8/26/17 – 8/27/17: We had been travelling every day for several days and we felt we needed a break. We had heard Little Falls was a nice place to stop, so we planned on spending two nights there. We were met with a pleasant surprise on our way there and another when we arrived.
We had been travelling with Brian and Jeanne since Newark, and they also needed a break and planned on spending the weekend at Little Falls. On our way, we passed a town called Utica, and there on the wall were Peter and Kathy! We slowed down to chat for a few minutes and found out that they, too, were planning on two nights in Little Falls. We had finally caught up with them after parting with them in Fairport. When we arrived in Little Falls, there were Bob and Phyllis, who also went ahead of us in Fairport. They were also spending one more night in Little Falls. Brian and Jeanne had met Bob and Phyllis in Buffalo, so they also knew each other. After many welcomed “hello agains”, we all went out to dinner at The Copper Moose Brew House and had a wonderful time.
We also saw an interesting phenomenon on our way to Little falls. Early in the morning we had fog on the canal, and it was rising in wisps above the water. These wisps would sometimes spiral upward, like miniature tornadoes. Some were only inches across and not much higher, but some were a foot or two in diameter and were as high (or higher) than the boat. There would sometimes be a group of a dozen or more within only a few square feet of water. It was fascinating to watch them. We were able to get a picture of a larger one.
The second day, we took a walk down to Moss Island to see the climbing rocks and also to look at Lock 17, which is the second largest lock in the world, and one we would be going through the following morning. The rocks were gneiss outcroppings 50 to 100 feet tall along the edge of the Mohawk River (which is what we are travelling for this section of the canal). They are excellent for climbing, if you’re in to that sort of thing. They are also among the oldest geologic rock formations in all of North America! Lock 17 was also pretty impressive. At one time it was the highest lock in the world, but it was recently “demoted” to second place. It drops (or lifts) you a whopping 40.5 feet. The gates at the bottom lift up rather than outward and resemble a giant guillotine. It was quite an awesome piece of engineering. But it was good to see what we would be going through the next day.
Sadly we also said farewell again to Bob and Phyllis as they had already been there a couple days and decided to move on. We hope to see them again down the road. But we are now travelling again with Peter and Kathy, and also still with Brian and Jeanne and welcome all their company as we journey forward. The three us us have decided to stop at Canajoharie tomorrow, about 20 miles and 4 locks away.