Day 9: St. Johnsville to Lock 8

Thursday, August 12, 1999

We got up at 6:00 a.m. It was very foggy.
Fog lifting.
We set off about 7:00 a.m.

The river was misty for the first hour or two. It was calm and like glass.

Later, it was hot and sunny. By the end of the day, I had had enough sun. Well, the forecast was for rain the next day.

We planned to spend a long day traveling.

At the locks on the Mohawk River there are movable dams. They look like bridges to nowhere. Upright segments of the dam can be raised and lowered. In the winter, the gates are removed by swinging them up under the “bridge”. Here are some pictures taken near Lock 15 (lift 8.0 feet). How small this lift seemed after Lock 17!
movable dam as seen from upstream (Lock 15 is on the right)
,,,and as seen from below.

Calm canal.
Aurora Borealis’s wake.

Wood and gear in the stern.

We locked through Lock 14 (lift 8.0 feet) at Canajoharie and Lock 13 (lift 8.0 feet) near Yosts.

The remains of the 14-arched Schoharie Aqueduct across the Schoharie Creek were visible just upstream of Lock 12 (lift 11.0 feet) near Tribes Hill. On Clinton’s Ditch, canalboats were dragged across the Schoharie Creek, a difficult and dangerous procedure. The aqueduct was used on the Enlarged Erie.

Fort Hunter, near here, is the only place where all three Erie Canals exist within sight of each other.

We leapfrogged with La Vie Dansant one last time. They stopped to get food and water, and we stayed ahead of them for the remainder of our voyage.
Remnants of the Schoharie Aqueduct.
La Vie Dansant and its Canada goose.
We stopped at Yankee Hill, or Schoharie Crossing State Historical Site, a couple of miles downstream of Lock 12. It is the site of the first double lock on the Enlarged Erie Canal. Potter’s Store, next to the enlarged Erie, and actually on the site of Clinton’s Ditch, was there. Real estate at a lock was considered valuable, especially on the towpath side. We saw some rope marks on the store side of the lock that was farther away from it. That lock was longer than the closer one.
Lock at Yankee Hill from the Enlarged Erie.
This shows where the gates went.
Potter’s store, renovated.
Flowers and bollard at Lock 11.
The wide Mohawk River.
I don’t have many pictures as we are locking through, because we are both quite busy then. At the locks, there are usually pleasant canal parks with pretty flowers blooming. We locked through Locks 11 (lift 12.0 feet) at Amsterdam and 10 (lift 15.0 feet) at Cranesville.

At Lock 9 (lift 15.0 feet) in Rotterdam Junction, we picked up our last load of wood. The lockmaster and other employees had it all ready to go for us in a wheelbarrow by the side of the lock. How thoughtful of them!

The movable dam here is unusual in that it has a road going across it.
Lock 9 construction.
We had planned to stop at Lock 9, but they said it wasn’t very pleasant there and suggested we go to the next lock another five miles downstream. That lengthened a day that already seemed long.

We stopped around quarter of six above Lock 8 at Rotterdam. We were tired and it was too far to walk easily to a restaurant, so we made dinner on board. We cooked spaghetti using the camping stove and heated spaghetti sauce in the double boiler. We toasted marshmallows for dessert. (See food for more details.)

When Al was getting the bed ready, he dropped the crosspiece overboard and we had to scramble a little bit to retrieve it from the water and not have the sleeping bags or pillows go over, too. But all was safe.
Cirrus clouds.

Number of locks: 7
Approximate distance for day: 45 miles

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