Conditions were with me even if the weather was less than motivational. 45 miles, five locks, stopping just shy of the sixth lock, lock 29, in Palmyra , which happens to be the birth place of Mormonism, apparently. I kinda wondered when I poked about the gift shop of the Palmyra Inn where we are staying and saw all the Mormon related books and etc. Plus an old Book of Mormon encased in a glass display box. Lindsy and I try to avoid hotels, it kinda crunches the budget and is isolating in a way, but with Carl and the kids up for a brief visit and neither of us feeling like pitching a tent on such a damp and drizzly day, and no volunteer hosts, we opted for the hotel option. Good call. The hot shower and ability to rinse off my gear and have it hanging in the shower is a major plus.
Our dinner last night was totally taken care of, tho, courtesy of Capt. Joel Fogel, my mentor and advisor, of Water Watch International. I still am foggy on the details-how did he get those awesome hoagies from White House Subs in Atlantic City to Carl?-but he did and we annihilated almost all four feet of them. Glad he made some cheese ones! Lindsy has me on for a challenge-no meat for me matched by her ditching plastic bottles and bags! (I think fish might be an exception …) So far so good, but I did cheat when I are the awesome sausage stuffed mushroom caps her grandmother made, but one cannot insult the hostess, either! Heehee.
Up until lock 28B I hadn’t seen too much trash in the river, this area, the section between 28A-B and a bit below B was the first section where I noticed it looking a little sad. Lindsy said the lock keepers were complaining as well. I’ve witnessed fisherfolk with their plastic bags and plastic worm containers being a little careless-clean bags and bottles that had blown away from them drifting in the current and blowing in the wind. Perhaps better education/posters in tackle/bait shops might be in order? It is sad to see folks relaxing and fishing while ignorantly (and I’m sure they just don’t think about it-so it’s clearly ignorance, not deliberate) harming the very resources they are enjoying.
So today, I pushed on. I have a handful of bad weather days – sit out days – folded into my schedule. A bad weather day on the Canal is a helluva lot better than a bad weather day on the Great Lakes. The wind was pretty stuff at times, but the twists and turns of the Canal kept it from being consistently in my face, and I even had it at my back on some of the SW straightaways. The mist blowing over the water added drama and interest. Blue herons were everywhere, a bald eagle or two, an osprey, and a few started beavers shared the day with me.
Today will be much of the same as yesterday. So glad I basically packed the kitchen sink-the day before it was paddling shorts and bikini top, yesterday it was the think Farmer Jane, 1.5 m top, and a splash top. Glad I’ve got plenty of tops as my Hyperflex 1.5 is crazy slow at drying. Shouldn’t have rinsed it out, I suppose. But the NRS is ready to go! (And no, they did not provide gear sponsorship-I just like to plug a decent product)
I even had a first- first time I used the crotch zipper in that wetsuit! Yay!
Earlier I woke with a start at around 3 am, as I worried that where we had left the boat might have gotten flooded. I texted Carl, who had just texted me from getting in with the kids, and he suggested I check for flood advisories. None at the moment-Schwoo! I’ll still feel better tho, when I see her. Also had a nightmare that I was in Miami and accidentally grabbed someone else’s boat and that, after misplacing the other person’s boat, someone had sat on my boat on land and broken it. What a crazy dream!
Today’s paddle is 30 miles and three locks. That will leave me with just one more lock on the Erie Canal.