The Erie Canal saves the best surprise for last

The Erie Canal saves the best surprise for last

06-JUN-2021 Sunday  Free Dock, Middleport NY to LaSalle Yacht Club, Niagra Falls NY (33.1 nautical miles  38.1 statute miles)

43°04’22.1″N 78°59’08.2″W
43.072805, -78.985607
Elevation: 562 feet Rise 50 feet
States (1): New York

Locks (2):
Lock E34 – Lockport
Lock E35 – Lockport (Elevation 564 at top of lock)

Along the Way

Wester Erie Canal is not at all like southern Florida ICW. Everything is shiny new and big in southern Florida. You never see an older boat (unless it’s a Looper boat). Here, you never see a new a new boat.

I wonder if they hung the right doors. There’s a different color and the down arrows are missing.

The weirdest thing of the day award goes to something I didn’t get a picture of. Some guy in his 60’s came roaring down to the canal edge on his four wheeler with his little dog on his lap. He skidded to a stop, lifted up his little dog and pointed to our boat so the dog could see it.

The Erie Canal saved the best for last.
Lockport. Sections of the original Erie Canal have been persevered. Other sections are in their original state. (Warning: I’m picture happy)

Lock E34 – Lockport (Lock 1)
Originally there were two sets of five step locks at Lockport to allow boats to travel both East and West at the same time. These two sets of five step locks have been replaced by two locks with significant lifts (~45 feet each). One set of the original locks have been preserved and are used for overflow.

At the top of Lock E34 you directly pass into Lock E35 – Lockport, the last lock until the Niagara River.

Signs of the original Erie Canal are very evident on the starboard/right/north side of the canal. You can still see the old mule path cut into the rock, forming a ledge. Rocks along the waterline have been worn smooth by the water through the years. The mule path was removed from port/left/south side of the canal when it was widened years ago.

Oopsies. I accidently bumped a button on my camera. The next set of pictures are in some sort of special effects cartoon mode. I thought they were kinda funky so I included more that I should have.

The closer to Niagara River we got the bluer the water got.

Kayak breeding grounds. This place is a zoo.

Give them the horn Dom!

The Erie Canal ends where it enters the Niagara River.

It’s hard to say goodbye. Rather than saying goodbye, Brandi Jo (Dom and Tammy) took us home with them. We headed down the Niagara River towards the falls to their yacht club. The waterway was Florida crazy.

Tonawanda, which means “swift waters,” was the name given to the area by Neuter and Erie Indians, the area’s original inhabitants. It probably refers to the Niagara River current.

Back to reality. I discover my oopsies and reset my camera.

Brandi Jo’s home marina is just before the North Grand Island Bridge.

Dale and Tom put the boom back on the sun roof. The Mooch was returned to her spot on top.

Then Tom snuck off to Minnesota. It was great having you aboard!

Current Status and Elevation


The Niagara River is a connecting channel between two Great Lakes, Erie and Ontario. Niagara Falls has moved back seven miles in 12,500 years and is thought to be the fastest moving waterfalls in the world.  700,000 of water travel down Niagara Falls every second.

It is believed that the word Niagara originates from the Iroquoian word ‘Onguiaahra’ meaning ‘Strait’. Making reference to the narrow waterways that flow north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Ponder This

If there is an earthquake on a dairy farm, is it called a milkshake?

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