I got a mule, and her name is Sal...

Trip Start Jul 13, 2013
Trip End Aug 12, 2013

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On the Good Ship, Oneida on The Erie Canal

Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal! Here goes John's bucket list story!

Well, today has been quite a day! What we didn't tell you on yesterday's blog was that we stopped at the marina in Masedon, NY, and were able to rent a real canal boat for all of today, tonight, and until 5:00 tomorrow (Friday) evening! This is something that John has always wanted to do and since we fell into this so accidentally and fortuitously, we knew it was meant to be...another of those "unexpected moments" I guess! 
At any rate, we were both too excited to sleep in this morning, and were up shortly after 6:00...unfortunately to the sound of a fairly heavy rain on the roof of poor Mufasa! Yikes! Oh well, we got cleaned up, had breakfast and were pulling out of camp at 8:00. We still had a drizzle thing going on but at least it wasn't a downpour. We had two things that we needed to get at a grocery store and then we headed to the marina, getting there right at 9:00.
The fellow was there to greet us and we were able to immediately start loading the canal boat. Max, the young man who was there to give us orientation as to operation of the good ship, Oneida suggested that we leave our heavy suitcases in the motorhome...not an issue as we didn't HAVE any suitcases! Our move was made in Kroger and Walmart bags...a classy look as I am sure you can imagine!
After two hours of orientation and driving lessons that included going through a lock, we were ready for our maiden voyage. We had a quick lunch in The Oneida before heading west towards Fairport, NY, and then to the Village of Pittsford, NY which was to be our dock for the night. 
What a wonderful day we have had. John was beyond thrilled as he captained our little boat westward on The Erie Canal. We didn't have to go through a lock on this particular part of the canal but we did go under what they call a "lift bridge" which does exactly what it sounds like...traffic is stopped and the bridge LIFTS straight up and we then calmly motored under it! How cool was that!!
It took us about 4 hours to make the 15 miles up canal. We passed parks and homes of various economic levels...not as ostentatious as the ones in the Thousand Island area, but quite nice...and lots of ordinary homes that were beautifully landscaped with flowers behind their homes and around their boat docks. As we neared Pittsford several of what I think are called "sculls" were being rowed by groups of young children followed by motorized small boats with coaches instructing them. Interesting.
All along the canal things were happening. LOTS of bikers, many walkers, folks sitting on docks either fishing or watching the world go by and a few jet skiers! Everyone waved and all seemed to be having a great day.
It was somewhat a comedy of errors when we tried to dock at the Pittsford Village Dock as the wind chose that particular time to pick up. We were coming up channel and needed to turn down channel in order to dock on the southern side of the dock area. It took two times to do it correctly, I am sure to the entertainment of all the folks sitting on balconies at the restaurant directly across from where we are docked! It is always fun to look silly to a large group, and I think we did it well! There is another canal boat docked behind us that was rented from the same company, Mid-Lakes Navigation Company. If you ever feel the urge to do this, we highly recommend them. We could not have been treated any better if we were family. This has truly been an experience of a lifetime.
After docking, tying off, and hooking up to shore power, we found that we were situated in a perfect place for our evening and night. We had thought we would change clothes and walk across the bridge right down from us to eat at the restaurant where we had entertained so many as we made our maiden docking maneuver. Well, we had been out in the air all day (the weather broke and we had wonderful weather all day after another sudden shower as we were eating lunch at the dock in Masedon) and so we just "went as we were" and had a terrific supper. The food was very good and hit the spot. In the open square just yards away from where we sat, a singer set up and we were serenaded to songs that we knew the lyrics to! When we left the restaurant (Aladdin's on the Canal) we gave him a tip and asked if he knew any John Denver songs. He did and John asked him to wait until he saw us on our boat just across the canal. He did and after we got back, he sang "Country Roads". He is still singing as I write this. Wow! What a great day!
As I was writing this, John got one of the bikes off the roof of the canal boat and he took a quick circle ride across the two bridges and along the canal path. I think he was about 12 years old at that point. I would like to try it tomorrow but I wanted to get this out.
I don't have my laptop with me and am doing this on the iPad. My point in saying this is that I am not sure I know how to upload pictures from the iPad and I don't have the camera connector so that I can transfer pictures from my camera to the iPad. I will see what I can do and will likely have to upload pictures for today sometime tomorrow evening when I do tomorrow's blog. I took a few pictures of the canal boat yesterday, and uploaded them last night so there will at least be a few shots.
Suffice it to say that today has been one of those perfect little jewels that will be remembered for a lifetime. Life is good!
By the way, we drove 15 miles today (from the campground to the marina) and we have boated approximately 15 miles on the Erie Canal!
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D. Crip on

I can tell you are having a ball, look at that big small on B.K.'s face! What a fun thing to do, looks totally awesome.

Brent & Cindy on

How cool is that! Brent was in Pittsford last Oct. on business and stayed in a hotel overlooking the canal. He said he would love for us to rent one of the canal boats. So that is on his bucket list as well! So glad you guys are having fun and enjoying life together. Love you both!

Judith on

What a great experience! We would have loved it. Reminds me of when we took our boat from Paris TN to Pickwick. We're off on our adventure today. Hope we have as much fun as you two.

Yvonne Foley on

The last NY State town I lived in was Canastota on the Canal. It looks like they have a lot more fun in Pittsford. Your boat is out of Skaneateles, another cute little Town on the lake. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time.

Gayle Moody on

So wonderful to see how God has blessed you today!!! Your trip is just full of wonderful little blessings! I love reading about it!

Favorite Daughter on

I love the idea of you both riding on the canal. It looks like a cool once in a lifetime thing. Keep having fun. We just got into Santa Fe to our campground. We have good WiFi finally. We are going to rest a little and go down to the historical district.

Pat Morrell on

I taught at St. Louis School, down the st. from the canal.
We lived in Penfield, not far from Fairport.

dwlp.travelkids on

Dear Favorite Daughter (from Texas!!)...please tell us thar Sheeba did NOT eat your RV while you were out to eat!

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