25 May 2011

Billowy clouds and blue skies

The excitement at Lock E-14 was short-lived and we sailed through the afternoon, literally and figuratively.  For a time, after the lock at Fort Plain (E15), we and the Mohawk River parted company, joining once again just beyond Five-Mile Dam at Indian Castle.

A few photographs from those hours will give a sense of the scenery and spare you (and me) any more words.

Looking across the front of the freshly-painted dam at Lock E15.  The farm on the far side of the river gives an indication of the richness and the beauty of the Mohawk River valley.  Sam, our historian, reminds us repeatedly that at the time the Erie Canal was built and into its mid-1800 heyday, there would have been no trees in sight, everything having been cut for fuel and building material.  What we see now is just over 100 years of growth.

We have lifted about eight feet, awaiting the opening of the gates and the continuation of our journey.  The lock-keepers on the canal take great pride in the grounds around the lock.  Most are park-like with picnic tables and benches, inviting the considerable numbers of people who come to watch the lock traffic.

An abstract of the backside of the dam at Lock E15, featuring
reflections of the chains which operate the metal plates and
the steel guides.
Abstract of the Grande Mariner's wake
leaving Lock E15, with chain reflection
in the upper left corner.
The view under one of the two guard gates with an abandoned bridge in the distance as we near the intersection of the canal and the Mohawk River just east of Little Falls.  I think this is Guard Gate E3.

Looking back at Five-Mile Dam on the Mohawk River.  The Grande Mariner has completed its run on the canal and, heading west toward Little Falls, has rejoined the river.

What a beautiful day for a cruise.

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