Friday, July 18, 2014

Cycling the Erie Canal - Day 6 - Rome to Canajoharie

Well, I have to admit, sitting here as I write today's post I am the most exhausted I've been so far on the trip!  Today's ride was the longest - 63 miles - and there were fewer places to stop along the way. And so far this week I've pedaled a total of 315.6 miles!  I guess it makes sense that I'm tired!  

It was a gorgeous day and we didn't have one cloudy moment or one drop of rain, so that was good. Quite a lot of the ride today was on roads, and with roads come hills and fast moving cars and trucks. One section of the canal trail had tons of fresh, loose, deep stone dust. I thought riding in that stuff wet between Fairport and Pittsford was tough, but this was much more difficult and rather treacherous!  Some people ended up walking it, some fell. I didn't do either but had some close calls. I was very glad to get off that stuff!

Today's views while on the road were spectacular as we made our way through the Mohawk Valley, through the cut that river has made between the Adirondack Mts. and the Catskills. I wish I could have taken more pictures, but will once again have to rely on my "brain camera" to recall them, as stopping along the highway with cars and trucks speeding by you at 55 mph or faster was not a safe option. I did try to grab a few shots when I could find a place to pull off safely. 

This afternoon we had a choice of routes to take. Some stayed closer to the canal and the river, but some of us ventured out on Route 5 to pass by some additional historic places. I'm glad I chose to do the later. I saw some sights I've never seen before, and went through some towns I've never heard of!  

Here are some pictures from today. 

Beautiful landscapes in the foothills of two mountain ranges. 

Little Falls is where the Mohawk River and the canal first meet and then part ways. Our second rest stop was in this beautiful little park on the edge of the river just before the canal splits off. 

After Little Falls we were back on the canal path for a while. One of the sites was the Herkimer Home, where the Revolutionary War General Herkimer lived and died. I didn't get there at the right time to tour the inside of the house, but did get some pictures outside. 

Shortly after this I took the alternate route and cycled by (but didn't stop or get a picture of) the Nellis Tavern, which was built in 1747 and served those traveling along the King's Highway and the Mohawk River before the Erie Canal was built. 

Next stop was Fort Klock, which isn't really a fort, but is a "fortified farmstead." Built in the 18th century by the German immigrant Klock family, the farmhouse, built of stone and facing the river, has 45 "holes" in the walls for shooting a musket through. It was used as a refuge/safe house during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. The man giving tours is a direct descendent of the man who originally  built it. 

You can see 2 of those musket firing holes on either side of this door. 

My next and final stop was the Palatine Lutheran Church. What a beautiful place up on a hill just off of Route 5. 

A pipe organ

An interesting pulpit

A ladder to the bell tower. No thank you!

A very interesting ceiling!

Then into Canajoharie, camping high on a hill at the high school. Great views, but it was a bear getting up here on 2 wheels!  I hear it was more than 600 feet of elevation at a 12% grade. I do know that it was long and high!

And into town for a very delicious chicken BBQ dinner!

And now that my phone is charged, my blog post is finished, and my tent is no longer in the bright sun, I think this weary cyclist is going to bed early!

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