Pittsford, Lock 32 and 33, and Kayaking

20150617 Pittsford -DSC07315Pittsford Village was founded in 1709 and continued to evolve as the Canal and the commerce it generated evolved.  Today it is a clean, pleasant small town with lots to see and lots to visit.

The hardest part of the trip planning was finding outfits that matched the colors of the boats – without actually having seen them.  Joan’s life jacket is both the right color, comfortable and safe.  Since it is hard to see the front porch on the boat from the rear steering (think of driving a Metrobus from the back seat), the jacket gives her safety and gives me comfort.


You can just see over Joan’s shoulder the “32” we just locked thru – tying up just outside the lock to visit the spillway kayak course the canal authority built “just for fun.”

The Erie Canal has undergone three major reconstructions where it was widened, deepened, and improved to carry ever larger boats and traffic volumes.  Little of the original canal has been preserved, some because the land was reused for a larger structure, but often because it was just abandoned to time as the canal moved to its new location.

I’m amazed how the non-engineers who designed and built the canal could anticipate and manage the water levels.  There are no pumps on the canal; the water levels between locks are controlled by inserting and removing, by hand, the boards at Stu’s feet in the photo below – adjusting the flow of water to ensure enough water is available to operate the locks and
surrounding land does not flood when it rains.20150613b 2 lock32 w. of Pittsford spillway ZS50_0163

This spillway is operating at about half its maximum discharge, getting rid of excess water from a rain a few days ago.  Joan and I walked around the spillway park, now used by kayakers, and when we returned to the waterfall, it was dry, having been turned off to save water for the next day or so when rain was not expected.

While the lock gates have been automated, the water level management is by hand with apparently no computers.

Most of the bridges are high enough not to need opening.  This
20150613b after Pittsford - under bridge IMG_4510bridge, near Pittsford, is a relatively new concrete structure – appropriated by the nearby art school for display of mountain scenes.  You got to love it, big cities get graffiti, more rural areas get art to enjoy.

This trip was an out and back voyage. We stopped in Pittsford a second time on our way back.

The return trip had a special high point when Joan’s son Tim visited us for dinner on board.  Pittsford Tim and Joan (1 of 1)We set out a grill on the stone side of the dock provided at Pittsfordh, relaxed on our front porch, and grilled locally purchased (almost as good as locally caught) fish.   It was nice to see both Tim and Joan smile, enjoying each other’s company.  20150617 Pittsford Tim in car -DSC07360

Nice dinner, nice company, we hope to return to Pittsford on a future adventure.

If you follow politics lately, there has been a great deal of noise about polling. All the people at the top of the poll claim it is the answer.  The folks in the middle and bottom of the poll all profess to ignore the results. During the travels on the Canal, we saw the Gallup poll, set in concrete; it has predicted the results of every presidential election for the past 50 years.

20150613b after Pittsford Gallup pole IMG_4522

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