Lockport was one of the more interesting stops along the Erie Canal. Our friend from Fairport, Mick Anderson, was there and staying because of high winds. He told us he had a place for us to dock at ‘the top’ of lock 35 and that he’d be waiting for us. Whatever could he mean by ‘the top’….?
Lockport is the site of the last two locks on the Erie Canal, number 34 and 35. They are back-to-back, meaning they share the central wall. So, you pull into Lock 34, it closes, lifts the boat about 25 feet. Then, the middle door opens, you pull into Lock 35, and are then lifted another 25 feet. As we started up the rise, we saw Mick bicycling up the hill besides the locks, and then we saw him talking to the lock master at the top. We wondered why he was wasting time talking to the lock master – didn’t he need to go on down the Canal to where we were docking? Well, actually, the docking spot, just big enough for two boats, was parallel to the Lock 35 wall, just on the other side of the wall! That space is actually what used to be the old lock. Locks 34 and 35 replaced 5 locks on the old canal – the ‘new’ canal was finished 100 years ago!
It was really interesting seeing the old and ‘new’ locks side by side – there was a museum there that showed what an engineering accomplishment it was to create those locks through solid rock. The engineer who oversaw that project was not formally trained! Amazing what was accomplished so long ago without today’s tools and equipment.
Mick told us he had a good place to go for dinner – we liked it so much we went there both nights we were there! And, Mick had already been there one night before us. He was greeted like an old friend.
|we are in the Lockport lock (first one)|
|beautiful ferns growing in the lock walls, seen as we are lifted!|
|approaching the first of two locks|
|Mick, our friend who saved us a spot at the top of the locks!|
|There we are, docked at the top of the locks.|
|a tourist boat coming into the locks|
|the tourist boat has been lifted further|
|the inner workings of an earlier lock|
|you can see how far they are below us to start....|
|and up they come!|
|the gate between the two locks|
|here are both our boats parked at the top of the locks|
|you can see the boat as it gets closer to the top|
|the older version of the locks, right next to the modern ones|
|portion of the older locks, where they used wood...|
|now THAT's what I call a beam!|
|replica of an old canal boat, used in the original locks|
|closer look at that old canal boat|
|gate system on the old locks|
|looking from the museum, with the old lock pool on the left|
|old lock walls - we are actually docked in the top of the old locks|
|even though late in the season, somebody keeps a nice garden at the locks|
|there we are, docked in front of Mick. He can leave just as soon as we do - no turning around!|
|another gorgeous church|
|pretty church, with Dan photo bombing!|
|love this mural in a coffee shop right by the locks|
|rest of the mural|
|under a very very wide bridge - about 2 city blocks wide|