Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Friday, July 18, 2014

Long days....

Long days – sort of

Leaving M’ville we traveled all of 6 miles to Burritt’s Rapids for a stop at the quiet floating docks behind the lock. This long trip actually took almost four hours since it included four locks – (and we had already dropped the three in Merrickville!) The time was not in the cruising but in waiting and locking through along this narrow stretch of the canal.  Fortunately it is also some of the most picturesque river we have seen yet. Because of the narrow waterway, we waited after the Clowes lock for the boats coming up to enter the lock before we started down. Then, we waited again for the next crowd locking up to clear at Upper Nicholson by which time the crowds behind us caught up  - making it a puzzle process to get boats into the lock. Thankfully everyone was cheerful and accommodating resulting in a jolly, safe if snug journey.  All the boats pulled into the docks with us for their lunch break and when they departed our friends on L’Escargot arrived for the evening. It pays to not be in a hurry to make miles on a weekend or during the peak vacation period! Watching the boats lock up and down is as entertaining for us as the many tourists who throng the parks around the locks. We are grateful that the lock tenders are expert boat wranglers as well as master gardeners – all contributing to the joys of the Rideau experience. 
After the afternoon rain cleared we wandered down the tip to tip trail for a look at the hamlet of Burritt's Lock with its many restored vintage 1850s homes. 

 church - still a church

Merrickville – the Jewel of the Rideau

Merrickville – the Jewel of the Rideau
A village that lives up to its name! There is a good reason why the docks at Merrickville are full early most days.  This town is compact yet overflowing with restored homes and businesses from its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We also found all the essentials for boaters i.e. good coffee – with WIFI, well stocked grocery, an abundance of restaurants, and even unique shops. For extra diversion, there is a museum in the biggest block house on the Rideau and a park with museum and ruins of Merrickville’s industrial past. Between further varnishing of the railing, napping, and reading, we had more than enough to keep us busy for a couple of days.  While on the dock back at Clayton, NY we met, Debbie, Mike and Keegan who are planning to do the full loop when Keegan finishes his stint in NC State.  This summer they are doing the Rideau so we knew our paths might cross along this route and luckily we met again in M’ville.  It was so pleasant to relax away an evening comparing notes and resources at the Swan and Gridiron Pub in Merrickville.

 sitting above the road

 Mike, Debbie and Keegan aboard

We spent our first night there in The Pond – above the three Merrickville locks – tied along the road which actually was below the boat. Since it was a main thoroughfare, truck noise disturbed our early morning snooze, so for the second night, we moved through all three locks and got the only space at the bottom in a quieter park like setting.  We shared this park with Ruth and Patrick who arrived by canoe after 23 kilometers paddling on the water.  Our life seems a little decadent and lazy by comparison – we have to get off the boat for exercise and have every creature comfort on board, yet we all seemed to share a spirit of adventure and enjoy the beauty around us on the Rideau. Our evening quickly slipped by as we once again enjoyed the companionship of congenial fellow travelers. Truly the people we meet and meet once again enrich our days afloat.