It’s been a long time and much has happened since our last posting! That missive highlighted the first, weather-driven portion of our trip south at the end of summer, but we haven’t really shared anything about the summer’s adventures or why we headed back southward along the Atlantic seaboard. We’ll cover both here and in another posting to follow shortly. There are big changes on the horizon, and after we finish with the summer’s experiences, it will probably be time to cover them in some detail… But first to this summer:
As noted earlier, we arrived at Ess-Kay Yards in Brewerton NY, Sojourner’s northern “home,” more than two months earlier than last year, and we did not intend to stay very long. The original plan was to finish the Great Loop. To accomplish that we needed only to cross Lake Ontario into Canada, transit the Trent-Severn Waterway into Georgian Bay on Lake Heron, travel down Lake Michigan to Chicago and the Illinois River down to the Mississippi River. At that point we would have completed a circle around the eastern portion of the US on water! After crossing our wake on the Mississippi (finishing the Great Loop), we planned to retrace our steps on the Ohio and Cumberland rivers into Kentucky and after a month or so there, to move on down the inland rivers and waterways to Mobile, AL, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida for the long fantasized “winter in the Keys”. Unfortunately, BP and the Gulf oil disaster changed all that. Once the spill occurred, we began re-evaluating and eventually decided to go only as far as the Trent-Severn Waterway in Canada and then return southward along the now familiar Atlantic seaboard route. As disappointed as we were, our decision left much time to explore and play in both central NY and along the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and we loved it!
Headquartered again just off Lake Oneida, we enjoyed spending much time with our Syracuse friends. At Sue and Susan’s Lake House we lounged away afternoons reading by the shore, discovered “new” muscles kayaking, roasted marshmallows on lakeside bonfires, and learned (sorta) to drive Sue’s new ATV! We also spent fun time with Maurie and Dominique in town and even got to “babysit” their very large, wonderfully loving white poodle Zazie for a weekend! With Susan and Sue, we headed up to Cape Vincent on Lake Ontario for a 4th of July gathering and then with Maurie and Dominique we experienced the very best of the New York State Fair, including the world famous butter sculpture!! Everyone came out to Brewerton for cruises on Lake Oneida, aft deck brunches, lunches, and cocktail parties as well as spins in the dinghy on the Oneida River. We feel so fortunate to be
able to enjoy the company of such good friends for extended periods of time.
About halfway through our stay in Brewerton, Lexington friends Ava and Anne flew to Syracuse for the first segment of our Canadian cruise. Before that adventure got underway, however, we all played tourist in Central New York: we visited the Women’s Rights National Park at Seneca Falls and Skaneateles Lake where Carolyn once lived. And we had an aft deck luncheon and lake cruise so Lexington and Syracuse friends could get reacquainted and enjoy some time together. [see next posting about cruising in Canada]. We were also fortunate to have some cruising friends stop by Ess Kay while we were there. Susan and Slade of Sojourner NY came by on their way to the Thousands Islands area. Unfortunately, bad weather pinned them down twice on that trip though neither time was at Ess Kay! We did drive up to see them at Oswego while they had to wait almost a week for the locks to re-open after a series of particularly heavy storms. And we finally connected with Floyd and Linda of Tumbleweed who we first met on our very first day of cruising, seemingly years ago, as we all braved the Mississippi River! Earlier in the season, they led the way up much of the east coast until we passed them at West Point on the Hudson River. Then we stopped at Ess-Kay, and they caught up withus. They too went on to the Thousand Islands before continuing on the Loop, but boat trouble stopped them entirely for quite awhile. Once Tumbleweed could get underway again, they decided it was too late to continue on the Loop this year so they returned for a several week stay at Ess-Kay, before leaving Tumbleweed there for the winter and returning home to Wichita, KS. It was great to have them as neighbors during much of our Ess-Kay stay and to be able to share our family and friends with them as well! [summer in NY pix].
The last big event of the summer was the family holiday with Doug, Sarah and grandsons Isaac and Owen. Originally scheduled for a week at Stony Lake about halfway through the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario Canada, the gathering actually occurred at Susan and Sue’s house on Tuscarora Lake about 30 miles from Brewerton. Problems with expired passports precluded the Canadian gathering, but great fun was had by all nonetheless! The boys got to swim and kayak in the lake as well as enjoy “cruising” on Sojourner on Lake Oneida. Their favorite activity was riding in the dinghy. Floyd and Linda challenged them to a dinghy race on Oneida River, and the boys (with parents aboard) almost won!!