The Erie Canal Walk – Day Nine ~ Rome to Lock 21

We decided to take a short day and walk only 12 miles from Rome to Lock 21 where there are designated hiker/biker campsites. Interestingly, Rome is where the building of the Erie Canal began. The flat land gave the builders a place to begin that was relatively straightforward before tackling the more complex engineering through the mountains. Temps were in the nineties and humid as we set out. There is no potable water at the locks available to hikers so we carried 3 liters each, which is heavy! It was a lovely walk to the lock and we arrived there at about 2pm looking forward to resting, reading, and just enjoying the area.

Packet Boat…

On the way to the trail, we were helped by a man who was cooking ribs at a road side food truck to find a shortcut to the trail. The shortcut took us past an old heritage site named Erie Canal Village. It is no longer open but must have been a place where life on the Erie Canal was recreated and reenacted. I have asked various people along the way if there are any ‘packet’ boats to see or even a replica of one and everyone has said no. WELL, we found one at this abandoned place. I’m sure it’s a replica, but gives one a sense of how they looked. They could seat between 40-100 passengers traveling between New York City and Buffalo. They are said to have been quite luxurious. Passengers could ride on the top and had to duck when passing under a low bridge. As the song goes, “Low bridge, everybody down! Low Bridge, for we’re comin’ to a town…”

Packet Boat at Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY
Packet Boat at Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY
Front of Packet Boat at Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY
Front of Packet Boat at Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY
Sign found in back of abandoned Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY
Sign found in back of abandoned Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY

Banjo Frogs…

We also heard this chorus of what we believe are frogs. This was a new frog sound for us.


Once at the lock, we rested in the shade to cool off. We played a few hands of cribbage and watched the geese squabble with each other. The thunderheads had been building all day. I think we were enjoying the shade they provided rather than assessing their growth. Well, once they broke, we had about 3 minutes to set up out tent and get all the gear secured. We managed it but not without a few bumps such as totally forgetting how to set up a tent we are fairly familiar with. This first storm was the short one. We were forced into our tent again for a very long and intense and beautiful thunderstorm. Anytime I got nervous, as the wind tried to tear our tent from its stakes, I would just peek out across the lock at the geese who hadn’t a care in world. They soothed my anxiety. This is a short video of light rain.

After the storms, the sun came out and we saw this boat come by, another highlight in a day of highlights.

Finally, by the end of the day, the sky cleared, the geese took one last swim on the calm water and all was well.

The Peace of Wild Things...
The Peace of Wild Things…

One of my favorite poets, Wendall Berry, wrote an amazing poem called The Peace of Wild Things that is a balm for the soul. I would encourage anyone to look it up.

Sweet Dreams…



4 thoughts on “The Erie Canal Walk – Day Nine ~ Rome to Lock 21

  1. acubellingham July 15, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    The frogs and the thunder and that wonderful boat–thanks so much for sharing it all! I know how scary thunder and lightning storms can be, having spent all my life on the East coast until age 57, but I have to say I kind of miss them here in the Pacific Northwest. They were always exciting!

    I’m learning more about the Erie Canal reading your posts than I ever knew when living along it! You two seem to be very intrepid and determined hikers in the face of some challenging heat, weather, and other unforeseen obstacles. Good job! And again, thanks for sharing your days on the trail.

    –Nancy Moore


    • bellinghamwalks July 15, 2016 / 7:01 pm

      Let’s meet when I return to Bellingham! I saw your town of Jordan coming up after Syracuse. I think we’ll go right through it.
      All the best,


  2. jenny blythe July 15, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Hello Ann! You are having an epic journey! Thunderstorms, rain,heat and humidity is a lot to push thru…and live the image of the geese. I am enjoying your entries and making pine for home….

    My mom is in surgery today and I fly out on the 20th. Looks like you are very close to Green Lakes-Fayetteville (very near my folks house).

    I will keep an eye out for your location. Wishing you and Aaron well! Love, Jenny

    Sent from my iPhone


    • bellinghamwalks July 16, 2016 / 1:00 am

      Dear Jenny, wishing your mum all the best. I’m glad you are coming to be with her after her procedure. We will be in Syracuse tomorrow for two nights and then push on west on Monday, the 18th. Green Lakes is full so can’t stay there but we have had a couple special days in the small canal town of Canastota.
      Thanks for writing Jenny. And lots of love,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s