Thursday, August 22, 2019

Layers of Color

Del and Pam in Lockport.
My darling daughter gave me a gift before we left on this trip. It's a piece of crewelwork to stitch, showing a dragonfly, perched on marsh plants.

The project calls for stitches that are what I'd call indirect. You take a stitch forward, then take the yarn backward a little ways.

Forward, then back. Forward, then back. Building up layers of color.

Our trip this summer has been a bit like this, with lots of back-and-forth.

Just as the stitches build up a tapestry, our back-and-forth travels add color to the voyage--letting us enjoy the company of good friends.

Love and Kisses in Lockport

That building in the rear is
the Fuller Bldg. Coincidence?
Pam and Del came aboard the day after we reached Lockport, NY. We were honored that they'd chosen to celebrate their 16th anniversary aboard the boat!

(Our tiny guest cabin may not be everyone's model of a romantic get-away . . .)

We had already passed through Medina. But it's a fun destination, so we decided to take our guests back east for their cruise, rather than continue west towards our ultimate destination of Buffalo.

Captain Pam takes the helm
The route takes you under several pretty lift bridges, and--this is a key cruising attraction--also past a very nice coffeeshop in Middleport. Pam took to piloting the boat like a natural.

Chugging Through History

In Medina, we goggled at the main local attraction, a railroad museum with an enormous model train layout. The little engines chug through several local towns at different points in history.

My favorite part was the Erie Canal scene with tiny canal boats, being loaded up with barrels of apples.

Afterward we hoisted a glass at Medina's eclectically decorated Irish pub: "High five! Didn't sink the boat today!"

But nature tried to do its worst the next day.

One scene in the model railroad layout at the Medina railroad museum. Each apple barrel is about the size of a fingernail!
Thunderstorms and Lightning, Very Frightening

On our return to Lockport, we were hit by torrential thunderstorms. At Middleport we tied up and waited half an hour till the lightning stopped--they don't lift the steel bridge when lightning bolts are zapping around!
Del crossing the canal: life imitates road sign.

But then the sky cleared, and Del was able to get his morning run on the towpath.

In Lockport we signed up for the "Cave Tour." The so-called cave is actually an enormous underground tunnel. It once carried water that turned a turbine to power a factory complex.

Like the famous "Penn's Cave" near State College, this tour includes a ride in a boat, bumping the stone walls and getting dripped upon by stalactites.

Our teenage tour guide insisted the drips were "cave kisses."

Captain Clara Takes the Helm

Docked by the Lockport Locks: Clara, Kyle, Pam, and Luisa
We were sad to say goodbye to Pam and Del, but we weren't lonely for long.

The next day, our State College neighbors Pam and Kyle and their two daughters arrived for a day cruise.

Clara and Luisa had been studying up about the Erie Canal. It was exciting to take them west through the famous Lockport locks.

Then we were out in the "Deep Cut," a seven-mile-long channel, excavated 30 feet down through solid rock. The cut allows water from Lake Erie to flow east and fill the locks at Lockport.
A mini-waterfall along the "Deep Cut."

Captain Clara put the boat through its paces, tracing us a curvy path down the straight channel and doing the occasional donut, just to test Dragonfly's maneuverability.

(Captain Luisa also took a turn!)

Then we circled under a guard gate and headed back east to the dock at Lockport, where the world's best ice cream awaited.

A stitch forward, a stitch back . . . a rich and colorful tapestry of fun with friends.

Thank you, Clara and Luisa, for the dragonfly-themed boat art!

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