This online document is a means of sharing the adventure of traveling on America's waterways with friends and family. Last Dance is continuing to take her crew to historical, natural, beautiful, and interesting places. Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trent Severn Canal

The Trent Severn Canal is a system of rivers, lakes, locks, and dug canals transporting boats over the Ontario, Canada, land mass between the Great Lakes of Ontario and Huron.  This photo is of the skinniest and highest section of the canal, over 800 feet above sea level.  It is dug through the granite of the Canadian shield.  But, the Trent Severn is much more than a water road leading from one lake to another.  It is a trail through beautiful scenery, visits to small, interesting towns, interactions with engaging people, and experiencing the lifting and lowering of the boat through various lock designs.

The city of Campbellford operates a marina along the lock wall in the middle of town.  It is part of the park which has a large tribute to the designer of the Toonie, the two dollar Canadian coin (the large coin can be seen in the trees to the right.  Campbellford has some interesting attractions in the food arena:  Dooher's, an outstanding and large bakery with everything baked from scratch, The World's Finest Chocolate Factory, and Empire Cheese, with delicious aged cheeses.  Campbellford hosts an Incredible Edible Festival in July.  Experiencing the different cultures requires experiencing their foods.  Research is important.

The Last Dance crew on a walk through the park.  It is a bit cooler in Canada than Florida in June.

Many of the locks are located in towns.  Operated by Parks Canada, all have a park-like setting and have space on the walls above and below the lock to which boats can tie to spend a night.  The upper lock doors can be seen to the right of Last Dance.  This peaceful spot is near the town of Lakefield.

The first retailer across the bridge into Lakefield is a bakery and ice cream store.  Seems every Canadian town, no matter how small, has at least one bakery.  Fresh baked bread and goodies are never far away.  The unique Canadian baked item found at every bakery, and even every grocery store, is the butter tart, baked in many varieties from plain to pecan.  More research required to sample every butter tart along the route.

The middle section of the Trent Severn passes through a series of interconnected lakes - Kawartha Lakes.  There is a well-known dairy in this area which must have some very special cows.  The dairy products and, in particular, the ice cream, are absolutely wonderful in the creaminess and delicious flavor.  The Lakefield store had Kawartha in 36 flavors.  A trip through the Trent Severn requires many experiences with Kawartha ice cream to fully enjoy the trip.

The town of Bobcageon is another with the lock right in the middle of town.  Parks Canada has recently upgraded the docking wall with new concrete and electrical power.  The locks are not only a water highway, but also a central park in town.

The grocery store in Bobcaygeon provided the Last Dance crew with some additional Kawartha experiences at a picnic table in the park.

One tradition of British colonialism that remains well accepted in Canada is the local pub, a family place for food and drink.  Lakefield had two, in the two-block-long downtown: the Canoe and Paddle, and the Thirsty Loon.  The town of Fenelon Falls is home to the Cow and Sow.  Who would think of going to Canada to sample barbeque?  The slab of tasty and tender ribs provided a most enjoyable lunch and two dinners on the boat.  Getting into the culture.

Port Severn, the town at Lock 45, the westernmost lock on the canal, has the School House Fish & Chips.  This restaurant is appropriately named as it is located in an old school house and 90% of the menu is fish and chips, a most popular fare in Canada.  "Chip Trucks" are a common site, every Canadian Tire parking lot seems to have a truck serving fish and chips.  Chips in Canada have the British definition, fresh cut french fries.  The most popular fish tends to be Whitefish and Pickerel.  Another Canadian culinary treat.

When we passed under this bridge in previous trips, we saw only an arched bridge and wondered how it got its name - Hole in the Wall Bridge.  This year we arrive in the morning with clear skies which created a reflection and explanation of the derivation of the name.  Sailed through a hole in the wall.  The Trent Severn Canal, a host of experiences, visual to culinary.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Lock #440

The Trent Severn Canal names this lock: Lock 45, Port Severn Lock.  It is the smallest lock on the canal in terms of the size of the lock chamber.  The drop is 14 feet, lowering boats to the level of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

For Last Dance it was lock number 440, the 440th lock transited since the beginning of the Great Loop journeys, March 1, 2011.  Locks have moved the boat to higher or lower water levels on the Mississippi River, Illinois River, Chicago River, Ohio River, Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Ottowa River, St. Lawrence Seaway, Tenn-Tom Waterway, Erie Canal, Champlain Canal, Chambly Canal, Rideau Canal, Trent Severn Canal, Dismal Swamp Canal, and Oswego Canal.

Above, Last Dance is tied to the wall with the blue line, indicating to the lockmaster that the crew wishes to lock through at their earliest convenience.  When Lock 45 began operation at 9:00 am, Sunday, June 19, 2016,  Last Dance was the first and only boat to be locked down.

Maine Revisited

Last Dance returned to Maine for a summer exploration of the coast, late June 2015.  A visit to Maine during 2013 has been documented in this blog.  If you have happened upon this section of the blog postings without seeing the posts from 2013, it could be informative to go back to the earlier posts before continuing on to the 2015 Maine posts (link below).  Some of the same areas and towns will be visited and documented, with an attempt to not duplicate content.

Maine Lighthouses

Lighthouses seem to have a mystical quality.  One cannot pass by a lighthouse without being drawn to it, staring upon it for a while, studying the architecture.  It is more than the physical building that is the attraction. Is it the history, the importance to navigation, or is it some spirits that remain calling to mariners?

For those who are drawn to lighthouses, a few images collected by the Last Dance crew of lighthouses in Maine are shared in this post.

Mouse Island Light, Boothbay Harbor

Browns Head Light, Vinalhaven, Fox Thorofare West

Isle au Haut Light

Goose Rocks Light, Fox Islands Thorofare
Chuckholds Light, Boothbay Harbor

Indian Island Light, Rockport
Tenants Harbor Light

Marshall Point Light, Port Clyde
Isle au Haut Light

Isle au Haut Light
Tenants Harbor Light

Curtis Island Light, Camden Harbor
Whitehead Light, near Rockland
North Haven Light

Indian Island Light, Rockport

Portland Head Light

Ram Island Ledge, Portland
Spring Point Ledge Light, Portland Inner Harbor
Browns Head Light, Vinalhaven, Fox Islands Thorofare
Ram Island Light, Boothbay Harbor

Bass Harbor Light, Mount Desert Island
Bear Island Light, near Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island
Pemaquid Light
Burnt Coat Harbor Light, Swans Island
Blue Hill Bay Light
North Haven Light
Two Bush Light, Penobscot Bay