Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jon, Michele & Isabel Visit Us and Tour of the Lois McClure Schooner

Today we had our first company since our arrival in New York.   Jon, Michele and Isabel came to visit.  Jon is Lee's brother and they live in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania.  Since they arrived around 11 AM, we decided to have lunch.  Lee made BBQ Chicken on the grill and I had a spinach salad, a potato casserole and German Chocolate Cake for dessert. 

Michele and Isabel

Here is Jon holding up the cake.  His birthday is actually tomorrow but we never get to celebrate with him!  We tried to have him blow out his Happy Birthday candles but it was too windy!

Isabel, Michele and Jon

Lee is serving ice cream.

After lunch we cleaned up a bit and headed over to Poughkeepsie so they could walk across the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge.  It didn't start sprinkling until we were over half way across the bridge.  We didn't get too wet though!  We were expecting much worse according to the weather reports!

The longest trains go through here!

After we left the bridge we headed over to the Waryas Park to take a look at the boat that we thought we would take a cruise on this afternoon.  We didn't quite make it for the cruise, however, today the Lois McClure Canal Schooner was moored as part of their commemoration tour of the War of 1812 Celebrating the Peace.

The Lois McClure

We came over to see what was going on when we saw the schooner and all the people milling about.  We didn't know they would be here but took advantage of the free tour of the schooner.  

I'm heading aboard

The Lois McClure was a Canal Schooner.  Their tour this year is to share the region's heritage and they are focusing on 1814, the final year of the War of 1812 when the Battle of Lake Champlain took center stage.  The British army were trying to invade the United state on the Canadian border with Lake Champplain.  According to a brochure they handed out which was full of information "Hundreds of men travelled from East River shipyards to Lakes Erie, Ontario and Champlain to engagetheir British counterparts in a War of Shipwrights.  Adam and Noah Brown, Christian Bergh and Henry Eckford were the leaders of the effort to design, build, launch and fit out an amazing list of warships that gave US Navy commanders an edge in the crucial battles of Lake Erie in 1813 and Lake Champlain in 1814."

This is the cargo hold of the ship

The family quarters were in the aft,  Right now there are two double beds separated by a curtain in this area.  Thee people on this commemoration tour are now living onboard.  There will be 8 to 10 of them later on.

Family Quarters
Exit from the Family Quarters
The guy in blue is one of the crew

One of the things we have learned since being in this area is that the canal system that came about because of the War of 1812 became a major factor in the development of New York City and they actually made it the city it is today.  The Erie and Champlain canals were so successful that they stimulated a canal-building boom in the United States and Canada.  They were marvels for their age but their age was short-lived when the railroads started their Golden Age. 

Captain Lee

We had a good time talking to this guy as he has been on the Lewis R. French and is going back again this fall.  We spent a week on the Lewis R. French Schooner out of Camden, Maine in 1998.  Our Captain retired and his First Mate, Garth Wells, now owns the vessel and takes it out.  He was just a kid when we sailed with them.  We have fond memories of the trip but I'm not sure Danica loved it that much!  She did get a lot of reading done!

The Pedestrian Bridge we were on earlier

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