my friend katie and i decided to spend the afternoon kayaking. it was her first time- and i love taking our friends on new adventures.
we ventured out to baldwinsville, new york- known for lock 24 and a great resting spot along the erie canal. we put in at a local park (that took us way too long to find) and after a rocky start...yours truly flipped the kayak getting into the water...we made our way to the lock.
the lock systems are rather fascinating. basically, along the erie canal, the water ways are actually at different levels. in order to get from one level to the next, boats enter the lock and water is either drained or filled until you get to the necessary water level. in the case of lock 24, as we paddled up the seneca river to the lock, we were greeted with these huge iron doors and as they opened, sounded like castle drawbridges being lowered over a moat. we paddled into the massive lock (large enough to fit a small cruise ship) and grabbed one of the many algae-covered ropes hanging from the side.
once the doors popped closed, water slowly seeped into the lock and over the course of fifteen minutes, the water raising water level (about a 50 foot difference) brought us to the top of seneca river in the village of baldwinsville. we spent the next 30 minutes paddling and turned around to head home. the weather was perfect: warm, calm and sunny. we ended the paddle with milkshakes from a local diner. i think it's safe to say...we had a great time.