Monday, April 4, 2011
St Catharine's locks
More from the Niagara Falls region today, but alas, not the falls themselves. This is my bait and switch mode. I have to keep all 3 of you interested and coming back! When I was around 19 or so (just a very few years ago), my family and I traveled to Buffalo and met our wonderful friends the Reinsmiths there. Both my father and Keith are engineers and one of them knew of St Catherine's locks, where you can watch freighters make their way up and down the Welland Canal, which was built parallel to the Niagara River. Lake Erie is more than 300 feet higher than Lake Ontario, and the first ships that went through weren't fond of the trip over the falls, so this canal provides a bit less harrowing alternative.
There are 8 locks that move the ships up or down. You can stand right there next to them and watch them fill up with water (or empty out) and send the ships on their way. Pretty neat stuff!
It only opened back up less than a week before we got there. Good timing! Rob (one of the B&B hosts) called that morning to find out what time the ships would be going through. There was only one that day and it was on its way to Cleveland! It was carrying some sort of cement something or other. Too bad it wasn't carrying some pitchers or running backs.
This was just a 15 minute drive from Niagara Falls toward Toronto. They had a nicely done museum and platform for watching the ships. Something different :o)
Hope you're all well!