September 6, Wednesday, Kirkfield Lock to McGregor Marina in Orillia, ON
Today’s goal was to go through as many locks as possible in the shortened fall hours and stay at the bottom of the one that closed before we got there. We started at the top of the Kirkfield Lift Lock which lifted us down in the water trough about 49 feet with its hydralylic lift.
The weather was cool and I wore long underwear so I could ignore it. We traveled through rivers, lakes and man made canals again in lovely weather, remarking on the interesting homes and beautiful sites as we traveled. The arched bridge was the first reinforced concrete bridge in Canada in the early 1900s.
We were doing well and arrived in Orillia knowing that the Couchiching lock ahead would be closed, but we’d do the normal thing and stay the night on the cement wall. But ten minutes down the narrow canal we encountered a low swinging railroad bridge, also on the same schedule as the locks. The bridge keeper was not allowed to open it, so back we headed down the canal. We had passed a marina just as we entered the narrow canal so I called see if they had a dock for us. The manager asked if we were the trawler they just saw enter the canal and laughed when I said ‘yes’. When she saw us enter she remarked to a co-worker ‘I wonder where they think they are going!’. They gave us a little break on the marina rate and we had a quiet night there – except for the train (remember – railroad bridge!).