Oswego, NY

The Oswego Canal consists of 7 locks.  They are numbered locks O1-O8.  The entire day on the Oswego I kept asking what happened to Lock O4????  There are no signs for it.  It’s not in our guide for the locks.  We didn’t pass a closed lock that was out of use.  Where is Lock O4???  So, I Googled it.  The canal was originally designed to be 8 locks.  A change in the design made it such that only 7 locks were needed.  Rather than renumber the blueprints, the engineers decided to skip lock number O4.

We went through 6 locks fairly quickly.  We stopped for the day between locks O7 and O8 on a huge free wall.  There is a ton of room for boats to tie up and take the pedestrian bridge across the canal into town.  The other side of Lock O8 opens right up into Lake Ontario.  There is wall space there as well that rocks and rolls from the lake flowing in AND you have to pay to use it.  We were thrilled with our spot.  It was behind the lock which meant no flowing water rocking us around.

We walked into town and headed for Oswego Harborfest.  This was their big summer festival and it was spread across three different parks.  We could hear the music and see the tents on the side we docked the boat on.  But I knew that the kids’ lineup was in one of the other parks.  We could hear music and see carnival rides ahead so we walked that way.  We found ourselves in the middle of an icky carnival setting – a few scary looking rides and a lot of junk.  Blech!  We got some tickets and let the kids do a few rides.  They did some bumper cars and a giant slide and a fun house maze type thing and then we got out of there.  I was looking for the stage because there was supposed to be a magician and a dog show and a few other things I thought they’d enjoy.  We happened upon a huge trampoline bungee cord jumping station.  Molly lit up.  We let them do the jumping and they had a BLAST!  Molly flipped and rolled and the guy stopped her at one point and put tighter cords on to make her go higher.  Maddy just jumped and jumped.  The guy working kept pulling her heels down and letting her go so she’d fly higher and higher.

I looked again at the map and realized that the family stage was actually in a different park!  Oops.  We could have avoided the carnival altogether had I figured that out first.  We found it and caught the last half of the dog show which was fun.  The dogs were all rescues and just the sweetest.  The girls loved getting pictures with them.  Then we moved onto the Children’s Museum tent and then found the magician and the snake man.  This park also had a playground so we stopped there a bit too before walking back to the boat.

The next morning we had plans to go through Lock O8 and out onto Lake Ontario!  Instead of taking the normal loop route and heading right to the Trent-Severn, our plans were to head to Cape Vincent in the start of the Thousand Islands.  Our plans change about every 10 minutes.  We had planned to take the St. Lawrence Seaway up to Montreal, and then take the Ottawa River to Ottawa and the Rideau Canal down to Kingston.  However flooding has closed the Rideau for days and despite the crazy high water levels in Canada, our boat draft is too deep for the Rideau.  It has a controlling depth of 5 feet and our props sit at 5 feet.  We decided that this trip we would just skip that but still go to Montreal.  A few days later we read up on the distances and locks to Montreal and again changed plans and decided we’d just do the Thousand Islands.  We’d start with the US side of the Thousand Islands and go where the wind and water took us and cross to Canada when we were ready.

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