I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD.
(Ezekiel 34:15 NLT)
Ropes secure our boat to the dock. We hold onto ropes to keep our boat from banging into the lock walls. Ropes tend to keep us out of mischance, except for that time when someone untied our ropes earlier in the trip. (Since that incident, Les bought some cable and a lock to deter any more mischief.)
|Tied up securely in Little Falls|
Yesterday, we made our way though seven locks, including Lock 17, which is the tallest lock on the canal, a forty foot drop. (Most of the other locks range between 8-20 feet deep.) Quite a massive piece of engineering, the downstream "gate" comes down like a guillotine rather than opening like doors.
|Waiting at the top of Lock 17|
|Downstream gate opens|
|Leaving Lock 17|
|A catamaran entering to lock up|
We left Lock 17, with six more locks to pass through to get to Amsterdam. After Lock 16, we took my bike off the boat at a tall wall below the lock. It was quite the feat since Les had to stand on the side of the boat, lift both bikes off and not get knocked into the wall or on the head with a bike. (Which unfortunately, I was not able to prevent, but at least it was a tire and not the frame of the bike.) We parted ways and met seven miles down the canal at Lock 15. It was an beautiful bike path, wooded with yellow wildflowers and cattails and wild sumac and rain puddles and the cidery scents of autumn in the air.
|Les leaving the Lock 16 wall, after heaving my bike ashore,|
and putting his bike back on the rack.
We haven't mentioned much about the lock masters; they are the shepherds of the locks. I noticed yesterday one young man washing down the guard hut, another cleaning the windows and yet another staining a split rail fence. Also a couple of the locks had damage from flooding, so we noted the reconstruction of the grounds and other revamping. Each lock master has his own personality; we've only met one female lock master so far. They comment on our boat or let us know that they will tell the next lock we are on our way. Their attention gives us a sense of peace and human kindness along the way.
This section of the canal merges with the Mohawk River and meanders through the Mohawk Valley. The scenes along the river were serene and spectacular.
The pastoral setting reinforced how God speaks quiet delight over us each day, whether on vacation or attending to our daily routines.
I leave you with some more pictures of the day.
|Caught this tender moment while waiting for Lock 17,|
a lock master saying good-bye to his girl
|Moss growing on the cliff|
|A house down by the river, looked abandoned.|
|The remains of another aqueduct that used to |
carry the canal across the Mohawk River
|The dam next to Lock 12|
|In Lock 12 above the Mohawk River|
|An eagle soaring over the river|
We finished our day locking through Lock 11 just above the town of Amsterdam, where we docked at the riverside park, just us and our Intuition. A cold front was moving in, but we had time to grill some hot dogs and beans for dinner, wash down the boat, and start some laundry. We weathered the storm inside the laundry/bathhouse, each of us sitting in folding chairs reading a book. Once the rain slowed down, we ran our dry laundry back to the boat, settled in for the night to the sound of the trains blaring their horn and rumbling down the tracks every hour or so. We both put in our earplugs and slept pretty well.