Taming the Beast

Because we don’t get much news anymore, we only learned today of the world’s tragic loss.  So wherever you may be, a moment of silence as we mourn the passing of the great John Ward, without whom it never would have been “Football time, in Tennessee.”

On to Looping.  Little Falls, N.Y. is a picturesque village along the Erie Canal.  It’s apparently quite popular.  We planned to give it a pass on our way to Utica, however, because there are many other picturesque villages along the Erie Canal.  We can’t stop at all of them.

FBA22DE4-279C-415A-80F4-29A672682AF5From our perspective, the most significant thing about Little Falls was the giant protective maw that confronts travelers heading west.  Erie Canal Lock No. 17 is the highest lock in New York, and is one of only two guillotine-style entries in the universe unless there are some on other planets.  (The quality of the photo is crappy because it’s a frame from the time-lapse video that occupied one phone, while the person who owns the other phone and the camera was busy worrying.)  Here is one taken just before we started the worrying.  003a1181

The guy in charge must get perverse pleasure from watching unsuspecting boaters confront unexpected current, because he didn’t bother warning either of the two boats to be ready.  Turns out the front boat gets the worst of it.  Thankfully for us that was Second Wave.  Thankfully for Second Wave they are experienced enough to wrangle things safely.  For a moment, however, we feared for everyone in the lock.

003a1221003a1204Things tamed down the rest of the way.  Dana bagged a great Great Blue Heron.  The Canal straightened out for several miles.  The restaurant at the wall in Utica was delicious.

Things would be perfect if not for the whole John Ward thing.

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