If this trip continues anything along the lines of what we just experienced in the tow of Mechanicville, the boat will get a lot lighter and the crew is going to get a lot heavier. I can't understate the friendliness and helpfulness of the NY canal corporation lock masters and management as we made our way through nine locks yesterday. We were met at the Mechanicville public dock, sometimes called Mechanicville Wall, by Pete Baraudinas of the local chamber of commerce who took us out for some much needed food and drink. After sleeping like the dead until light, we were met by Matt Hosek of the local Rotary club (whose acquaintance I first made in Middlebury during the early, conceptual phase of the project) who took us to a wonderful breakfast at the Ugly Rooster.
At nine we started to break up the holds to make orders. People came down to the docks much faster than we were prepared for! We didn't have tables, a tent, a complete price list, or even a complete vision of what was where in the holds. But folks were very friendly and patient. Some moms showed up too, mine and Tiannas, and my wife Erica showed up with our two boys. A very lively time, we were really hopping! By 1 pm we had the barge repacked and reprovisioned and as of this writing we are southbound on the Hudson making for Troy. I will upload pictures soon.
Mechanicville has already earned a special place in the hearts of those involved with this project. But it is also a very small town. Now the navigation aspect of the effort is getting under control, but we are wondering how we will manage when we land in towns and cities further to the south that are many orders of magnitude larger than Mechanicville. We can only do our best, but with such friendliness at the dockside and sailing through a stunning landscape under azure skies, it's hard not to be optimistic.
For folks in Troy, the plan now is this: we plan on landing there around 5 or 6 this evening and setting up for sales tomorrow morning. We'll remain open for business until 1 p.m. We should be set up by 9 am so this will give us four hours at the dock. Look forward to seeing you there.
Pictures will be forthcoming!