Twelve boats are tied to the municipal wall in Baldwinsville. There is one couple from Ontario and several of the cruisers are New Yorkers stranded away from home. There is at least one other looper, Mazel Tug. Her captain, Ralph, was anointed honorary mayor of our merry band of cruisers. He has managed to garner numerous perks from the village for us. Most notable is that the public restrooms are left unlocked during our forced stay. That might not sound like much, but keep in mind that there is no holding tank pump-out service at the wall. And that is one crappy situation! The lock keeper and city officials are trying to get the port-a-potty pump-out folks to come service the boats. Ralph has most recently contacted the governor’s office about our plight.
This week, Anna Marie and Michael are visiting. We had planned to cruise the western half of the Erie Canal with them, or at least make it to the Finger Lakes to visit wineries from the water.
Our plans were flooded with high water and daily rainfall in Central New York. The Oswego Canal is closed to navigation, as is the Erie Canal from Lock 23 to Lock 30.
The washout didn’t get in the way of enjoying all that the area has to offer. We traveled by car to visit wineries along the coastlines of Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and Cayuga Lake. We thoroughly enjoyed the tastings and have developed a deepened respect for the wines east of the Mississippi River. Although mostly known for its semi-dry and sweet wines, we found many dry wines, both whites and reds, that pleased our palates.
An easy drive from Baldwinsville takes you to a restored aqueduct near Camillus. Aqueducts were water-filled bridges that carried the canal across creeks. Note the towpath at the right of the photo (the guard rail has been added to protect hikers and bicyclists). On the left-hand side of the aqueduct you can view over the edge at the water of Nine-Mile Creek that flows through the arches under the aqueduct.
At the end of one day we visited Oswego, the gateway to Lake Ontario. We ate at a Rudy’s, a fried-food dive, and were entertained by feeding the Ring-billed Gulls that screamed and tormented the diners.