Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; praise His name!
(Psalm 100:4 ESV)
During the time the trailer was in for repairs, we drove over to visit my aunt. We had a nice dinner and shared photos, but as always our time together was too short. We spent the evening in a town near the repair shop. When we got up that morning we had no idea what to expect. But to our surprise the trailer was ready to be picked up by noon that very day. And our keys had arrived.
We picked up the boat and keys, and trucked our way over to Buffalo. We got to the marina just as the sun was setting.
Thursday morning, we entered the boating phase of our trip. We cruised from the Buffalo harbor over to the Black Rock Canal, which bypasses the Niagara River in order to get over to the Tonawanda area, where the Erie Canal begins.
We will be crossing the entire canal, which is 338 miles long. Part of our adventure includes going through 35 locks. We started with the Black Rock Lock. After stopping in North Tonawanda, where we visited the Carousel Museum, we went through the first lock system in Lockport, which is a double lock.
|Entering the Lockport double lock system|
|Leaving the second lock at Lockport|
|Looking back into the double lock|
Going through a lock is like driving your boat into a huge bathtub, then securing your boat to the side while the water drains. Or if you are locking up the canal, the water fills while your boat bobs on the side. To get into the locks, you enter huge gates. As we enter and exit the locks, I marvel at the ingenuity of the engineering and the majesty of nature combined.
On the Erie Canal system also has Lift Bridges and Guard Gates. The bridges lift to let boats pass under. In the winter the gates are lowered to allow the canal to drain, and they also manage water levels during times of flooding.
Taking a journey offers many moments of wonder and surprise. And so the journey of faith. We never know what might be around the next bend. But God always provides, always care and always delights in us.
|Plants growing in wall of Black Rock Lock|
|Lockport used to be a Five Flight lock, meaning five locks in succession.|
A couple of surprises so far on this trip have been the trailer incident and last night we experienced the bounty of community.
We stopped in a little town east of Lockport, where the city provides docking along the canal wall with free electricity. Next to each spot, someone planted a barrel of tomatoes, cabbages and herbs. This morning I clipped a bit of fresh rosemary and cilantro for future meals.
|Sunset at Gasport|
For dinner we walked over to the Canalside Inn, a local establishment where we ordered Beef on Weck, a western New York delicacy. The table next to us ordered theirs, but were told they were out. That sparked a friendly banter about us taking their meal. We mentioned we were from out of town, and they forgave us. We asked about a place to get ice, and the offered to go get us a bag. They delivered it to us and admired the boat, swapping stories since they were fellow boaters. One of the couples own a marina on the other side of the lift bridge, and the other had traveled the canal several times, so they gave us some tips for the stops ahead. Companionship along the way is always welcomed.
|Lift bridge closed for the night at Gasport|
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in!
(Psalm 24:7 ESV)