by Sal Larsen
An amazing and wonderful aspect of traveling on the Lois McClure is the generosity and friendliness of the people we meet along the way. This is my second time volunteering on the boat on this tour, and I have been pleasantly surprised, town after town, by the open and friendly attitudes of the local residents. It is clear that on the 2007 Grand Canal Journey, the Lois made many strong connections and that the friendships have endured and blossomed.
A great example was our reception in Lyons. We had barely docked when we were met by the mayor, Corinne Kleisle who is a big fan of the Lois (she even came to visit us in VT, and became a member of the museum!) She lead us to the fire station, where we were warmly greeted and treated to snacks and drinks. The fire station here has new facilities for boaters and they are beautiful. Spotless and bright, they were very much appreciated. The volunteer firemen were fun, friendly and extremely accommodating.
On a brief walk about Lyons, we were met with the same friendly enthusiasm. Everyone was genuinely interested in the boat, and their goodwill was infectious. That night, three enormous pizzas were delivered for us (gluttony reigned!) and first thing in the morning, we were treated to a bag of warm apple fritters, fresh from the Farmer’s Market. What a send off!
This is one of the joys of volunteering on the Lois – the sense of community and continuity. Friendships are forged and alliances formed. I am deeply grateful to be part of the process. Thank you all.
A graduate of Weslyan University, Sal has been a member of the museum for many years. This is her first time as a volunteer aboard the Lois, and she has fulfilled a lifelong dream of helping crew on a tugboat.