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Thursday, June 26, 2014


Having several hours til dark, I pulled my maps and studied routing options yesterday evening.

ERIE CANAL and Route 31 - Route 31S won out as the potentially most interesting route keeping within the general envelope of direction to VERMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE and MAINE.

The EIRE CANAL, built in 1824 is nearly 200 years old offering many facets to explore...BRIDGES, NAVIGATION LOCKS, WATER CONTROL FEATURES, WINTER SHUTDOWN, and simply the beauty of one of the worlds great engineering projects executed by neophyte engineers and crews unfamiliar with that which they undertook.

...a major traffic arterial to this day, supporting dozens of towns along an ancient Indian Trail across the "RIDGE"...backbone across Northern New York paralleling LAKE ONTARIO.  The RIDGE forming thousands of years ago when LAKE Ontario was much deeper; i.e., The EIRIE CANAL follows the Indian Ridge Trail.

Slightly South of the ERIE CANAL lie the "FINGER LAKES". perpendicular to the Canal and generally parallel to each other...reminding me of similar Finger Lakes reaching from Central SWITZERLAND South into ITALY...and coincidentally, one of which, LAGO MAJORE, our favorite Lady, CHRISTIANNE (yes, the same CRI) at the age of 16, swam across from Switzerland to Italy...a moment in the short life of CRI which she often reminded me as one of her most cherished moments.

LOCK Number 7 located in downtown LOCKPORT, New York.

As the ERIE CANAL progresses across New York State from the HUDSON RIVER at TROY to the city of BUFFALO, New York, many of the string of support villages retain their name with the "suffix" of "PORT"....i.e., LOCKPORT, MIDDLEPORT, BROCKPORT, etc.

Spot SPIA parked last night...and remained for 4 hours this morning as I dove into the city of LOCKPORT, including the ERIE CANAL.

Route 31 heading East out of LOCKPORT, New York.

West GATE of LOCK NUMBER 7, holding back the waters of the ERIE CANAL.  As a East Bound boat enters this lock chamber, the water inside will be pumped (or gravity feed) lowering the boat to the water level of the next chamber,

I have been given some topographical details of the Canal Elevations which I will photograph and share in tomorrow's post.

TREK Ski Equipment manufacturing plant in downtown LOCKPORT.

Orchard being sprayed.  Sorry, but I have no details.

Arriving in the village of MIDDLEPORT.

2007 vintage painting of a TUG pushing a barge on ERIE CANAL waters.

Vertical Lift Bridge spanning the ERIE CANAL in mid town MIDDLEPORT.

MIDDLEPORT main street diagonally across - and behind my back - lies the Bridge.

TOW PATH of the ERIE CANAL.  Finished in 1824, most water traffic was moved along the canal by muscle power (ANIMAL OR MAN) walking the adjacent PATH tugging on ropes.

Please say HELLO to BRIDGE MASTER, BOB DUNHAM...also the Gentleman Farmer with wife Marcia of their CHI-LLAMA-MOO Farm, LOCKPORT, New York.

MIDDLEPORT ERIE CANAL BRIDGE...a vertical lift bridge using a single motor engaging a Rack and Pinion Gearing system on the SouthWest Corner of the bridge,,,the other three corners of the bridge are lifted "FREE FLOATING" (i.e.:  NO guides or gears) providing some 15 foot overhead clearance for passing boats.

Timely arrival of this Cruise Boat allowed Bob to give me a close up view of the lift system in action.

From initiation of klaxon to full "UP" position was about 30 seconds.  The Bridge came back down without a sound.  Bridge appears to be free floating in the vehicle traffic latched position...closed with nary a peep or scrape from the all-steel Bridge.

I know a couple folks who would appreciate the above schematic of Bob's Bridge.


Four corner Pulley for lifting the bridge AND the two sets of counterweights positioned center at both ends.

Cruiser passing under the MIDDLEPORT BRIDGE.

...and safely on it's way to LAKE ERIE...without even slowing down as it swam past.

A man in control.

Just love images of whiskered pipe-smoking men obviously in charge.

* * * * * * * * * *

Now 4:30 pm local EDT in MIDDLEPORT McDonald's, about to proof read and post today's creation.

Took three walk sessions today.  Have analyzed my recent lack of energy.  Believe it is SINUS congestion sliding into my stomach and lungs, flooding toxic fluids into my system.  MUST walk MORE and with more effort to purge that SINUS fluid OUT.  Feel a bit better today.

A Policeman sat at the next table and explained where SPIA could spend the night; plus, how to find the quiet lakeside parking; and the "heads Up" he will give to the SHERIFF to not bother with me.


Tomorrow, more ERIE CANAL.  In a few days, will divert a bit South and East of ROCHESTER, New York.  That will take us into the FINGER LAKE Region for a look see.

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