Posts Tagged ‘locks’

I Did It!

Written by Kayaker Chip on . Posted in The Erie Canal 3 Comments

Chip MacAlpine, Erie Canal, Kayaking, Sally Supernova, Wilderness Systems

I did it! Three hundred and sixty three miles of kayaking across New York State on the Erie Canal.

After nearly three weeks kayaking, I took my last paddle strokes under warm afternoon light as I passed through the five locks of the Waterford section just outside Albany, having the mile and a half stretch all to myself. With previous locks I would call when I was about a quarter mile away, after hearing each operator answer I would respond with “Hello, Lock#, this is Kayaker Chip! I am eastbound and looking to pass through.” Not that I remember them all, but I always was given a name, something to start a conversation with when I made the approach to the gates. more...

Types of Fun

Written by Kayaker Chip on . Posted in The Erie Canal

Chip MacAlpine, Erie Canal, Kayaking, Sunset

Lots of things pertaining to outdoor adventures get ratings. Systems and classes are used to determine the size, technical difficulty and rank activities. Rivers get rated from Class 1, easy going riffles to Class VI, there is a good chance you will die! Mountaineering, ice climbing and rock climbing all use different grading systems. Skiing runs use symbols from green circles to black diamonds. Even “fun” has a rating system. It isn’t restricted to adventure, but since it is possibly the only time you will hear of this rating system, we will stick with that. There are three levels. Type I is general all around fun, it’s fun plan, fun while it is happening and fun to reminisce about later over a beer. more...

Just A Little More Wind

Written by Kayaker Chip on . Posted in The Erie Canal 5 Comments

Chip MacAlpine, Erie Canal, Kayaking, Sally Supernova, Wilderness Systems, Oneida Lake

Yesterday evening I made it to Lock 23, it was the first of a three “uphill” locks on my eastward journey. It was quite a different experience. I had seen lock operators fill a chamber while standing topside, valves wide open, and it was a slightly scary prospect. Luckily when there is a vessel in the chamber they take it a little slower. Still, there was much more push and pull on Sally. I shot some video but since the GoPro app still isn’t working properly I can’t share.

I stayed overnight at the lock. It was out of the way from any populated place and had a great park like setting, trees, picnic tables and grills. more...

A Slice of Pizza

Written by Kayaker Chip on . Posted in The Erie Canal 3 Comments

Chip MacAlpine, Erie Canal, Kayaking, Camping, Lock

The previous night I camped at Lock 28B. It was a bit of a challenge getting Sally to come with me. Most of the locks have a small floating workman dock, somewhere. It could be before the lock chamber, after it, or up above the concrete wall and out of reach from the water. Before I started this trip I was asked if portaging around the locks would be an option, I think most people assume that they won’t operate for a lonely kayaker.  I want to pass through each of them, but for whatever reason, timing, safety, etc. I wondered too. more...

Liquid Sunshine

Written by Kayaker Chip on . Posted in The Erie Canal

Chip MacAlpine, Erie Canal, Kayaking, Sally Supernova, Wilderness Systems

This image doesn’t do justice to how hard it was raining for the first eight miles of paddling this morning. There was also a pretty thick fog and the wind kept shifting, headwind, tailwind, broadside. It just couldn’t make up its mind. Good thing I am used to the liquid sunshine from paddling around Oregon. With my paddling jacket on it really wasn’t too bad and just as the forecast predicted it cleared up around 4pm, so I wouldn’t have to setup camp and make dinner in the rain.

The couple of locations I had looked up this morning for camping tonight didn’t work out. more...