August 2018 Buffalo, NY & Lake Erie

I spent four days in Buffalo holding out for favorable winds and weather before venturing out on Lake Erie. One of the first things you notice as you come into the harbor at Buffalo is the long piers, warships, and a grain elevator with the Gold Medal Flour and General Mills symbols. The more you look around, the more grain elevators you will see. They are huge cylindrical structures usually made of concrete that look like an 18 pack of beer cans. The General Mills complex is where they make bulk cereal such as Cheerios. Pillsbury flour is also located here. If you were to Google the history of grain elevators in Buffalo, you will find the Erie Canal is responsible for these structures. Before the Erie Canal was built, grain producers, out west, had to ship their grain to New Orleans and then load it on to ships. The ships had to sail around the Gulf coast and up the eastern seaboard to distribute the grain to Eastern cities. The Erie Canal shortened that route considerably from Buffalo to NYC via the Hudson River. As a result, grain from out west would be shipped to Buffalo, NY, off loaded, and stored in a grain elevator. Barges from Buffalo would be loaded with grain and sent over the Erie Canal to Albany and then down the Hudson River to NYC for distribution. Buffalo prospered from the Erie Canal immensely. As usual, I hopped the public bus and rode around the city for a few dollars. As in all cities, the architecture of some of the structures is fabulous and Buffalo is no exception. During my stay here, I talked to local sailors, marina operators, and charter boat fishermen. You can learn a lot about when not to venture out on Lake Erie from the locals.

Just a side note. The staff at RCR Yachts Marina was exceptionally hospitable with my stay there for four days. They were so accommodating that I was a little sad leaving my comfortable stay at their marina.

Here are photos from Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie August 20-23, 2018.

The Peace Bridge linking Canada to the United States. Traffic was backed up entering the United States across the entire bridge.
General Mills grain elevator
Older Grain elevator now own by ADM. The bump out rides on train tracks. A mechanical arm lowers into the hold of a ship containing grain with with a conveyor apparatus. Immigrants called “Scoopers would go in the hold of the ship and scoop the grain over to the conveyor. It would take seven days to unload a ship. Today a suction system is now used and a day and a half empties the ship. This grain elevator is now defunct but can’t be torn down because it was declared an historical structure.
Web site. https://buffalonavalpark.org/ Two battleships USS Little Rock & USS The Sullivans, and a submarine USS Croaker. You can actually sleep aboard the ships.
Web site. https://buffalonavalpark.org/ Two battleships USS Little Rock & USS The Sullivans, and a submarine USS Croaker. You can actually sleep aboard the ships.
Stepping the mast (raising) on my sailboat, Katrina II, at RCR Yachts in Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, NY is part of the shoreline trail that runs along Lake Erie. It’s beautifully done with a smooth pathway, parks, wildlife refuges, and access to Lake Erie. Lots of walkers and bicyclists use this trail. Plenty of parking along the way for easy access.

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