Wednesday, 28 June 2006
Rochester, NY to Niagara Falls, NY
98.4 miles, 8h38m, 11.4 mph
Elapsed Time: 11h37m, Max speed: 27.8mph
Total Climbing: 3192ft, Max elevation: 599ft
Total mileage: 382.9
A very, very long day into a moderate headwind. All the
interesting stuff was at the end, but there were plenty of zany, madcap
antics getting there.
Kevin scores the hat trick! But this time it's not raining.
We rolled out of Rochester at about 8am. We stayed on the trail
until it turned to dirt, then we cut over to Route 31. By the
time we passed Brockport we were tired of the traffic and noise, so we
dropped down onto the canal and rode on the dirt. For a while it
Nice canal scene.
But then we got tired of the same view, so we jumped on the next bridge
and headed back toward 31. On the way we passed a portable toilet.
I've always said there should be more of these.
After Albion we were able to mostly take back roads, avoiding both the
towpath and Route 31. Along the way we stumbled across a rare
place where the road passes under the canal. I guess this would
be a very small aqueduct, or possibly a culvert (it was on Culvert
Too bad there wasn't a boat going over.
Eventually we reached Lockport. At Lockport the canal climbs the
Niagara Escarpment using two giant locks. In the old days, the
original Erie Canal used 5 locks. In the picture, you can see the
remains of the original 5 locks on the right. Now they are used
as a spillway.
Lots of locks at Lockport.
By this time we were pretty tired. There was a long tedious
stretch to Pendleton (where we stopped for ice cream---we deserved it),
and a long, winding trip down a bike path along the Tonawanda Creek
until we reached the end of the canal.
Now I wish I had the picture from the other end.
We rode north along the Niagara River and then turned off for a very
special canal tour--a detour through Love Canal. It's been about
25 years since the place was condemned and the people moved out.
Some of the land is for sale and an apartment complex has been built on
the site, but most of the area is still a wasteland. The streets
and sidewalks are still there, but there are only a few homes in the
neighborhood. The central canal is still fenced off. People
like to leave their used motor oil on one of the streets. I guess
they figure the place is already a superfund site. It's a little
The people who lived on the left could have stayed but didn't.
The people who lived on the right had to leave.
One of the two streetlights in this neighborhood still works.
Tearing ourselves away from the disaster area, we moved on toward the
falls. It was about 7pm when we finally got there and snapped a
Kevin and Sponge Bob at the American Falls.
There seem to be a disproportionately large number of Indian
restaurants in Niagara Falls. There is also an Indian casino--but
that's a different type of Indian. So, we had Indian food for
dinner and I was too tired to write up the day's activities even though
the hotel had wireless Internet. I must be getting old.
Tomorrow we cross into Canada and ride south to Buffalo. Kevin
will ride to the airport and fly home. I will continue down Lake
Erie to Dunkirk.
"Erie Canal (and more!) Tour 2006" Copyright © 2006 By
Clemons. All rights reserved.