Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On the Erie Canal

September 11, Tonawanda, New York
Keith’s parents rejoined us in Buffalo, and they came bearing bikes. We had won the bid on a pair of folding Dahon Boardwalk bikes, including bags, on eBay. The complication was that they had to be picked up…in Maine. Since Loren and Clairice were already planning a driving trip to Albany, at the east end of the Erie Canal, they very graciously offered to make a fairly lengthy side trip to Maine to retrieve the bikes.

Yesterday all the preparation for unstepping (taking down) the mast and placing it on deck provided a good workout. Today we arrive at Tonawanda, the western terminus of the Erie Canal, where a crane lifts the ponderous and unwieldy mast off the deck and dangles it into place on waiting sawhorses. Always a heart-pounding process with plenty of potential for damage, this time we sustain a small gouge in Keith's meticulously refinished bow pulpit wood trim. All of this so that our boat, whose mast normally towers to sixty-one feet, can glide under bridges that rise only fifteen feet from the water.

Pelican’s wings have been clipped again; she can no longer extend them to soar in the wind. But we can fly! We take the bikes on a ten-mile inaugural ride to West Marine (where else?) and have a blast! People seem to be admiring our new bikes. Or maybe they’re marveling at Keith’s multi-tasking abilities as he rides his bike while talking on his cell phone and carrying an eight-foot antenna (to exchange).

We’re looking forward to transiting the Erie Canal again. Last time we made this trip we really enjoyed the charming little towns along the way with their redeveloped waterfronts.

No comments:

Post a Comment