July 15, 2012 Dateline: Cape May, NJ USA
Some people have asked me to post statistics about the trip, so here I go
· Traveled approximately 5,900 miles
· The total calendar days, from start to finish was 400
· Excluding Rich & Carol’s trips back to New Jersey, the trip took me 9 ½ months of actual travel time
· My twin Caterpillar C-12 engines ran for 543 hours each
· My Caterpillars burned 10,184 gallons of diesel
· Traveled through 3 different countries and the waters of 16 states
· Traversed more than 10 named canals
· Negotiated 103 locks with vertical elevation changes ranging from 3 to 97 feet, including two hydraulic lift locks and one marine railroad
· Anchored out twice
· Docked at 115 different locations excluding anchorages
· My longest day was 153 miles and my shortest was 1
· My blog has been viewed approximately 16,000 times with followers in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom besides the US---thank you all and I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it
· Carol collected 48 of 49 nature cards handed out by lock tenders on the Trent-Severn Waterway. She’s missing the “Black Tern” to complete the set
· Most importantly, Rich and Carol met 90 other boats, their owners and made untold great friends
Each day was an adventure, something new and different. I got to see how the United States changed over the years. The Erie Canal was once the waterway to the west and cities along it grew and amassed significant wealth. Today those towns suffer as their industrial base has moved away. The Erie Canal today is a recreational canal bringing tourists to those same cities. Cities along the Mississippi and other major rivers also suffer from the change in the nation. Once prosperous cities watched their industrial base move away, just as those on the Erie did. Some of these cities are fighting back, others just seem to suffer. Rich and Carol saw the largest post office in the nation, in Chicago, today it is largely empty as the major mail order houses that it served in the first half of the 20th Century have left Chicago or are now out of business. Other cities in Northern Michigan that were based on tourism still to this day continue to benefit from it.
Seeing some of the cities suffer caused Carol to decide she needed to do something about it and help in her own way. She bought at least 5 pairs of shoes, 2 shorts, 4 capris, multiple tops and sweaters, 3 dresses and of course, gifts for those at home. My storage cabinets are still full of her purchases. When she entered the world’s largest shoe store, more than 40,000 pairs, in Bobcaygeon Ontario, she got confused and walked out with nothing.
The Western rivers continue to move large quantities of bulk materials, tows push up to 31 barges at one time. These tows can be up to a quarter mile long, passing one is a time consuming experience.
I wonder what Rich and Carol’s plans are for my next adventure