Thursday, July 28, 2016

96: Reflections on the Erie Canal

We had a pleasant enough evening camping on the banks of the Erie Canal. The only downside was the roving packs of young people searching for Pokemon characters now and then. But they all headed off to bed by 10 or so I would say, and it was nice and quiet after that.

The setting sun put a golden glow on the canal last night

Wehad a camping mate at this site last night. Graylan rode up during the day while I was setting up my tent. He was about whether to press on for more miles or stay, but after having some dinner with us he finally decided that this was the place to stay for the night. Graylan is on a tour from Newfoundland to Seattle. He started his tour two years ago, but crashed on the first day and had serious injuries. So it took him awhile to heal and get his act together again and undertake the tour a second time. He is calling this second attempt 'The Revenge Tour.'  I like his moxie!

Catching anything?
We continued along the Canal for some 40 or so miles, most of it gravel. I want to point out that this increases the effort to keep the bike upright and moving forward, and so my hat's off to Roger for steering us through the terrain, and keeping us on track.

It was so calm and clear this morning along the canal
We stopped for a hot dog and met some other tourists headed the other direction. We usually stop to exchange stories and find out where everyone is headed. These gentlemen were doing a ride through New York around the Finger Lakes. Al was on the original transcontinental ride with Adventure Cycling and is a life member with them.
Art and Al

Had to stop and pick some berries
Yum! Snacks on the bike
One of the cool things about bike touring is that you can pretty much do what you want as you ride along. So  today I saw some berries along the road, and we stopped so I could pick some. Oh, my! They were delicious, and made a great snack for us as we rode along.

We were approaching Rochester on the canal path when we happened upon Bonnie, who was our trail angel for the day. The trail has a detour, and she guided us through the zone on the locals' route, bypassing most of the mess. Her guidance also took us past the edge of the University of Rochester, where I did some work several years ago. It was nice to see the campus again.
Following Bonnie through the bike paths to stay on course

Carol and Jim with 90 year old tree
We stayed with Warm Showers hosts Jim and Carol, who have a 65 acre apple orchard on the shore of Lake Ontario. They let me into the garden to pick fresh vegetables for our dinner!  Heaven! I felt like I was home again.

They grow some heirloom apples and I am hoping to get some this fall!

The day's report:  Brockport to Pultneyville, 63 miles/4835 to date

The route for the day

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