A dry crumbly muffin, fraction of a stale bagel and a brown banana fall apart in my lap. Yum. Not the meal I had been dreaming of, but I am too delighted from a full nights rest to complain about my rockstar breakfast.
The sun this morning is already bright and obnoxious as the one on “Teletubbies” who wears the face of a yapping baby. The air is so chilly that Katie and I both have leggings, hoodies, and slippers on for the first time since I can remember. The bimini is pushed back to feel the warm sun through our clothing simultaneous to the cold air sneaking through layers of cotton and fleece. Bur. I love goose bump weather. We must be reaching higher latitudes. The last time I felt this fabulous dry chill, was at altitude in the rocky mountains.
Speaking of altitude, we seem to be gaining it and loosing it in dozens of feet as we travel through a series of locks. Every couple of miles, large doors open welcoming Louise into a chamber similar to how I imagine prison. Upon entering the large cement box, and connecting to vertical cables, a pool of water elevates the house with ease. For a while, the locks are an entertaining way to break up the day… but once the hours spent become greater than miles traveled, you may or may not catch one of us napping in a lock. Hours seem to pass like minutes. Miles pass like years. Only 12 more locks until reaching the Great Lakes. Just the thought makes the corners up my mouth turn upwards.
Several times a day we wonder why we are the only people around. Where is everybody? We miss the companionship and camaraderie of traveling with boats. We must be too slow. Too late in the season maybe. Just Katie, Reggie, and myself, enjoying places in America I never even knew existed. Places that remind me of nowhere I have ever been, leaving me with a big question mark if you asked me to pinpoint my location. I am oddly okay with never knowing where I am. Having no expectations or previous knowledge of what streets I may wander that day, make it far more interesting. Plus, if I think back to some of my greatest memories, they all happened in places I never even knew were there to begin with.
To see places or to meet people for the first time, without having had anyone paint a picture or leak a bitter opinion prior, is the best way to experience anything new. Having a pre-conceived idea of what you are about to see, makes it a lot more difficult to see it your own way. I think this is why I enjoy, and often prefer not knowing a thing about my whereabouts.
Two deer, a bald eagle, and a fox expose themselves on a rural walk up a winding hill outside a town I can not even pronounce. Lock walls have become our parking lot every night on the Erie Canal, free of charge. The TV series “Friday Night Lights” is a new addiction that pulls us like magnets to the V-berth way before the sun goes down. Fresh water in the canal has Louise’s raw water-cooled engine joyously chugging along. The parts of her engine that had turned green and blue with corrosion from the oceans salt, have faded. The only woman who misses salt water on this ship is Katie. Fresh water means two things – we are almost always clean, and we are almost home.