Monday, August 27, 2007

Canal Cruising

I'm certainly out of the mountains now. For the last two days I have been motoring along the Erie Canal tow path, a multi-use path that was once used by teams of horses to move barges along the canal. There is a series of wonderful towns about every ten miles, places like Fairport, Albion, and the end of the line, Lockport, where I'll be spending the night. Beautiful clouds and warm but not hot weather have graced my passage these days. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of camping right on the canal at Holley--with access to the showers that usually only the boaters get (the canal is no longer used for commercial purposes--just recreational boating and tourism).

Some of the path is paved, but much of it is a very firm crushed limestone--a little dusty but generally affording a good ride. I managed to average between 12 and 16 mph without too much trouble. Flat riding, what a pleasure!

Tomorrow, I'll be doing the recumbent boogie into Canada and the tourists throngs around Niagra Falls. I was concerned about getting into Canada without a passport or birth certificate, but I met some locals who said it's still okay with just a driver's license, so I'm going for it, especially because there is a very scenic bike path along the river on the Canadian side. Hey, I love Canadians. They gotta let me in.

I've been meeting the greatest folks. I tooled around Albion and marveled at the churches, one after another doing battle for highest steeple and most dramatic edifice awards--just fantastic. In front the the Catholic church, I met Brian, arborist supreme, who gave me a little tour of the church--where he (now 44) was baptized, where he was married, where he has rejoiced the best of life and mourned the passing of loved ones. His pride and connection to the church were an inspiration. You da man, Brian!

Much of the riding has a European feel, kind of like a New Yorkian-American Dutch thing. I've got a terribly slow connection here, so I'll post pictures later when conditions are more appropriate.

Until my next post, this is Scott, Wold-Champion Recumbent Cyclo-tourist, signing off with his latest Dispatch from the Frontier of Human Powered Travel in the Great American Outback.

One of many classic barns:

Typical canal scene:

The town of Holley:

Sculpture titled, what else? "The Big Apple":

One of my favorite canal spots just before Albion:

1 comment:

pam b said...

Just a quick hello. Miss you in the office but am enjoying the adventure I'm living vicariously from your posts!