September 8, 2007

A trip around Seneca Lake and then - home we go

VALOIS, New York, USA - In our final week in upstate New York, the projects were all put away and on arguably the nicest day of the entire summer, we toured the shoreline of Seneca Lake - the whole shoreline from Valois to Geneva and back.

We didn't take the Spirit of Louise - which would have made it, except we might still be touring. We went in cousin Roger Beardslee's newest boat, which can do more than 60 mph, though we only hit about 35 most of the time.

Part of the reason for that was to conserve gasoline, the other was that we had 11 people on the boat.

Heading up the lake
11 a.m. and the first beers are out of the cooler

Even with 11 people aboard, the 21-foot boat wasn't crowded, though late in the day shade under the bimini was definitely the prime place to be. I managed to get a world-class sunburn on my face that took nearly a week to finish peeling. (I am soooo glad I have never given my dermatologist this blog url....)

Along with us on the trip was a four-week old kitten, rescued by some friends of Roger and Nancy (Mrs. Roger). The kitten was so tiny it had to be fed by bottle, even roaring down the lake.

Feeding the kitty
Nancy feeds the kitty

In a six-and-half hour trip, there was plenty to see, but the highlight was probably probing the beginning of the New York State canal system, part of old Erie Canal which connects all the lakes and makes it possible to go all the way from Seneca Lake out to the Atlantic Ocean. (A pretty long trip, but already the Admiral is talking about buying a truck in New York so we can trailer the Spirit of Louise to distant ports. I better practice "On The Road Again" on the ukulele.)

Canal welcome sign
Welcome to the canal

Houses along canal
Houses along the canal near Geneva

We also went by a U.S. Navy installation barge anchored out in the middle of the lake, a mysterious research vessel about which there are plenty of rumors and precious little hard information. We were able to zoom up quite close, however, and unlike such installations in San Francisco Bay, no one with machine guns came out to warn us off, just one kind of bored looking civilian employee who barely was able to muster enough energy to wave.

research station
Research barges in center of Seneca Lake

Roger didn't give us an accounting of how much gasoline was burned, but we emptied two large garbage bags full of empty beer cans off the boat when we got back.

A great voyage.

TOMORROW: Closing up the house, one last party (of course) and terror on the runway at JFK

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