Saturday, June 22, 2019

Little Falls to Utica

The network is lest than ideal here,
thus the very straight line out of Little Falls.
Two more locks under our belts, both around a 20 foot increase in elevation. Soon we'll be heading down the lock system instead of up.

We started the day with breakfast. Russ and I talked up the blueberry pancakes at Ann Street Restaurant & Deli (they may have been the best thus far, imho) that we had to go back for seconds with the Babinskis. Once we all got back to the boats we headed out, right around 8:30 in the morning.

Before plastic fenders the padding on a boat was
made from grass or thatch. They were called beards.
After all the rain and flooding, the water in the canal was crazy muddy. Various logs, trees, and branches that washed into the system made for a little more challenging day. Russ called the game "flotsam dodge 'em." It definitely elevated my concentration to keep an eye out for whatever is under that tiny branch on my left.

Blue sky, muddy waters, a good day.
The only adventure today was in the second lock. First we had to go under a railroad bridge to get in. With all the water, however, the approach was a bit short for us. We scraped the bridge with our radio antennae. 

Then as the chamber was filling with water one of our fenders fell off the boat. I took on managing both our lines while Russ, using a line pole, fished the inflatable between Cat-n-Dogs and the lock wall, then rescued it from the swim platform. Turns out we had it upside down. One end it supposed to be tied to the boat, which has a tiny knot, the other end, a BIG knot to prevent exactly this from happening. Somehow we managed to flip it, and with the help of the lock wall scraping it downward, the thing got loose. 

One of the oldest buildings in town,
Bagg's tavern.
Once we got to Utica, around 12:30, we took a long walk to town and toured a brewery, FX Matt. Silly name for a brewery, but their beer and ciders were really good. From there we did pizza at Lukins, also excellent. 

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