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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Buffalo Zoo and Erie Canal

Since today (Tuesday) was to be our last day here in Western New York, we decided to hit a couple of attractions off the beaten path. Our first stop was the Buffalo Zoo in Buffalo, NY which is the third oldest zoo in the country. There were many varieties and species of animals from all over the world that were presented in clean, environmentally correct habitats. I won't bore you folks with lots of animal pictures, but will say if you're in the area and want to see a nice zoo, I would recommend the Buffalo Zoo.  The admission price was $8.50 for us seniors and $10.50 for regular folks. There was also a $4.00 parking fee.
            We grabbed a sandwich while still in Buffalo and then drove about 20 miles to Lockport, NY to check out the Cruise on the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal is something we all studied about in school and I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience it first hand. As a quick refresher for those of us who may have forgotten, or flunked history, here is a brief overview. The Erie Canal is a canal in New York that runs about 363 miles from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie and was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.  First proposed in 1807, its construction began in 1817. The canal contains 36 locks and a total elevation change of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825. Now that the history lesson is behind us, here's what we did today. We signed up on a charter cruise ship company named Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises that offers cruises up and back on the canal that last about two hours. I'm guessing the cruise ship is about 40 feet with an upper and lower deck and may  hold 70 to 80 folks. The cruise went through three sets of locks with a total elevation change of about forty feet. Each set of locks was about 13 foot deep and took about 10 to 15 minutes to fill or empty. The doors from one set of locks to the next don't open until the water level on each side has equalized. The engineering that went into this was quite a feat. Btw,  back in the day, the doors to the locks were opened and closed by horse or mule drawn teams. The first half of our cruise was enjoyed on the upper deck, but a sudden rainstorm forced us downstairs for the remainder of the trip. This attraction is not that popular or well known, but is definitely worth the $17 apiece.
         Tomorrow, we're heading out to Millersburg, Ohio for a week. The region is best known for having a large Amish population. We will be about about 60 miles south of Cleveland, Ohio where our daughter, Pam, is flying to Sunday to pick up Bailey to take her home. Bailey has been a joy to have with us and we certainly have enjoyed making great memories with her and will be sad to see her leave.

Meemee and Bailey in front of Buffalo Zoo.

Price Chart on Wall to Ticket Booth
Prominent display entering Lockport, NY

Looking down the canal in downtown Lockport

Here's your Chevrolet shot!

Our Cruise Shop

Upper deck of our ship. There were about as many folks behind the area where I took this picture.

Entering the first lock. The white building on the right is the Erie Canal Museum.

Entering the first lock. Notice the large green doors.

Doors are closing behind us. This little cruiser and a canoe traveled through the locks with us.

You can see the previous water level on the walls. When our water reached that level, the next lock doors opened and we passed through to the next lock.

Flags flying above the locks. The top flag is a State of New York Flag, and the bottom is a New York Canals flag.

Entering the second level of locks. Like going up a big set of stairs.

It was about this time it began to rain. These poor guys in the canoe got soaked!

Sign painted on walls alongside canal.

Our return trip through first set of locks and these poor dudes on the canoe are still with us. I don't think they were having too much fun!

Taken from the upper deck of our ship, while in upper lock looking back the direction we came. If you look closely, you can see the elevation change from where we are to the bottom lock.

Last set of doors on bottom lock. This has to rate right up there as one of the most unusual things we've done. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks great,did you all think about going on a canoe trip there on lake Eire.