June 11, 2013

Day 228 - June 10, 2013: Waterford, the entrance to the Erie Canal

We pulled the anchor and departed early with the morning fog still resting along the shoreline. The wildlife were out and active, and we saw a mother duck herding her sextuplets along the river, presumably to grassy areas where they could feed, and an eagle observing the world from the highest branch of all the trees along this shoreline.

Mom with six babies to care for
Can you see the eagle?
After so many peaceful and scenic days traveling north on the Hudson, it was quite a contrast as the river narrowed and we rounded a bend to see the metropolitan skyline of Albany. There are large metal recycling yards visible here and barges being readied for transit downriver. Just beyond Albany we approached Troy and passed under the unique Green Island Lift Bridge.

The Albany city skyline
Troy's Green Island Lift Bridge

Immediately thereafter, we entered the Troy Lock, which is the first lock we have been in since the two Dismal Swamp locks in Virginia. We have been at sea level in salt water for months and now have started the 630-foot climb back into the unsalted Great Lakes.

The Troy Lock
The Troy Dam from the top of the lock

With some excitement we approached Waterford, where there is a fork in the river and you have to choose whether to continue north to Lake Champlain or divert west on the Erie Canal. This spot is well marked with a bright blue sign not to be missed. We took the west branch and stopped on the Waterford City Dock, which had free dockage right in the heart of town. It was raining again, but Anne pushed a grocery cart full of laundry to the laundromat, and later we walked to the grocery store for a few items before entering the canal tomorrow.

The not-to-be-missed blue sign
The Waterford City Dock

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