June 19, 2014

Day 277 - June 18, 2014: Peterborough Lock and Young's Point, ON

After going through lock 19, we approached the Peterborough Hydraulic Lock 20, and it became clear that we would be the only boat going through. This would give us a chance to tie up close to the outside edge for a great view. The structure is quite imposing, with the towers on each side and one of the water filled steel chambers high above. The green light came on next to the lower left chamber where the entrance gate was already down and waiting. A young lock worker came over and instructed us to secure Great Laker either to the lower black or slightly higher gray rails and enjoy the ride. There would be no incoming water currents and swirling or steel cables to be attended to.

Peterborough hydrawlic lock
Anne fastening the stern to the chamber
 The lockmaster in the central tower above announced over the PA that we were about to ascend, and almost imperceptibly we felt a very slight movement not unlike a building elevator. Within seconds we were moving at a quite rapid pace, yet it was eerily silent. We rushed up top to get pictures while the opposing chamber passed us at midpoint, and the city of Peterborough and surrounding countryside came into view. What a marvelous sight!

The two chambers passing each other half way up
In less than two minutes, we were slowing near the top, 65 feet above where we started. It was too short to absorb and if we could have, we would have stayed inside for another incredible ride. I now fully appreciated how this lock could so easily and efficiently move more than a dozen boats at a time up and down the river.

View out over the country side from the top of the lift
All too soon while we were still captivated by the views, the lockmaster came on again announcing that when the chamber door was down and clear, we could exit. We waved and thanked him for the experience, something he has probably heard thousands of times before, but it was sincerely given.

Thanking the Lock Master as we exited
The next four locks were quite close together and went quickly. There are farms here (instead of shore-side homes), lots of wildlife, and due to the altitude, the hardwood trees gave way to large groves of pine and cedar trees.

We stopped for the night at the top of lock 27, which is called Young’s Point. It is little more than a lock, a highway bridge, and a convenience store with no downtown. The guide books point you to a visit at the Lockside Trading Company, a three-time national award winning retailer of various kinds of unusual furniture, home furnishings and clothing. It was housed in a myriad of small rooms from what might have been an old cottage or inn. We declined all but an excellent ice cream made here locally.

Later we enjoyed a remarkably fine meal at the Old Bridge Inn, named after the oldest remaining bridge here on the Trent-Severn. This restaurant, with a real experienced chef, seemed very out of place for one in such a remote location, and we highly recommend it.

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