One of the great things about returning to ports we’ve visited in the past is that we get to see old friends. Last night in Fort Edward, Darlene DeVoe and her husband, Adam, hosted a super dinner for the crew at Ye Old Fort Diner owned by John Webber. We couldn’t decide which was better—the fries (the old-fashioned, real thing, and heaps of ’em) or the pie (lemon coconut, chocolate cream, butterscotch, apple–all homemade).
Today in Schuylerville, Darren Tracy, a volunteer crew member from the 2005’s Grand Journey to New York City, saw us from across the canal and dropped by to say hello. Later, as the tour boat Caldwell Belle set off for a sunset cruise, there were calls of “Hi, Art!” “How ya’ doin’ Lenny?” and even, “Where’s the guy with the ponytail?”—that would be First Mate Erick, except he somehow knew what a hot summer this was going to be and lopped it off.
All along the way, we’ve traded greetings and good-natured jibes with the lock keepers who’ve helped us along this route so many times. Now, the Lois McClure isn’t just another boat passing through, she’s become a part of the Champlain Canal. That’s really special.