We spent the better part of the day in Lockport. There were two attractions running - a boat tour that goes through the locks themselves, or a underground cave walking / boat tour. Since it was still periodically drizzling and rather cold we opted for the underground walk. This was also a fair amount cheaper as well.
This “cave” is really a man-made water passage that diverted water from the locks for the purposes of powering three factories along the canal. One of them was where the fire extinguisher was invented - and ironically (or coincidentally if you are picky) about ten years after the owner’s death the building burned down.
We entered the area through what used to be the water exit - I joked that it rather felt like walking up a giant’s septic system. The cave was drier than outside, but still wet as it’s in limestone which allows surface water to filter through.
Our tour was made more interesting by one of our fellow tourists, an older gentleman who had a walking impairment and somehow missed the signs giving details of the number of steps and general difficulty of the tour. About halfway through he was faltering pretty badly and had to be carried by some of the others in his party. One of the other tourists was also a medical professional and she quickly took charge of the situation, asked questions regarding his health history, etc. He insisted on continuing through the boat tour portion (which really wasn’t all that).
As we sat in the large boat, underground, about to leave I asked the tour guide if he could sing the Willy Wonka Psychedlic Boat Trip Song but I’m not sure he got the joke…
After the cave tour I had some work emails pop up so we camped out in a local coffee shop that had wi-fi, and warmed our bones with some hot soup, hot chocolate, and hot coffee. We had hoped to catch the boat tour going through the locks but missed it both coming and going.