Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cycling the Erie Canal - Day 5 - Syracuse to Rome

Today was a nice 50 miles from Syracuse  to Rome, mostly along the canal trail.  Let me say that Syracuse is a very hilly city!  We climbed a lot getting into Syracuse and we had to climb a lot of hills to get out of the city today!  Consider it training for my Pedal Pittsburgh ride at the end of August!  I'm very proud of the fact that I didn't walk any hills!  I pedaled them all, every inch!  I was very happy once we got back onto the canal trail again!  36 of our 50 miles was along the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park, a linear park along the First Enlargement canal. I visited lots of canal museums today, one in Syracuse, one in Chittenango, one in Canastota, and one in Rome!  I might be museumed out for a bit!

Our afternoon rest stop was at Lock 21, just past Verona. It was raining just as I got there, heavily at times, but we still had a good show, with 3 boats coming into the lock at once, 2 pleasure boats (one from Canada and one from Washington State) and one small canal tug. I stood in the pouring rain to watch it all. 

It is really cool to be camping on the Fort Stanwix grounds!  And they are keeping the visitors center open for us all night. Yay!  Real restrooms.  The mayor of Rome was here wandering the grounds, talking to people and welcoming us. He also closed down James St. which is right next to our camping area so we wouldn't have as much traffic noise. Even in a bigger city, we feel recognized and welcomed!

Below are some pictures from today. 

The Canal Museum in Syracuse is in an original weighlock building. When the canal actually came through the center of Syracuse, boats would come into this lock, the water would be lowered so that the boat rested on the scale below to be weighed. Tolls we paid based on the type of cargo and the weight. 

They have two great murals outside the building. 

And a canal boat inside the building

When we finally got out of the city of Syracuse and suburbs, it wasn't long before we were back on the canal trail again. This is an aqueduct taking the canal over Butternut Creek. 

Before long we entered the Old Erie Canal State Park, a 36 mile long linear park along the older canal. 

Our morning rest stop was at the Chittenango Canal Museum. On this sight were dry docks for building and repairing canal boats. At this museum they also had a cut-away canal boat. 

The mule stable on board

The cargo hold

The family's quarters. The baby had to sleep in a dresser drawer!

From there our next stop was Canastota. Along Canal St. are still some of the original buildings, including the one the small museum is in. 

Then back on the trail. At Oneida, we were met on the trail by these signs, Burma Shave style

There is this expansive mural on a building next to the trail in Verona. It was hard to get a picture of the whole thing!

Our afternoon rest stop and "show" at Lock 21.  Three boats in the lock at once.  There was a bridge across the end that we could stand on this time. 

Then on to the Erie Canal Village and almost to camp. The Erie Canal Village is supposed to be a living history museum but it is pretty sad and rundown. Not at all like it was when my kids were young and visited there. I was looking forward to having a ride on a mule drawn packetboat, but those days are over, unfortunately. These pictures make the place look way better than it is!

Then 3 short miles and we were in Rome at Fort Stanwix. Our encampment will be well protected tonight!

So after a short time at the "campfire," my bike and I are going to bed. 

My bike is sleeping next to me tonight!

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