Sarah stayed with me for half of today. Her goal for this trip was to make it to where the trail crosses the New York State Thruway. She did it!
As on the other canals I've walked along, there is still a great deal of impressive stone work that is in great condition.
Later in the day, the trail took a short road jog and began to follow the NYS Canal System- formerly known as the Barge Canal, but now once again called the Erie Canal. This is a much wider (and deeper) waterway, as you can see. In some places it was built over the old canal, but here the old and new routes are about a mile separate.
This crossing is at Lock 21. Let's talk about the canal system. It gets some use for commercial shipping, but its primary function now is for recreational boating.
Not as much shade today as yesterday, but it wasn't quite as hot. Still- plenty hot for me.
BONUS SECTION: other adventurers
Meeting these people is not quite as bizarre as it might seem. The trail here is not just North Country Trail. It's also the Erie Canalway Trail, and the Empire State Trail, which are both multi-use trails. You can see the signs here.
The thing that's a little strange is that we all met at one point that wasn't a place like a park or a natural resting place. The two bicyclists had passed me a bit earlier. Then I saw them again when they went into a small town- perhaps to find facilities or food.
I saw them again, stopped in the road and talking to another person, a young woman pushing baby stroller. But no baby. She had all her gear in the stroller.
The woman is Margaret Across America. She is walking from Maine to California. The couple is from Montreal. They took public transportation to Niagara Falls, and are riding the bikes back home mostly via the Empire State Trail.
I ran into the cyclists again when they were taking a break. Their names are Gilbert (say Zhil-BEHR) and Pam.
I also sort of chatted with a deaf man who is bicycling to California. Other cyclists went by with panniers, but I did not talk to them. If you are on a well-known long multi-use trail you are going to encounter people doing grand adventures.
Miles today: 16. Total miles so far: 2153.6.
Tomorrow is a day off- severe thunderstorms predicted.
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