AND THEN THERE WERE EIGHT – Post #16 – July 5, 2014 – Day 64- On board: Jim & Trish Koningisor, Pat & Paul Coates, Red & Mary Beth Southerton, Bill & Kathy Burke
We had the great fortune to have Trish’s sister and brother-in-law Red & Mary Beth Southerton and our good mutual friends Bill & Kathy Burke join us in Trenton for a week on the Joint Adventure:
The boat is ideally designed for four and can be comfortable with six by converting the dinette into a bed – so eight is clearly stretching unless one gets quite creative regarding sleeping space. So I sleep comfortably on two stacked air mattresses on the floor of the main salon and Trish sleeps in a tent which we put up each night on the bridge (she opted for the tent over the floor inside – something about snoring…). The eight of us have great laughs together which more than makes up for the minor inconveniences:
Our first day’s run included 6 locks in the first 6 miles up the Trent River, then an overnight stay above lock 7 at a place called Glenn Ross. I’m not sure why it is called that, because there is nothing there except a small convenience store – but that store serves GREAT ice cream, each a SUPERSIZED dish for $2. Although the areas below and adjacent to the lock were well-landscaped and lovely, we stayed above the lock in a “rustic” setting so we could get an early start in the morning before the lock opened. We swam in the river off an old abandoned railroad bridge and cooked on board, eating in the park area adjacent to the lock. Here are some pictures:
Our next stop was Campbellford, where we stayed for two nights – partly because it was such a pleasant place and partly because of thunderstorms in the forecast. We tied to the seawall in the middle of town adjacent to Old Mill Park. It was Canada Day (equivalent to our 4th of July), so there were activities in the park all day – a $5 pancake breakfast, a petting zoo, music, etc.). A former industrial town in the late 19th and early 20th century, the town has successfully re-positioned itself as a tourist destination that has taken full advantage of the riverfront on both sides of the Trent River. Nothing could stop the four women from visiting the Chocolate Factory (I went too…):
Since we had a lay-day in Campbellford, we took the opportunity to do some chores – which includes laundry. It was my turn for Trish & I, so off I went with a large load. When the wash was done, I dutifully moved it into a dryer – or so I thought. Why anyone would make a washer that looks like a dryer is beyond me. As soon as I put the money in and pressed the button, I realized that I had put the laundry into another washer. Nothing had happened yet, so I tried desperately to open the door, but it had locked, not to be opened until the machine went through it’s full range of cycles. If this ever happens to you, please be advised that yanking the door with all your might and kicking the machine doesn’t help. So there I sat watching the clothes be washed a second time through every cycle of the machine. Our clothes were REALLY clean – twice as clean, which means two things to me: (1) I can now wear them twice as long before washing them again, and (2) Trish has to do the laundry the next two times, since I have now done our laundry twice.
Our next stop was Hastings, a small town that has seen better days and suffers from a lack of planning – although there were some attractive and historic buildings in town, Main Street was a hodge-podge with 50’s-era non-descript buildings mixed in everywhere. However, Kathy started us on a tradition that lasted the rest of the week – happy hour on the bridge with vodka gimlets, wine, cheese, crackers, humus – you name it:
Our next planned stop was at the Bensfort Bridge Resort (so-called). Here’s a picture to give you a flavor of this Resort:
So the large Confederate flag was our first clue that this place might be a bit different. We then noticed that there was not a single other boat now camper nor tent (it was also a campground) nor car in the parking lot. Undeterred (we are on an adventure, right?), in we went to dock up. We then noticed that the posts holding up the docks were pine saplings pounded into the mud and that two docks were bound together with a come-along, apparently using one dock to hold up the other. Someone then came out to direct us where to tie up – remember the movie “Deliverance”? That will give you an image of his appearance, although I think the folks in Deliverance had bathed more recently that this gentleman. Anyway, we finally tied up after changing locations once due to my discomfort with the water depth then stirring up tons of mud despite the gentleman’s assurance that there was “plenty of water”. After a brief conference on board, we decided this might be a little more adventure than we wanted, so we cast off the lines and continued on our way – calling the gentleman to tell him we decided to move on only after we were around the corner and out of sight.
Now that the summer season is in full swing, the waterway has gotten busier. Here are some pictures of our journey this week from Trenton to Peterborough, through about a third of the Trent Severn Waterway:
After leaving the Bensfort Bridge Resort, we pushed on to Peterborough, arriving around 4:00 PM (in time to tie up for Happy Hour). Peterborough Marina is next to a park immediately adjacent to downtown. Peterborough is a small city which, I’m told, has over 300 restaurants. There was a Blues Festival Friday night with a fabulous well-known Canadian band that comes to Peterborough once a year. There is also a concert tonight in a pavilion in the park next to the boat, which we plan to attend. Yesterday we visited the Peterborough Art Gallery and the Canoe Museum – an unusual museum with a very interesting exhibition on the Aboriginal people that inhabited Canada before Europeans, and on the “voyageurs” who formed the backbone of the fur trade for nearly 150 years. One of their canoes could carry up to 8,000 pounds! Half of that weight was food for the voyage, as each voyageur consumed 5,000 calories per day – their daily consumption of pemmican alone was equivalent to 11 Big Macs. In a typical day, each voyageur muscled 30,000 strokes of his paddle – about 50 strokes per minute!
A couple of images from Peterborough:
For boaters, Peterborough is home to one of the most remarkable engineering marvels of the late 1800’s, known as the Peterborough Lift Lock. It is one of just 8 lift locks ever built, and is the highest in the world, lifting boats 6 1/2 stories in a single lift (one of the other 8 lift locks is also located on the Trent Severn, in Kirkfield). The Peterborough lock was the first lock in the world to use unreinforced concrete, cutting edge at the time. It took 8 years to build, from 1896-1904. As you will see from the pictures below, it is nothing like a conventional lock. Though the lift lock was far more expensive, it would have required at least 3 locks to raise boats the required height, so the lift lock was utilized because it significantly reduces the time required to pass through. The pictures can describe it far better than I can:
A truly amazing engineering marvel, especially for its time! We went through the lock to the upper level, then tied to the canal wall and went to the Visitor Center/Museum adjacent to the lock. We then went back down the lock and went back to the Peterborough Marina, about a mile away. This morning (Saturday), Red, Mary Beth, Bill, & Kathy left to go home – so now we are 4 again. We’ll miss them!We plan to stay here today doing some chores (but not laundry) and some more sightseeing, and the plan to continue on tomorrow. Next milestone – Fenelon Falls, where we plan to leave the boat next week for a long weekend.