Today figured to be one of our longer days mileage wise, we didn't think it would be that tough or tricky to navigate.
We checked out of our hotel at about 8:30 and hit the road. Streets through Syracuse, up a few hills towards the outskirts of town. Our directions and actual streets didn't quite jive so we had a little trouble finding our way back to the canal path, but once we did we figured it would be smooth sailing. Most of today was along the "Old Erie Canal State Park." A 36 mile linear park stretching from Syracuse to Rome. Just about all of it is off road.
About 17 miles in we got to Chitenango, birthplace of L. Frank Baum of "Wizard of Oz" fame. We spent some time at their "Canal Boat Museum." It's on the site where they built and repaired canal boats. They've been working to restore as much of the site as possible. This includes the drydocks:
as well as an 80% sized canal boat they're building:
Back on the trail, we spotted the remains of sunken canal boat (note the rebar tracing out the boat in the water):
Continuing on, there were more locks:
After lunch in Canastota, we set out on the second 25ish miles of the day. We found our way back onto the path, the stone dust was fine and even some of the road was paved. This lulled us into a sense of security. About 15 miles into the afternoon ride, we crossed path with what appeared to be a trail resurfacing machine. Not a good thing. The next few miles had us hugging the one good edge of the trail. The rest was soft and full of holes. The whole trail was also full of runs of dirt and gullies. All hazardous to us.
We struggled through and made it to the outskirts of Rome. We followed the last few miles of path, but the path kept degrading. First to a rocky surface, then to one with pools of water, then to no path at all!!!! Fortunately, there was an outlet to a road nearby. We worked our way to it and followed the roads the rest of the way in.
We had made it to Rome.
After lunch in Canastota, we set out on the second 25ish miles of the day. We found our way back onto the path, the stone dust was fine and even some of the road was paved. This lulled us into a sense of security.
After checking into the hotel and a cooling dip in the pool, we walked over to fort Stanwix, dating back to the French and Indian war.
Dinner at the Franklin Hotel (appropriately, Italian food. As they say, when in Rome...).
Tomorrow we head off to Little Falls.