8/28/17: On this part of the canal, due to the sparsity of suitable places to dock, we have two choices for moving from place to place. We can either do 9-10 hour days with many miles and many locks, or we can do 4-5 hour days with less miles and fewer locks. We have so far chosen the latter. With that in mind, we chose Canajoharie for our next stop, 20 miles and 3 locks down the canal.
On our way to Canajoharie, just outside of Little Falls, was the dreaded Lock 17. Several members of our new “boating club” suffered a lot of anxiety and lost sleep thinking about going through the thing. Of course, the fear turned out to be worse than the reality, as it turned out to be no big deal at all.
This part of the canal, which is the Mohawk River, is probably the most scenic we’ve seen. We are travelling along the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, so it’s quite hilly, with huge tracts of forest land and farms up in the hills. It’s a beautiful part of the country.
We pulled up to the dock at Canajoharie, and there was only room enough for the three boats now travelling together. It had power, but no other services, and it was quite noisy due to the almost constant train traffic on the opposite side of the canal. The town itself was small, and almost everything there was closed on Sundays and Mondays, so there wasn’t much to do there. We did visit one nice park, however, which is how the town got it’s name.
Canajoharie is a Mohawk word meaning “the pot that washes itself”, and refers to the “boiling pot” that can be found in Wintergreen Park just outside the town. The “pot” is a huge, circular, naturally carved pothole in the riverbed of the Canajoharie River. The river flows into it and the water appears to boil within it before exiting the other side. Besides the boiling pot, the park also features a set of waterfalls and other nice geological rock formations. It was the only thing we could visit during our short stay there, and it was really quite beautiful.
When we returned for the evening, we found out that Lock 11, which we had to go through on the next leg of our journey, had a failed valve, and could not empty. They didn’t know when it would be fixed. We settled in for the night knowing we might very well be staying here for a while.