September 13, Fairport. New York
Light diffuses through mist hovering over the still water as the sun rises, lending a mystical quality to the early morning. We pass under the lift bridge as soon as the operator comes on duty and stop for breakfast in Medina forty minutes later. A ninety-nine-cent breakfast special had been offered at a restaurant four years earlier. Inflation has increased the price, though…by a dollar.
Soon after we start out again, we cruise along on the canal and look down on a road that passes underneath. It’s the only place where the road goes under the canal, an engineering wonder both then and now.
Herons, kingfishers, and ducks peer intently into the water, then dart for cover as we close in. Ahead, an osprey dives from eighty feet into the water then sails in front of us with a fish in its talons.
Along the western end of the Erie the old mule towpaths have been converted into paved walking and bike trails that extend for a hundred miles. Loren disembarks with a bike and a camera and rides for two and a half miles between stopping places to capture images of Pelican underway. (Check out our “Sanford and Sons” look.)
Ten hours after we leave Middleport, we arrive at the very popular destination of Fairport. In other towns where we’ve stopped, we've had only one companion. Here, we are one of a dozen boats. Maybe the three ice cream shops near the waterfront are the draw!