Another great day for cycling. Our day in a nutshell; 60 miles riding on the Erie Canal and 50 miles of riding through fruit orchards.
We learned that we are really riding along the New York Barge Canal. The original canal was completed in 1825, and an enlarged canal was built between 1834 and 1862. In 1918 New York built a Barge Canal that connected Syracuse and Rochester. In the Western part of the state the Barge Canal follows the old Erie Canal. Very little remains of the original canal.
New York stopped modernizing the canal in the 1970’s. They do use the canal for controlling floods. It seems like a lot of money for the use of a few pleasure boats. Here is an original bridge used to cross the canal in 1825.
We followed canals through Rochester, New York and as a result we didn’t see much of the city. Then the canal was full of algae.
In Palmyra, New York we left the canal.
Next we rode by miles of orchards and vegetables. Most of the orchards that we could see were apples.
There were more farmer’s markets than we could count.
Small fruit stands were everywhere.
Stands that sold honey.
And of course, golf balls.
At Pultneyville, New York we got our first glimpse of Lake Ontario. It is the only Great Lake that does not touch the state of Michigan.
Sodus Point, New York had an old lighthouse that was first lit in 1870 and was used until 1901. We learned that this light house had a system of weights that rotated the light and made it flash. The weights had to periodically be raised – much like a grandfather clock.
About four miles from our lodging we could see police lights flashing. As we got closer we could see a car on fire. It didn’t appear that anyone was injured.
We are spending the night in Fairhaven, New York. Our lodge overlooks Little Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario. The nearest restaurant that was open was 1.2 miles away. Only Chad went there because he still had enough energy. The rest of us purchased a pizza and sandwich from a nearby small store that had hardware, groceries, camping supplies and a deli. Just like a Walmart but it only had three short aisles. The view from our deck made up for the paltry food.
- Albion to Fair Haven, New York
- Distance: 114.8 miles (185 km)
- Climbing: 2208 feet (673 m)
- Temperature: 59 – 75°F (15 – 24°C)
Dad and Bicycles
Below is another installment from Chad.
Most memorable were the annual weekend trips to the Elroy Sparta Tunnel Trail in Wisconsin. Dad organized the trips with folks from church and usually 5 to 6 families went (including a lot of friends my age). It was always a fun filled weekend with 63 (!) miles of biking including 3 tunnels (one was 1 mile long), putt-putt golf, video games and various other silly things that kids do.
One of those years Dad, Mom and I rode our bicycles from Kalona, Iowa up to the trail to meet the group there (about 240 miles).
I’m glad that Dad planted the seed of cycling in my head and legs. It is a lifetime hobby which I’ve enjoyed a lot.