June 13, 2013

Day 230 - June 12, 2013: Continued canal closure and Cohoes Falls

The excitement this morning was eating breakfast at Don and Paul's Coffee Shoppe where you can get 2 eggs, sausage, hash browns and coffee for under $3.00. The eastern Erie Canal is still closed, and we were informed by the Canal System Superintendent that if we get more rain tomorrow, for safety reasons we might have to move off this dock and up into a pool above Lock #2. The Mohawk River has risen 5 feet since we arrived, and our floating dock is now higher than the sidewalk beside it. The large green square marking the entrance to the lock was totally visible when we arrived on Monday, partially covered that evening, and totally covered this morning when I arose. The currents are heavy, and there is much debris floating by.
Partially covered green square
Totally covered green square
Strangely, today was sunny, and the bikes were already out, so Anne set out to get a manicure and pedicure, and I went for a haircut. The barbershop was right out of the early 1900's, and so were the barber and the other two men inside. I enjoyed listening to the conversations. After his haircut, one elderly fellow took his cell phone out and asked the barber if he knew how to work the thing. He wanted to call his niece but said that only his wife knew how use his phone. The barber tried and finally gave up. The other fellow said that when he and his wife retired, she wanted to get a computer and learn how to use it. She promised him that after she figured it out, she would teach him. That was eight years ago; he just shook his head.

After lunch we set out for a bike ride to see one of the early canal locks and the Cohoes Falls. We had to go up above Lock #2, cross the Mohawk River Bridge, and ride about 2 miles uphill. This area was known for its textile industry after the Civil War, and there are still huge buildings where the Harmony Mills once produced cloth 24 hours a day using 2,700 looms powered by the river.

Harmony Mills along the Mohawk River, now coveted to lofts
As we passed the Harmony Mills, we were astounded to see the 90 ft high and 1000 ft wide Cohoes Falls, which are almost as large as Niagara's Horseshoe Falls. With the flooding, the falls were spectacular! This excess storm water is pounding down to where we are docked and will have to drain into the Hudson before the eastern portion of the Erie Canal can be safely opened.

Cohoes Falls on the Mohawk River
A local TV news team showed up this afternoon while I was waxing the boat and interviewed Anne and me about how we felt about the flood delay. We might be on ABC, FOX news tonight or in the local newspaper tomorrow.

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