Levelling Up

Level Up: Informal, Phrasal verb with level. To gain enough points in a computer game to enable a player or character to go up to a higher level, gaining more skills or strength.

We upped our game today to Level 12 in the Game of Locks.  BooYah!  Bring it!

Amsterdam is trying to up their level in the tourism game.  Riverlink Park, our berth last night, is part of a major investment.  The park connects to an elaborate footbridge/monument that spans the river.  There is so much of interest packed onto the structure that it is easy to forget one is on a bridge.

Fonda (1 of 14)

Informational plaques tell the story of Amsterdam’s origin an growth.

Fonda (2 of 14)

The town has put a lot of energy into the beautiful walkway.

Fonda (3 of 14)

This 12-foot-diameter mosaic is a replica of a larger mosaic by French artist Louis Rigal called the “Wheel of Life”.  It is a memorial to a carpet of the same design woven by 16 weavers from Mohawk Carpet Mills over 8 months and installed in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan in 1939.

Fonda (4 of 14)

Fonda (11 of 14)

Across the river and down the street we spied an interesting structure.  What we found is Amsterdam Castle.  Originally an Armory for the Amsterdam 46th Separate Company, it most recently was converted to a luxury bed and breakfast.

Fonda (7 of 14)

Fonda (9 of 14)

The Chuctanunda River flows through Amsterdam and powered many mills.  The city at one time was the largest producer of brooms in the country.  Kind of a random fact, but there it is.

Fonda (12 of 14)

Video games usually add some new challenge with each new level.  In our case we already had sporty currents tossing us about as we entered earlier locks.  So The Lock Game decided to throw something new at us:  make the entrance half as wide.

On our way to Lock 11 we found out one of the two swinging doors on Lock 12 was not opening.  Uh, Oh.

If you recall, the locks are 45 feet wide.  Now the entrance would be 22.5 feet wide.  Subtract the 15 foot width of Endeavor and we would have 3.75 feet of safety on each side!

Pretty simple really: just concentrate and don’t hit anything solid.

As always, we had a backup plan. If the water looked too rough at the entrance we could tie the boat to the entrance wall, rig lines, and pull her through, like mules of old pulled the barges.

Fortunately, the game designers took pity on us and oriented the lock and dam a bit differently than the others.  As a result… (at 2X speed)

Lock 12 through one door

… the entrance was fairly current-free and we aced the level.

I especially like Peg’s technique for not having to touch the grimy lock lines.

Another few miles and we tied up to the sea wall at Fonda, New York.  Minutes later a passing thunderstorm drenched the area.

If the town name sounds familiar maybe it is because Fonda is the hometown of Henry Fonda, patriarch of the acting family.

Fonda (14 of 14)

Endeavor has climbed 263 feet in 48 miles.

We are sharing the wall with a small family in a cave behind our boat.

The storms have passed, for now, and the Erie Canal is glass.



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