MEET “DAD HOLLER”

I feel like I have been adopted by the Holler clan.  First met Dan , then Dana and wife Marci, AND  then Dad.

Yesterday Dana and Marci invited me to a family birthday party for Dan’s wife, Nicole, who was turning 50.  The gathering was being held at the family boat house area.  Dad, Mr. Jim Holler,  along with another friend of his,  bought this property many years ago and it is used only in the warm months of the year.  Jim Holler has a great old boat house.  Also son Dan has a boat house close by.    Dan’s boat house was raised/elevated several feet a few years ago.  They all have sleeping areas above the boats with decks hanging out over the water.   The birthday party was fun. Mr. Jim Holler’s father was a boat designer and engineer.  In his boat house sits this beautiful wooden boat that his father built in the 1930’s, I think.  This boat is a labor of love for the family to keep up – not only the mechanics of it, but the wood and interiors.  “Matapan” is a much loved vessel!!   The name comes from an Indian term for place of rest — if my memory serves me correctly.  Jim Holler came over to see Salt Lick today.  We had a great visit and chat.  Mr. Holler also drove me around the neighborhood providing history of the area and showing my where the old canal had been many years ago.  He also kindly stopped by the grocery store so that I could get a few items.   THANK YOU ,  Sir!!

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SELFIE OF JIM HOLLER AND ME.
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MATAPAN

Saturday there was a poker run boat race from out on the Niagra River, into the Erie Canal and back where the boats got a “card” from a restaurant just about a block from where the boat is docked.   These boats were the large , loud, river racing boats that are painted in bright colors.  It was a very colorful event.  I counted  53 boats, give or take a few, that cruised by this harbor.   It was also done for a charity.

One sad thing was that one of the boats flipped over out on the river.  The winds were extremely high that day too.  There were two people in the boat.  One is OK, but the other has head and other injuries.   He is in an induced coma now, so hopefully there will soon be signs of a more stable state.

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POKER RUN
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THESE GUYS ARE CRAZY!!!!!!

W.C. Fields ???really???

Pirate Buc and I are wondering what happened to this guy??   He was here for a while, but guess he didn’t like the drinks served by the bar-maid.   If you spot him somewhere out West —get him to a doctor, quick.  He skipped out on that brain surgery I had scheduled for him a couple of weeks ago at Coeyman’s Marina.   He desperately needs help.   Thank you.

 

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AND THEN – there are new friends…..

All along our travels we meet many helpful and kind people.  Here are a few.

Lisa —– who I met on Wed. evening at the music concert here at the harbor.   She picked me up Thurs. AM to drive me back to West Marine to return a power cord adaptor that was the wrong one.   She also stopped so I could buy ice for the big cooler.   She lives near here, and is a special – ed teacher.   How very kind of her.   Her dog is named Bradley — big fella and some combination of golden and black lab or something.   That dog was funny — he THOUGHT he was going to the park, so when we didn’t go there he started pouting.  Seriously — hung his head, didn’t want to be friendly, just like a little kid.   It was hilarious.

Dana and Marci Holler ——they are friends with Lisa and had docked their boat in front of ours for the music concert on Wed. evening.  I actually met Dana’s brother, Dan, earlier in the day as he came by on his jet ski introducing himself and saying how he liked the boat.   He told me his brother Dana would be at the concert and that he was an OK guy.   Just like a brother, huh?   As the evening went on, Dana and Marci had other friends joining them, all of whom live over on Grand Island.   Very nice people.

First the men-folk wanted to tour the boat….then later the ladies came for a visit and tour.   I should have charged admission!!    It was a fun evening.   THEN, on Thurs. evening, Dana and Marci show up again in their boat and say — “come on, jump on, and we will take you for a ride.”    “Hold on,” I say.  ” Let me make a drink.”   And off we went.   Dana and Marci both grew up around here and are true river rats.  Dana’s grandfather used to build boats and Marci’s grandfather was a ship’s captain on Lake Michigan.   They love the water and are on it as much as they can be.  We went out into the Niagra River and up towards the falls.   Then we stopped at Dana’s cousin John’s house.   AND then we went next door to the neighbors for a visit.   By this time it was dark and back to Salt Lick they brought me.   Very willing to help out if I need anything.

Walter Frantz — Walter stopped by yesterday as I was working on getting the replacement  “Y” adaptor installed at the power post and onto the boat.  He tried to help me sort out a collar to the cord that we never could get to work.   Not a big deal.   ANYWAY —- this morning here he shows up with a small roll of electrical tape so that I could secure it with that.   By this time the power had died at the post so it didn’t really matter.   He said he would be back.   About 45 minutes later he shows up with hot coffee — aaahhh nice — some tools and a voltage meter to check the power post.   We determined that the other post was working so he helped me to hook up to the other post.   NICE guy.   He works at a brass factory and one of his two sons is studying to be a vet.

Thank you NEW friends.   Life is good.

old friends

TUESDAY – AUGUST 9, 2016

Hank flew off for business and I am here hanging out with Pirate Buc!   But today, what a treat it was for me to be picked up by my dear friend Jeff Francis.  We drove to his farm near Cuba Lake, NY where I was able to see his miniature goats,  horses, chickens, dogs and a gazillion cats!!!   It was wonderful to catch up on our lives.  It has been 14 years since we last saw each other.  I was very happy to visit with his parents too, who live just down the road a short walking distance.

Jeff recently repainted this huge barn that a family wanted done ASAP for their son’s wedding.   What a perfectly delightful setting this barn is in and how pretty it turned out.  AND speaking of barns…….Jeff wrote a grant to restore the barn on his farm that was originally built in the early 1800’s.   If I recall, I think he said 1819!!!    Beautiful!!

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THE WEDDING BARN
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1800’S RESTORED BARN ON JEFF’S FARM
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BEAMS OF OLD BARN
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HENNY PENNY WHO LAYS ONLY BLUE EGGS!!!  SHE WAS RESCUED OFF THE ROAD AFTER BEING HIT BY A CAR.   WALKS WITH A TWISTED LEG.

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BUCKY – ONE OF THE MINIATURE GOATS.
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JEFF AND PAT
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JEFF AND ME SQUINTING INTO THE MORNING SUN!!   THANK YOU PAT FOR THE PHOTO.

THE END OF THE ERIE CANAL

MONDAY      AUGUST 8, 2016

Today we cruised form Gasport, NY to Tonawanda, NY where we are docked at the Gateway Harbor area along the Erie Canal walls.   For all intents and purposes, we have completed the Erie Canal.   We lack 1/2 mile before the official END of the canal, but by golly —- we made it and here we are!!!

STATISTICS::::     We have been thru 35 locks with one more to clear once we reach the Niagra River.  We have RAISED 16 bridges.  Since leaving Hilton Head Island, we have cruised 1678.95 miles.  338 miles of which were done on the Erie Canal.  We have climbed to an elevation of 575.4 feet above sea level.  AND  Salt Lick has cruised under unknown numbers of fixed bridges — waaayyyy too many to keep count of.

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YAHOO —LAST LOCK – #35       LOCKPORT, NY

This evening we were joined for dinner by Steve and Vivian Wright. with whom we cruised together thru parts of NC and Virginia.  We will perhaps catch up to them as time goes along.  We had a fun evening catching up on our individual travels and experiences along this Erie Canal.

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STEVE AND VIVIAN WRIGHT

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST

We passed by the remains of the Montezuma / Richmond aquaduct where it crossed the canal of 1862 at the Seneca River.  It was originally 900 feet long.

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AQUEDUCT AT SENECA RIVER

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THE TOW PATHS —- MANY MILES CONVERTED TO BIKE AND JOGGING PATHS.

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THEN, at one point there was the sensation of “going up hill”. In fact we were,  without the benefit of going thru a lock.  At this one and only point on the Canal, the Erie Canal actually goes over a road!!!!!    Talk about a weird feeling.

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GOING UP HILL
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ERIE CANAL WITH HIGHWAY RUNNING BELOW
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ANOTHER VIEW

This is a typical lift bridge.  Located in Brockport, where we “missed” their town wall music concert.   BUT memorable because it is where I blew out the new fuses for the generator and now no AC on generator power.    DANG —- 😦    But this is an easy fix once we find the replacement fuses.     If the docks are not free there is often a minimal charge for power or water.   This night we paid $12.00!

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LIFT BRIDGE
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GASPORT LIFT BRIDGE THAT USES VEGETABLE OIL IN ITS HYDRAULICS!!  WE TIED UP ALONG THIS WALL ONE NIGHT.

The further West we traveled the more farms we saw.  Vegetable farms (tomatoes, potatoes) and acres of apple orchards.  Several farms tap in to the Erie Canal waters to use for irrigation of the crops.

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FARM WITH CROPS OF CORN
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PIPE USED TO DRAW WATER FROM THE CANAL FOR IRRIGATION

Catch up blogs from 8/4/16

We have been away from wifi connections for about a  week…..so today I will write a few blogs to “catch-up”!!

After our generator was repaired we departed Brewerton, NY stocked with a variety of fresh herbs for our picking off the docks at Winter Harbor Marina.   What a great idea for cruisers to just clip off some basil or mint or whatever one desires to add to the food pantry.

The end of this day brought us to WEEDSPORT, NY where we tied up along the canal wall for the night.   Just off the boat was a great place called DEVANEY’S — a restaurant and bar.  This particular evening they had live music. It is a gathering place for bikers and the BBQ is pretty good.

The locals were very friendly and we met this biker guy who was from Hawaii. He had returned for his 50th high school class reunion!   He is an identical twin , but we didn’t see the brother.  We did see “another brother”  he just recently found out that he had…..So they were getting acquainted.

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HARLEY’S AT WEEDSPORT, NY   8/4/16

FRIDAY   AUGUST 5, 2016

We cruised for almost 10 hours today and arrived at the town wall in Pittsford, NY.  Traveling 60-65 miles in one day is a tad long.   It is exhausting.

Today our trip brought us through several miles of the old part of the Erie Canal.  We could see many miles of the old tow paths.  The NY State Erie Canal system has done a great job in maintaining this along with establishing many parks and picnic areas along the canal.  It is so beautiful and peaceful to see.  The blue herons were out in force today along with 3 Bald Eagles that we saw.   One was a juvenile.

We locked thru several locks today along with cruising under many bridges – both fixed and raised.  SPEAKING OF WHICH ——  as we were slowly cruising along in the town of Fairport, we were suddenly “attempting” to cruise under this bridge that required “lifting”!!   YIKES —- HOLY MOLY < hit reverse, get the thrusters on, get Salt Lick repositioned, scramble, scramble ……and then this bridge-tender comes over the radio, very calm , cool and collected   ….”SALT LICK – WOULD  YOU LIKE THE BRIDGE RAISED?”    Salt Lick back to the bridge-tender  “Well, yeah, I do believe that I do!!! and thank you very much.”    This bridge is the only lift bridge that is built on an angle, where one end of the bridge is higher than the other.   When lifted, it is lifted at this same angle.   WILD.      Notes on THIS bridge in our guide book were buried deep in a paragraph about the town of Fairport.   NOT that that is any excuse.   🙂

After settling down our heart rates, we carried on with the destination being Pittsford, NY.

Music was on the agenda again this evening as the town of Pittsford was sponsoring a concert along the canal.  Many of the locals come to the area to sit and listen and visit with friends. ONE main reason I wanted to stop in Pittsford is that about 35 years ago I built a passive solar home there on Mitchell Road just off the canal.   In my memory, the Erie Canal was a lot closer to the house that it actually was.    The next morning we rode our bikes by that house — it was too early to knock on the door for introductions — but fun to see it again.   After a breakfast at Simply Crepes we headed out.

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FRONT OF 34 MITCHELL RD.  – SOLAR HOUSE
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SOUTH (REAR) OF SOLAR HOUSE – NOTE SOLAR PANELS AT TOP FOR HOT WATER.
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EXAMPLE OF FREE DOCKAGE IN MANY OF THE VILLAGES ALONG THE CANAL.  (HANK AND SALT LICK)