Trent Severn Waterway, day 1

Wednesday, June 1

A quiet night on the hook just above the Railroad bridge. Up about 6:30 and over to the lock before 8:00, but they don't operate until 9:00, so I walked around the lock.

The first thing that is very clear is that this is not the historic canal that the Rideau is. This is commercial all the way. It was built much later and strictly for commercial reasons. It is today run by Parks Canada, but its commercial nature shows everywhere. Most of the building are modern, all of the locks are concrete structures.

It also became clear that the people working here are not like the Rideau. They are efficient, polite, but not an inch more than required. I went through the first three locks and did't get more than a nod, or simple 'hello'. At one the two guys running it sat at a picnic table and talked, until I came up high enough to make eye-contact, then they went into the building. Not once today in 12 locks was I offered an assist in pushing off the boat. The keepers go forward to the gate, open it, then just lean on it to watch you go out.

Only at lock #4 did the fellow take a minute to tell me it would be eaiser on me if I moved all the way to the head of the lock- this is opposite the Rideau, but the water flow in these locks is not from the front gate, rather through a series of ducts built into the walls and out along the sides. This causes a side to side flow, and is much stronger at the back.

The gate operating mechanism of this lock is manual, but its a rack and pinion arrangement. A vertical shaft comes to the surface, through a hole in a diamond plate cover, and is operated by a large T-handle that 2 people can walk around like a capstain.

At the other end the gate is operated by a hydraulic cylinder. Most of the locks I passed through today were either partly or all hydraulic.

This photo is one of the displays around the first lock. I liked the construction with 2 locomotives (narrow gauge?) and the steam donkeys. I believe the caption said it was about 1919.
The railroads here are very active- I saw at least 3 LONG freights cross the canal in the hour I waited, and a couple VIA-rail passenger trains. At one point a westbound freight was passed by another westbound freight. They were all moving at least 60-70mph. I saw 5 engines on one of the freights.
It was a beautiful clear day, and dead calm as this photo shows. It did cloud up later, and I even heard some thunder, but it never rained on me. It even got to a point I would call hot- I got very sweaty handling a couple of the locks.
The first several miles are through river with several industrial sites along the banks. It opens out into wide grassy areas, and eventually into a long lake.

This abandoned railroad biridge is at lock #7, Glen Ross.

I couldn't tell what these birds were, but there was a bunch of them in the dead trees of this small island. I also saw a lot of turtles sunning on rocks and trees along the edges.
This is the netrance to locks 11 and 12 at Ranney Falls. This thing is HUGE. I never saw a person- there was a traffic light to tell you to move ahead, and a voice boomed over a PA to tell me to 'mind your lines, we are starting the lift'
Again the early closing stopped me about 3:30. I could have made one more lock, but then I would have been caught in a short stretch out of town, so I opted to stop at Campbellford. The Chamber of Commerce runs a dock, and has showers, so I forked over the $25 and stayed here. They also let me use a PC to get on the net, and had a blazing fast connection. They open at 8:30 tomorrow, so Ill load this days page before I head out.

In the park beside the marina is this huge 'loonie' the Canadian $2 coin. Apparently the person that designed it lives here.

There is also the 'Worlds Finest Chocolate' factory here, and they had a basket of free samples at the marina office. The factory closed before I could get there for the tour.

This boat pulled in just after I did. I never saw anyone get on or off, and when I walked past it I could hear the generator running. They have a Segway HT in the cockpit. I think they beat the Chamber out of the dock fee, because the fee includes up to 50 amp electric service.

I think Im living rather large, altough on a bit smaller scale. I brought along a big bag of books to read on this trip, but so far I have not opened one. When I get to an anchorage I walk around, and I've even just sat on a deck chair and watched the world go by. I'm learing to relax. I have not bought a newspaper yet, and all I've had on the stereo are my Cd's.