Day 5

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

Copyright 2002 DeLorme. Topo USA. Data copyright of content owner.

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 was nice.

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 Road).

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 bit eerie.

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 few pictures.

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.

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"Erie Canal (and more!) Tour 2006" Copyright © 2006 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.