Monday, August 16, 2010

Squid on Wheels: Erie Canal Adventure Day 7

Syracuse to Rome
During our rest day we ventured out to the Erie Canal Museum, located in an old weigh-lock building. There we learned how the boats were weighed in order to assess tolls and, that we had some hills ahead of us in the next day of cycling.Sure enough, the day started with some long hills out of the valley that is Syracuse's downtown area. Fortunately we got an early start and didn't have to deal with the hills during the heat of the day.

Leaving the roads, we encountered stonedust trails that persisted for the remainder of the day whenever we were not actually on the road instead of off-road.
About 10-15 miles in, the ladies needed a rest stop with no appropriate facility in view. Fortunately, we were just a mile or so from Green Lake State park where we got off the trail, briefly, to relieve ourselves. This was the only time that Squidette and I divested ourselves of our saddlebags and left Mike and Little Squid to do our thing. It worked and we were in and out of the park fairly quickly.
Meanwhile, Little Squid had finally spotted the elusive Canal Monster. We were sure we'd missed him (her?) when we left the main canal for the Old Canal but apparently the monster prefers the quieter and murkier waters of the Old Canal.
Pedaling on, we came to the village of Chittenago and visited the only dry-dock still in existence on the old canal. A museum has sprung up around its remains and it is the first time I've visited a restoration that is still in the process of being restored.

After touring the site, we continued eastward, making sure to view the remains of sunken barges (look for the rebar outlines, that is all that is left).
Then on to Rome over trail that became increasingly difficult to pedal, ironically enough, because they were restoring it.

In Rome we walked around the outside of Fort Stanwix because, by the time we showered and recovered, it was already closed.
Dinner at a nice Italian restaurant ended with fabulous desserts and then early to bed.

More pictures can be found here, along with a fairly complete geotagged map.

Mike's version of the trip can be found here.

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