I arrived in Western New York on Wednesday, May 14,2014. Karen met me at the Buffalo airport and following a brief visit with her sister and family who happened to be flying in for a family wedding at the same time, Karen and I headed out for a fun diversion. I introduced her to the Welland Canal. Since we knew we would see no locks on the Ohio River this year, I thought it would be fun to visit the locks on the Welland. If you live anywhere near Buffalo and have never visited this feat of human engineering, you have missed something amazing. Rising 326.5 feet from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, the canal has 8 locks, some of which are twin flights so you have two locks, one right after the other, like a flight of stairs, lifting these huge vessels higher and higher as they transport 40,000,000 tonnes of cargo annually. Check out the website.
From there we made our way to Niagara-on-the-Lake where we had eaten many years ago returning from a workshop in Toronto. We enjoyed an Irish dinner in a pub. It was there that the predicted rains began in earnest. Karen had to drive for a while in pouring rain as we headed to Jamestown. We did not know at the time that the rain would force us to make some other detours from our detour. Karen’s husband Mark is our personal meteorologist and reported when we returned to their home that the rain was to keep up on Thursday and into Friday morning. With that news, we decided to postpone our trip to the headwaters of the Allegheny and instead check out the possibility of a day trip down Cassadaga Creek, the stream on which we had started some 600 miles earlier in 2001.