Saturday, August 13, 2016

From New York to Cleveland, Ohio

We left the Finger Lakes and headed to Akron, New York, to meet our good friends, Dick and Mary Anne Sander.  They live in North Carolina but drive up to Akron every summer to see their kids. Akron is outside of Buffalo, New York, and not far from Niagara Falls.  While there we took a boat ride on the Erie Canal taking us through the locks in a town called Lockport, NY.  

Waiting to get on the boat ride.  It was a beautiful, sunny day with a moderate temperature in the low eighties making it perfect.

Dick and Mary Anne waiting with us to board the boat. 

Beginning our boat ride we passed this drydock area where tour boats can be repaired. 

A large railroad tie over the canal.  Notice the support structure is under the train track rather than above it.

 There are two sets of locks we went through on this section of the Erie Canal.  While this used to be a commercial water route to take barges into the Great Lakes, the canal is now used only for sport vessels.   

The canal has 36 locks and we were on locks 34 and 35 in this town.

The original canal was 363 miles long from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo on Lake Erie. The channel was 40 feet wide and  four feet deep with removed soil piled on the downhill side to form a walkway called a towpath.

There were four boats going through the first lock so we had to wait while everyone got situated.

Gate 34 holding back all the water.

Looking up you could see the street and buildings along the side of the canal.  

People often stop on the street above to watch the boats go through the locks.

The construction of the canal was through limestone and mountains making it a daunting task.  The sides of the canal were lined with stone set in clay and the bottom was also lined with clay.

The stonework was completed by hundreds of German masons who later built many of New York City's buildings.  The downstream elevation of this lock is 514 feet and the lift raises it 49 feet to the upstream elevation..

After we went through the lock the boat went under a bridge in the town.

Looking up we saw men working on the underside of the bridge and they waved as we went through.

Boating along the canal we saw many of the local shops in the town. 

Further out of town the area was wooded and picturesque.  Notice the rocky landscape along the canal that had to be cut through.

This bridge is new.  It was built along the side of the canal, loaded onto four barges carrying cranes and floated into the canal for placement.  The bridge was moved into place and stabilized on each side of the canal in one day. 

After a short trip up the canal our boat turned around and we headed back toward Lockport to go through both locks again.  This is a view  from the boat while we were waiting for the lock to release water as we headed down river.

From this vantage point it is easy to see how high we were before the lock released the water and brought us back down. 

Once through the locks were saw the other side of Lockport.

This old building was made of 'free stone' which was what they called it because it was dug from the canal and was free to anyone who wanted to use it.

In the distance is a home on the right built by a wealthy resident for his future wife.  Since it would take too long to get an opening in the local church for the wedding, the wealthy husband-to-be had a church built alongside the house so the nuptials could happen sooner.   These buildings were also built with free stone.
One side of Lockport is called Lowtown because the canal walls made it higher than the town.  The town has special release valves if the water in the canal gets too high to prevent Lowtown from being flooded.  It is also the side with the tow lines where horses pulled the barges along the canal.  Today it is a wonderful bike path that is 365 miles long between Albany and Buffalo.  Each year they host bike-a-thons on the trail.

You can imagine what would happen to these homes if  the Canal side ever broke.  

We enjoyed our week in Akron and spent several evenings getting together with our friends. One particular night we were sitting outside enjoying the nice weather when a storm came up rather quickly. Dick and Mary Anne headed inside while I decided to fold up the lawn chairs so they wouldn't get wet.  The Captain was already inside preparing dinner :)  The rain intensified so I decided to stay under the awning and wait it out.  There was a crack of lightning that I thought surely blew out a transformer because it was so loud and close.  It sure made me jump.

The next day we saw the damage from the lightning strike.  This tree is one row over from where we were parked.  It really was a close strike!

After a week visit with our friends we left New York and drove to Cleveland, Ohio, because the Captain wanted to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I wasn't too thrilled about the idea since Cleveland can be a rough town but we went anyway.

The day after we arrived we drove into downtown Cleveland to see the museum.  The city sits right on Lake Erie and we could see large ships moving on the water.

Driving into the city we saw several wind towers that were sitting right along the interstate and were in use.  

It was Saturday morning so the traffic was relatively light.  I thought that was a good sign.

The directions along the interstate were very precise.

FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns sits right on the waterfront along with many other sights.

Heading towards our parking spot we saw the museum.  It looked pretty quiet but this was only 9:30 and they didn't open until ten.  The building was designed by I.M. Pei.

A picture of the downtown as we walked over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

When we got to the museum the lines were quite a bit longer,  Wow, we thought, looks like  a popular spot.  
While I waited in line the Captain took pictures of a few other attractions.  This is the Great Lakes Science Center with all kinds of plastic figures outside.  The children can move them around to make different settings.  

Inside the building are many science exhibitions geared for families and children.  The ship on the left is the 618 foot steamship William B. Mather that was built in 1925.  The ship offers tours to see its huge cargo holds and elegant guest quarters.  It was one of the ships that helped transform Northeast Ohio into an industrial center. 

While we waited the line got longer and longer.  Then we noticed one of the lines was moving more quickly as people entered while the rest of us waited.  It was because this particular Saturday was chosen to thank the people of Cleveland by giving them free admittance if they lived in one of the three zipcodes that encompassed the Cleveland area.  Definitely not a good sign.....did I also mention it was hotter than the dickens.  Since we were paying customers our line moved much more slowly.  As we neared the front of the line we noticed that they were taking headcount because only so many people are allowed in the building at one time.  I was about ready to book by then but the Captain, ever patient, calmed me down and we finally got into the building.

Things to look at as we waited in line to purchase our tickets.

The museum is on many levels and they give you directions on the way to travel through it. 

Most everything was displays of entertainers musical instruments and the clothing they wore.

I never knew Aretha Franklin toured with her father who was a minister.

Elvis Presley's custom motorcycle.

One of Elvis Presley's many suits.

A gown worn by Cass Elliot of the 'Mamas and the Papas'.

A Little Richard jumpsuit from 1970.

A Bo Diddly guitar.

The museum was very crowded and hot.  As we walked through the different venues we thought there would be music playing from those particular artists and in some of the displays there were brief snips of music while showing the band or singer on a large screen.  But for the most part, in order to hear the performer's music you had to put on headphones near the display that 52 million other people had already used.  Yuck!

Dresses worn by the Supremes.

A suit worn by David Bowie.

Alice Cooper display.

The Beatles, Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and a few other big name performers had the largest displays.  The Captain and I had already been to the Rock and Soul Museum in Memphis and enjoyed it more because the artist's music was always playing so you wanted to stop and listen while reading the history of the performer.

Standing alongside a suit worn by Mick Jagger.  At the time, I was wishing my hips were as slim as his.  Wow, he really is short!

Jimi Hendrix section in the museum.

One of his flamboyant costumes.

Hard to believe but this 'outfit' was worn by Lady Gaga.

A view of the lakefront from one of the upper floors.

Large hanging hot dog.

Autographs of the musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And finally it was time to leave Cleveland.  This is Progressive Field, home to the Cleveland Indians.

Crossing one of the bridges heading out of town we saw these old pillars.

They look as though they have been there for awhile.

After leaving the downtown area we found a local brewery and had a late lunch.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is interesting especially if you are a fan of particular singers or groups.  The one thing we did like while there was a 15 minute video in a small auditorium that interviewed and showed clips of the performers who have been active in charitable events such as "We Are The World" and "Farm Aid".  The amount of good they have done and the people they have helped is amazing.  They interviewed Bono, Sting, and other celebrities who have given so much of their time and money to worldwide causes.  And the one thing that brings people together and makes them want to give generously is the music.  That is the one mainstay that touches all people who are looking to help their fellow man and find goodness in the world.  Peace!

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