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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Back to Canals - THE Canal - Day 166

  Today, I joined the towpath of the Old Erie Canal. Here's the canal I'm sure you've all heard of. It first opened in 1825. It was the first major canal in the U.S., and reduced shipping costs of goods by as much as 95%. People could travel from New York City to Buffalo in nine days instead of four weeks. It literally transformed the new world. old Erie Canal

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! hiker on bridge over Thruway

As on the other canals I've walked along, there is still a great deal of impressive stone work that is in great condition. stone culvert

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. NYS Canal

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. Lock 21

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. NYS Canalway signs

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. adventurers

I ran into the cyclists again when they were taking a break. Their names are Gilbert (say Zhil-BEHR) and Pam. adventurers

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.

See Lehigh Valley


Ann said...

So much to see today. You sure are in good company out on those trails.

Sue Teeters said...

I enjoyed today's blog and pictures. Joan, you and the others you meet or hike with, are great inspirations for me. Six months ago, I had a new knee installed. Even with therapy and exercising, it developed much stiffness. For Mother's Day, my son gave me a lovely upright bicycle. I tried, but could not get my knee to bend for peddling, and the pain was intense. We traded that bicycle for a recumbent (low seat) bicycle. The pain is still there, but I can peddle it. Every morning on my ride, I think of you pushing on, which motivates me to keep going. Thank you!!!

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- plenty of us crazies out here!

Sue- I'm glad you found some way to make that work for you!

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Lock 21! Dada says he was there many times in his younger days!"

Beyond my garden said...

I'm enjoying your NY journey. Jeff and I boated the Erie from Lake Ontario to system he Atlantic

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