August 22 through 23
Middleport, New York and Rochester, NY
We got through the border check just fine on the 22nd, and made it through Niagara without too terrible of a crowd on the trail or parkway. It turns out Monday mornings are a little slow at the Falls.
Of course I have the obligatory pictures obscured by mist from Niagara for proof I was even there…
And then there was this helpful fellow who endured a grilling by Sallie and me asking a million questions all the while he was supposed to keep and eye on the maintenance co-worker below him tethered to the truck cutting grass off the cliff with a weed wacker. She survived.
Above the falls, this is the Niagara River. I think you are supposed to put the barrel in here.
After Niagara, we started our 90 miles or so on the Erie Canalway Trail (spell-check loves “Canalway”).
The trail is mostly composed of crushed stone “fines” that makes for a very rideable surface.
We camped at Middleport where tents are permitted right on the canal edge, power and picnic tables are supplied along with bathrooms and showers maintained by the city. These sites appear in several places along the canal system for cyclists, hikers and boaters, who can moor up to the edge and park there for the night.
These folks are from Buffalo and moored one site over from us during the night. This boat was recently aquired and a year was spent updating and re-working the wood trim.
As we approached Rochester and the associated on-going construction detours and resulting confusion, this gentleman appeared out of nowhere and identified himself as a trail ambassador. He’s a Dave Valvo, a retired engineer from Eastman Kodak and after getting some information from us about our travels, volunteered to take us several miles down the trail through the most confusing part so we could find our way. In the meantime, we’d cycle a few hundred yards and he’d stop and tell us details about the trail, some of the interesting parts of the canal, and point out a few details he thought we’d like to know about the area. He spent over an hour with us and couldn’t have come along at a better time or place. Thank you Mr. Valvo, trail ambassador deluxe!
(More information about the Erie Canal can be obtained at http://www.cycletheeriecanal.com)
(Mr. Valvo has a web site for his photography at http://www.davevalvo.com)