home on the site was built by Guy Johnson in the 1700’s and served as a tavern, hotel, and headquarters for canal construction over the years. Now a museum, the home known as Guy Park has a rich history. We enjoyed a pleasant evening, the dogs had a great time romping in the park, and Molly of course got some swimming time.

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Oh, trains, trains, trains. Memories of our 2008 trip would be incomplete without the ever-present train traffic. We encountered some “railfanners” on our way back from a light dinner at the highly recommended Russo’s Grille. They were from Massachusetts, and were waiting for one of the trains in the endless procession that runs next to the canal. Railfanners are simply fans of rail transport of any kind. They video the passing trains, the one they were interested in was an engine from the west coast. There’s a train passing about every half hour to 45 minutes, so this is a great hotspot for the railfanners. They said this is the main line between Albany and Chicago for freight and Amtrack passenger service, so LOTS of traffic. Lucky us! Interesting enough, I suppose, but can’t say I’m a fan. I can say I won’t be a fan when one of those monsters comes barreling past at 3 in the morning with the horns blaring. The tracks are about 200 yards from the lock wall where we’re tied! Uh…. there goes another one!

We’ll be headed west again in the morning, perhaps Ilion and the Remington Arms Factory, or Little Falls. Tomorrow will tell!

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