Apparently there was at least 4 inches (correction, I heard that 7 inches fell in some places) of rain that fell all at once wreaking havoc to the entire region. As I was eating breakfast at a diner, all the talk in town was about fixing washed out driveways and cleaning up downed trees and flooded basements.
I find a spot on the swollen Mohawk River to put in the kayak, near an abandoned section of old canal that had sprung back to life with excess water. The small creeks (or "cricks" as some locals say it) are torrents of brown muddy water, dumping raft loads of twigs, small branches and leaves onto the river. I only get as far as Lock 18 in Jacksonburg when I call the lock master on my cell phone and he says "Sorry, I can't let you through, the canal's been closed due to high water." I am disappointed as this is one of the sections I really wanted to paddle, and the next lock at Little Falls has the highest vertical lift in all the Erie Canal system at 40 feet.
I chat with the two lock masters for a bit, trying to find out when the canal might reopen but news from headquarters in Albany is hard to come by. I push off for the trail in light drizzle, looking past the nice rocky shoreline and thinking how nice it would be to be on the water.
Past Little Falls, the trail goes on what appears to be an old railway, with deep cuts into the rocky hills. it is nice and flat, but extremely wet and sometimes muddy. Parts of the trail were washed out in the storm, some still had overflowing streams flooding the surface. My wheels are caked in mud, and what started out as a clean rain-washed kayak is now a dirty mess.
|I might as well be boating in this pathway|
|Tim's jeans are a virtual resume of the work he does in the locks,|
right down to paint swatches and grease specs.
I am so hungry, I bike out to the local drive-in and have a bowl of clam chowder, a burger, fries and a large chocolate shake and still feel just decently refilled. I take a hot shower, and the shed camping complete with electrical outlet seems downright luxurious. All that is missing is wi-fi. I fall asleep to the pattering of rain on the metal roof.