Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meanest Hombre West of the Pecos...

I'm fond of using that line above. It's a quote from the philosopher Yosemite Sam. ;-) Today, our travels took us from east of the Pecos to west of it. Mother Nature tossed a southwest wind our way, making for a quartering headwind, and zapped our mileage into the single digit range. We made up for the previous short driving days with about 340 miles. Crossing under a weather front took us from cloudy skies to mostly clear... and HOT. When we pulled into the Escapees RV park in Pecos, the thermometer in the truck was reading 99º. We didn't waste any time getting set up and getting the air conditioner going.

By turning off the Interstate at Fort Stockton, we will miss the Annual Blowing Dirt Festival at Van Horn (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31).

Little Izzy just keeps amazing me with her calm travel manners. She divided her time between Joan's lap and the console between us. When we needed to stop, she would get into her carrier. As hot as it is out, she had no desire to go for a walk today.

Heading for Ruidoso tomorrow and then on to Albuquerque.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


We were rolling through San Antonio today, and I felt the Bass Pro Shop/Outdoor World calling my name. We went in there looking for some fast-drying towels for the boat and RV... didn't find any, but I never come out of that place empty handed. I updated my wardrobe a bit... really nice selection of outdoor type clothing. Joan looked, but didn't find anything she couldn't live without. Nice lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company.

You folks may get out more than I do, but I had to chuckle at a rack of clothing I saw today: camo lingerie. No, we don't wear any camo clothing, but the juxtaposition of lace and camo cracked me up. Joan wasn't interested in that, either. Wink

Less than 200 miles, stopped for the day by 2:00, but at this time we're heading for the Fiesta, so we're only staying one night in any particular place. Plus, if I head towards it gradually, I may be able to make it across west Texas in one long drive! Roll Eyes (Notice the "rolling eyes"... it's humor, not meant to offend any west Texas residents)

After the long drive home from Canada, it's been nice doing a few easy days on the road. We have time to take Izzy for a couple walks, enjoy a home-cooked supper, and appreciate a pretty sunet...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back on the Road...

We spent last night in the HH to check everything out before hitting the road. All systems are go.

The 2/2/2 Rule is in effect... sorta. We drove less than 200 miles, stopped for the day before 2:00, but we're only here for a night. We're in a Passport America park for the night, near Corpus Christi. Getting in early gave us the opportunity to do some running... top of that list: Big Red was due for an oil change.

It is HOT in south Texas; the thermometer in the truck was reading 94º this afternoon. Heading for New Mexico and higher elevation, we packed for warm and cool weather.

We are enjoying the RV and the lux living it provides while out and about... and Izzy was immediately comfortable inside.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Wild Blue went into storage, the "Love Shack" came out. We'll be loaded tomorrow and hit the road on Monday.

The 5th wheel feels palatial after living on the boat for the past couple months.

Lotta darn moving in and out the past couple days.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ready to Swap...

Wild Blue came out of the water this morning... in the rain. I bought a hull cleaner at Wal-Mart (Atwood Premium Hull Cleaner)... the active ingredient is oxylic acid, but even so, I didn't expect much. It took the brown stain off the hull like it was nothing! No scrubbing; just wipe the stuff on, let it set for 30 seconds or so, and rinse it off. In a few stubborn places (like under the side bunk of the trailer), I had to give it a little wipe. I've used muriatic acid on hulls in the past, but that stuff seems really nasty. This stuff worked on the brown stain even better, and didn't take all the wax off the hull. $10. But wait, there's more! No, not really... but this was beginning to sound like an infomercial. ;-)

I thoroughly flushed the hull with fresh water with the hose when I was done cleaning it. In the rain (of course). I'm sure the neighbors thought I had really lost it this time.

The rain quit for a few minutes, so I got out there with some Maguires wax and got the brow and the hull buffed up. Of course, the rain started again before I was done. Makes the wax a bit gummy. More buffing in between the rain showers.

So, as pretty as I can make her considering all the rain. The hull is a nice clean white again, and that was my main objective. We will be ready to swap the boat for the RV tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The big rain storm came... the forecast winds of 50-60 mph were about half of that, and no hail. It has hampered the unloading process, but we've been making trips between the showers. It took us a couple days to load the boat and truck, but the unloading is going much faster. We're anxious to get the "Love Shack" out of storage and check her out again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Wild Blue is back home in the Tropical Tip; she is back in the water and the unloading has started. The cleaning will be coming. Mother Nature dumped a bunch of rain on us on the way south today, but the skies were blue with puffy white clouds when we rolled onto our island and launched. Apparently we were running just ahead of the storm - shortly after getting the truck parked, Security came by and suggested we check the lines on our boat... there's a storm a brewing tonight. Flash flood warnings on the local Weather Channel and lots of lightning. I'll be sleeping in the house tonight, but I'll double check lines before turning in.

Through all the traveling, trailering, launching, cruising, locking through, etc, etc, this boat has been a real champ! She has heart, she has soul, and she does all we ask of her with no fuss.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back in the Lone Star State...

500 miles today, and we're back in the Lone Star State! Another whole day of driving and we'll be home. Wink I've been told that one of the first things we'll do is launch the boat... it's easier to unload from the dock at the house than from the trailer. Then open up the house for a few days and get the HitchHiker out for the next chapter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Makin' Miles...

We're violating our 2/2/2 Rule big-time... we've covered over 1300 miles in the past few days. embarrassed On one fill-up today, we topped 15 mpg, with a tailwind. Pretty sure I embarrassed Joan and Izzy while I danced around the diesel pump. Roll Eyes

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wine and Bikes...

We were rolling at 8:00 this morning. I wanted to treat Joan to another winery before we finished this trip. 15 years ago, we toured our first winery in Missouri... I hoped to find that one again.

We trekked across Indiana and into Illinois. We could see it was going to be a 3 state day as we neared Missouri. We stopped at a Visitors Center just over the border and got information on Missouri wineries... this is the second largest wine producing state, behind California. There are more than 60 wineries here.

We picked the Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, MO, and headed that direction. A quick check of our campground guide showed a city park with a campground for $10-$13. It sounded like a good arrangement.

The town of Hermann is a pretty little place, right at the northern part of the Missouri Wine Country. We found the city park... the RV park was full with an Airstream gathering, but there is some overflow parking. The price turned out to be $20-$30. And, there is some sort of bicycle race that seems to be winding down.

We got the boat set up and headed off to the winery. The tour and the wine tasting were interesting... not my cup of tea (or bottle of wine, as the case may be), but I was hoping Joan was enjoying the experience.

When we got back to the city park, things had changed. The bike races were actually just ramping up before, and now the place was packed. We couldn’t get a parking place near our boat, which was now surrounded by cars with bike racks.

The races are a type of bicycle-motocross. They race up and down hills, over steps, fly across berms, hop off their bikes and carry them across an obsticle course... they are loud and seem to be having a good time. Lots of people here who must REALLY enjoy the SNL routine about Blue Oyster Cult, 'cause there is PLENTY of cowbell! They're ringing 'em like crazy!

It’s a pretty sure bet that it will be a long time into the night before things quiet down around here. In the meantime, we started working on a route to get us home. There really is no direct route... the Ozarks are a barrier - only a few twisty roads. Heading west will take us across the crappy roads in Oklahoma. We will probably go 100+ miles out of the way to find good roads. Fortunately, we are not on a schedule.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Back in RV mode...

Once we're on the road with the boat, it's RV time again. While the boat is happier in the water, it serves as our RV while towing. The RV park we are in tonight is just a bit nicer than the park last night in Niagara Falls... at half the price. We generally get some odd looks while we are setting up, but, like most RVs, we have a comfortable bed, a galley, a dinette, fridge, and a bathroom.

After getting set up, we treated ourselves to Texas Road House and topped the evening off with a trip to Wal-Mart... living large. ;-)

Heading for home... with about 1800 miles to go.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oot and Aboot...

Thursday, September 17th. (That’s Canada talk for: “out and about.”) We were up early; cleaned up, bundled up (temp in the 30s!), and went to work on getting the boat loaded. As expected, the ramp situation was ugly... steep, uneven, and boulders under water (yeah, boulders, not rocks). We had to dunk the trailer in 4 times to find the spot that was closest to level.

Just behind the ramp is an even bigger boulder under water. I slowly and carefully maneuvered Wild Blue towards the trailer. The ramp was so steep and uneven that we had to take the anchor off to get the bow of the boat to the bow roller on the trailer.

I stayed on the boat to try to hold it aligned with the trailer while Joan slowly pulled us out of the water... success! It took a while to put the last of the stuff away, strap down the boat, and get ready to roll. The winch strap started to fray, so we pulled out a length of it, cut it off, and tied a bowline in it with the hook to hold it. Yeah, that’ll work.

Letting Jill (the GPS) figure the route back home would take us through Detroit. We figured the border crossing would be less congested going through Niagara Falls... plus, we wanted to see the falls. We plugged that into the GPS and headed south, then southwest, then southeast. We stopped about 15 miles from the border for a sandwich and some fuel... spent our last Canadian dollars.

The border crossing did go easy. The Customs guy wanted to see what was in the back of our truck and wanted to look inside Wild Blue. I dropped the swim ladder so he could climb up and unlocked the door for him. He walked into the cabin, looked behind the dinette seat, glanced all around, opend the door to the head, and asked about our storage. I said, “You just wanted to see the boat, didn’t you?”

“Yeah. It’s a nice boat.” He ran our plates and told us we could go.

We checked into an over-priced campground in Niagara Falls, got the boat set up for the night, unhooked and drove to Niagara Falls... the flowing water, not the city.

The park at Niagara Falls is gorgeous... designed by the same guy who did Central Park in New York City. And the falls are absolutely breath-taking. We walked up the path to the falls, then went out on the observation deck for more of an overview. From there, we took the Scenic Trolley around the park. We got off at Horseshoe Falls to take more photos. American Falls, where we first stopped is big and impressive; Horseshoe Falls has about 9 times the volume of water going over. HUGE.

We stopped for supper (surprise: Italian) on the way back to the boat. I took Izzy for a walk and we called it a night... it’s been another full day.

Back to Big Red...

Wednesday, September 16th

We cleaned up and headed out of the marina at 8:45... it took us a whole 5 minutes to get to the first lock. And they weren’t open, yet. They “open” at 9:00, but have their routine: pick up trash, open the bathrooms, etc... it was 9:20 by the time they opened the lock door to let us in.

We only have 25 miles to go today... BUT, there are 9 locks we have to transit... 6 of them are the historic, manually operated locks and they are slow, 2 are hydraulic locks (reasonably fast), and the Peterborough Lift Lock. Oh, and two swing bridges. And that all takes time.

We had to wait a few minutes at the Peterborough Lift Lock and visited with some Canadians who winter in South Texas. Our friend, John, was at the controls of the lock today and came down to the boat before we went up. When we got to the top, he came out and asked if we wanted him to take our photo on the boat. Sure!

The lift lock is just as impressive second time around as it was the first; and with the boat facing in, I got the view out the back.

The next lock is one of the manual ones... and there was no one at the lock when we got there. We tied the boat off and I walked up to the lock. No sign of the workers. I walked around the building... I could hear the radio playing in their office, but still no people. After a few minutes, three of them came roaring up in a car; they have two locks to run and they were at the other lock. We had to wait for a boat going down before we could enter.

The rest of the locks were ready for us when we got there, but it was still slow going. It took us over 4 hours to go about 11 miles.

It was a chilly day. I guess that’s to be expected, it was in the single digits for temperature last night. Oh, that’s Celcius, but it got down into the upper 30s... definitely time to head south. The chilly temps and shorter days are bringing out the color in the leaves. While certainly not at their peak here, we have had plenty of fall colors... something we haven’t seen in several years.

We finally got to Burleigh Falls around 2:45. It had been a long day. The locks today pretty much wore us out. We’ve enjoyed them, but last night Joan said, “I’m about done with locks.” I’m sure she is after today. However, there was still plenty of work to get done: Wild Blue needs to be made ready for the road.

I checked in with the lockmaster, Phil. He told us we could stay on the lock wall no charge tonight. It’s going to be another cold one, and it will be warmer on the water... it will also let us get unloaded at our leisure. We pulled the truck as close as we could get to the boat and started the process; it took a couple hours.

The ramp here isn’t great - lots of big rocks and holes. We will get Wild Blue loaded tomorrow, when we’re fresh.

As I carried the last of the loads to the truck, this leaf fell into the cockpit of the boat... seems appropriate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marina Life...

We've enjoyed the marina at Peterborough... decent showers, a washer/dryer, power, water, and easy walking access to town. We've wandered around, checking out the eateries, the architecture, and just generally seeing the sights. Having wifi makes us feel connected to the outside world. There is a large park adjacent to the marina.

We're getting short on our time here in Canada. Already thinking about what's next.

Here's the wrap-up for the past couple months...

We’ve covered over 3500 miles on land and water. Transited about 80 locks, including the Big Chute Marine Railway and the Peterborough Lift Lock, the biggest lift lock in the world. We’ve been to the BIG city and lots of small towns. Gone under bridges and over highways (yes, on the water). Spent every night aboard Wild Blue. Walked the cat, rescued the cat from the water, cleaned up poop, and had plenty of snuggle time. Little Izzy is now an international traveler. We’ve eaten Italian, Mexican, Italian, English, Italian, American, Canadian and Italian. We’ve biked, walked, boated, trucked, took the train, a bunch of buses, water taxis, and ferries. We’ve stayed on walls, at locks, docks, a couple campgrounds, Wal-Mart, islands, and on the trailer behind Big Red. We’ve visited with hundreds of people, given boat tours of Wild Blue, helped other boaters, been helped, crossed rivers, lakes, canals, creeks, waterways, aquaducts, cuts, and wetlands. Put the bow in the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, some historic canals, and have seen spectacular scenery. We circled the Statue of Liberty, saw Times Square, visited Ellis Island, Brooklyn, Harlem, and saw Ground Zero in Manhattan. Crossed time zones and one international border.

It’s been a pretty amazing trip so far.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peterborough Lift Lock

As it turns out, the lift lock guys were absolutely right: we had the place to ourselves. Before bed last night, we saw a few couples strolling around... it is a kinda romantic place, with beautiful grounds.

This morning, I took Izzy for a walk as the sun was just coming up. As you can see from the photos, it was a pretty sky and just a bit of ground fog. And then the sun peeked through the trees on the other side of the waterway.

The Peterborough Lift Lock is the largest lift lock in the world, at over 6 stories of lift/drop. This is different from the Kirkfield Lift Lock, which is mostly steel construction; The Peterborough Lift is mostly concrete. The lift lock doesn’t open until 9:00, so we had plenty of time to look around. When the guys from the lift came in to work, one of them asked me if I wanted a tour of the control room.


John showed me the combination of high-tech and low-tech that makes this all work. Very interesting, and quite a view from there. After he had run all his morning checks, he said, “The lock is ready for you whenever you want.” I thanked him for the time and info and headed back to bring Wild Blue into the chamber.

Joan took photos from the bow while I did video from the stern. As usual, she gets the best view from up there. Above is the view from over 6 stories up... that gate in the foreground is what is holding the water and Wild Blue from being a 60+ foot waterfall. The view from the back is very impressive, too; because of the cement construction, it looks like a midevil castle wall, with openings. The back of the lift lock moves down along that wall, with the same type of gate keeping water in on that side.

The principle of how this lift lock works is much like the Kirkfield lock (same designer/builder): water is added or subtracted from the chamber to change the weight; the lighter side rises as the heavier side lowers.

In a very short time, our boat has dropped over 60 feet, the front gate is lowered, and we motor out. That side is now ready for the next up-stream boat.

This may be the least amount of travel for any cruising day since we’ve owned Wild Blue: a whopping 1.6 miles. We transited the lift lock, went through a swingbridge opening, then into another historical lock. When we exited that lock, we turned into Little Lake and pulled up to the Peterborough Marina.

I said to the young man at the office, “Can you find a slip for a couple weary travelers?”

We are spending a couple nights in the marina, with power, water, showers, and a washer/dryer. And wifi. We even managed to pull in two whole TV stations. We are living large.

After settling in, we set out on foot to see what is nearby. We stopped for fish and chips (yes, I ate fish) at Captain George’s Restaurant, recommended to us by the head lock master. Then we wandered down the main drag; into a boating store, through a craft store, and finally stopped for some groceries. There’s pizza and Tim Horton’s within two blocks. We are set.

The shopping options are different here in Canada... we haven’t seen as many of the chain stores, but this is one place that seems very popular... and self-explanitory.

Lots of Locks...

Sunday, September 13th.

The power was out Sunday Morning when we left the marina. Not a surprise, it's the power company doing some update. What we hadn't considered: many of the locks need power to run. The boats were stacking up when we got to the Lovesick Lock. We took our place on the wall and waited for the power to come back on... estimated time around 12:30.

While we were there, the three ladies we saw on kayaks coming out of Lake Simco came paddling up. They are doing the entire Trent-Severn... I was impressed. They are camping along the way, have had one shower in the past week, and their cell phones got soaked so no way to check in with family. I lent one of the girls our cell phone so she could call home. This is a pretty impressive feat.

We stopped at the lock where we left Big Red... she looks fine. The lockmaster who gave us a lot of info when we first launched is retiring tomorrow. We visited with him for a bit. This is a busy place right now - their power was out, too.

We moved further down the waterway. Our planned destination for the night is Peterborough. I asked the lockmaster at Lakefield if we were going to make it... he looked at his watch and said, "I really doubt it." He called the rest of the locks between us and Peterborough, so they'd be ready for us. Most of these are the historic locks and it just takes longer to fill/drain. While we had the lockmasters working with us, we came across a lot of kayakers, canoeists, rowing rigs, and kids on floats. Not a problem, we know we can stay on a lock wall along the way.

Two locks above the Peterborough Lift Lock, we could see that it wasn't going to happen. We planned to stay on the wall there. As we pulled up to the lift lock wall, one of the lockmasters met us. "Welcome to the Peterborough Lift Lock. I assume you'll be spending the night here?"

When I told him that was our plan, he handed Joan the Sunday newpaper, gave me a key to the washrooms, and said, "You'll have the place to yourself. No other boats will be coming. Enjoy the peace and quiet. I left a hose out for you if you need to top off your tank. There's a Tim Horton's less than 10 minutes walk. Anything else you need for the night?"

Pretty nice hospitality, eh?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Colors Starting To Appear (along with Elvis)...

It just keeps getting better up here - the weather has been beautiful and the trees are just starting to turn color.

We had a great night at Reach Harbour Marina... it was their 18th Annual Roast & Toast party. It was a family-friendly event, with face-painting and pizza for the kids, happy hour and a nice roast beef meal for the grown ups. The theme was Elvis/50s/60s... there were poodle skirts, tie-dye t-shirts, and a lot of cigarette packs rolled up in t-shirt sleeves. The Elvis impersonator was pretty good... until he talked between songs... with his English accent. There was also a young rock band that alternated sets with "Elvis"; those kids were good. I can tell I'm getting older: my ears are still ringing this morning.

We were fortunate to get tickets to this shindig... they were sold out, but one of the guys we met earlier on this trip, Bill (this is his home marina), found someone who had to cancel... right place, right time.


Friday, September 11th. When we left off, we had just pulled in at Bobcaygeon and had the wall pretty much to ourselves... there was one other boat about our size and a small houseboat. It was blissfully quiet.

That all changed a couple hours later when a total of 9 houseboats pulled up on our side of the lock (no idea how many were on the other side). Of those 9, one appeared to be operated competently. With the rest, there was a lot of banging and shouting. Fortunately, they made up for that noise by turning on their stereos at an extreme volume. I also wasn’t aware that you cannot speak in a normal tone on a houseboat... apparently, one must yell at all times. Maybe to be heard over the stereo or the generator?

Really fortunate, Wild Blue is pretty snug, if not completely soundproof, when she is all closed up. It was another cool night, so when we did go to bed, you couldn’t hear a thing.

The Trent Canal, eastward

Friday, September 11th. We were up at first light; turned on some heat and Joan made coffee. We waved good-bye to Al, rotated Wild Blue, and slowly motored down the canal. The light was beautiful and there was a condensation fog on the water... a lovely way to start the day.

This man-made part of the waterway is about 6 to 7 miles long, and straight except for a couple turns through a shallow man-made lake. The water is clear enough that you can see the rock shelf on either side of the canal... no wandering out of the middle of this narrow cut.
When we got to the far end of the cut, we pulled off on a wall to make breakfast and clean up.
It was another beautiful day of cruising; 3 more locks, crossed 5 lakes, and covered 31 miles. At Rosedale, we ran into Al (from Reach Harbour) and visited for a while.

We didn’t have a particular destination and decided to call it a day at Bobcaygeon. We knew we could pick up a some bread at the store and have a nice lunch out. We did.

Izzy got some quality time in the grass along the waterway. She has been doing SO good this trip.

On to Kirkfield for the night...

Two showers in less than 12 hours - we are going to be spoiled. A walk to the grocery store and then Tim Horton’s, and we were ready to head out. Today’s routing would take us across Lake Simco (the big one); we diagonaled across and covered 18 miles. Then it was into the Trent Canal.

We got held up at the first Historical Lock when 3 girls in kayaks were locking through. They had no idea it cost to use the locks. Then they spent 15 minutes trying to decide whether to buy a day pass or a single lock pass. They they had to figure out how to pay their $69 for the 3 kayaks. Then the girl with the credit card couldn’t find the card. Finally, after wasting nearly an hour, the lockmaster let us go on through and told them they’d have to wait for the next opening. We covered the next 4 locks in the same amount of time as the first.

The canal along that route is narrow and pretty. It occasionally widens out where the river runs through it and there are homes along both sides. It’s hard to say that this is our favorite part of the waterway, because each section is so different.

The Historical Locks in this section are smaller, but more turbulence as you go up. Not a problem, but definitely different from the way down.

The locks close now at 3:30. We made it to the Kirkfield Lift Lock around 3:00 and only had to wait a couple minutes. This was our planned destination for the night.

We went into the outside chamber, they closed the gate behind us, and we were lifted up over 50 feet in just a couple minutes. This was impressive on the way down, and just as impressive on the way up. On the upper side, you are in an aquaduct that passes over a highway below. We stopped on the upper side to tour the area and take some photos.

When we walked down the side of the canal to see where we’d like to stop for the day, there was one other boat... a small homemade cutie. We visited with its owner Al, and decided to spend the evening near him. He is a widower and has dreamed of taking his little boat to the Erie Canal. We were able to give him plenty of encouragement.

There is a small waterfall near here and the crickets to provide our evening “music.” We settled in. The sky was pretty as the last rays of the day silhouetted the trees.


Al's Story...

I’m not a big one for campfires, but Al was out there by himself and he looked like he could use some company. We talked about boats, cruising, the Trent-Severn, the Erie Canal, and how things have changed over the years. Then Al’s story pulled at my heart...

He and his wife worked together to build that little boat in 1992. She had one season on it, and passed away in ‘93. He told me, “One of the last things she said to me was: ‘Go out and use that little boat... and remember us.’ I’m still not over her. I suspect that’s the way it will always be.”

“I can only imagine,” I said.

“You two have been together a long time. You’re good together, I can tell,” he said.

We talked some more about small boats... his boat is 16 feet. “It’s OK for one. It’s all I need.”

I understood.

Heading East

From our last post, we made it to Port Severn and out into Georgian Bay. Vast and beautiful. That will be another cruise of it's own on our return to this area. For now, it was time to head east.

Back through the Port Severn Lock and on our way to the Big Chute Railway again. It was after noon by the time we were done at the Big Chute... lots of miles and two more locks to cover before 3:30, the time that the locks shut down now.

Our timing was perfect at Swift Falls Lock; the door was open when we got close, and we pulled right in. It is also the fastest lock (and the biggest) on the system... they had us on our way swiftly.

I pushed Wild Blue a bit faster than her normal cruise speed... when I could; there were quite a few miles of 10 kilometers per hour speed limit... that’s about 6 miles per hour... really slow when you’re trying to make time. We got to the Couchiching Lock just after 3:00.

Everything was falling into place. There were 5 boats waiting to go through. The boat before us got a bit out of control and whacked the wall pretty good... I can’t say I was too excited about being right behind that guy.

He got out of control on the way out, too, but we gave him plenty of room. He lost some fiberglass when he pulled off at the wall outside the lock. It’s not going to be a fun night on that boat tonight (young couple with two big dogs).

Once on the other side of that lock, we had no time restrictions. We stopped for fuel before getting on Lake Couchiching, then motored on into Orillia. We still have a key to the showers, and the slips are now free... with power and water. We pulled in just before 5:00 and settled in for the evening.

58 miles, 4 locks, and one marine railway.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big Chute Railway

So much to post and so little wifi. ;-)

We are continuing to have a great time on the Trent-Severn. Each day seems to bring interesting new cruising. One of the absolute highlights was transiting the Big Chute Marine Railway. This device is like a railcar that goes into the water; you drive your boat onto it, they lift your stern with a sling, then raise a wood floor to support the bow. Then the whole works comes up out of the water, goes over land, across a road, and back into the water on the other side.

After transiting once, I asked Joan if she'd mind taking photos while I took Wild Blue over. She was game and did a great job! Here's the results:

Going in the "chute"

Picking up the boat...

And back in the water on the other side...

We completed the western part of the Trent-Severn when we passed through the Port Severn Lock. Lots of turbulence on the other side of that lock...
We will poke our nose out into Georgian Bay, then plan to head back into the waterway for the trip east. Lovin' it!