Friday, July 16
Marie was born in Canastota and has lived all her life in the area. She was the school librarian for many years in Canastota at the very school she attended as a young girl. In fact, when she retired from teaching, she was working in the same room in which she had attended kindergarten. Now, that’s a story!
Marie picked us up at our hotel and proceeded south through town. She pointed out Nathan Roberts’s home on the the way to Chittenango. Marie took our picture on the “yellow brick road” in Chittenango, home of Wizard of Oz author, L. Frank Baum. Yay!
Then we went to the Erie Canal Museum in Chittenango. Even though it was closed, we could see the dry docks where canal boats could be repaired. The triad of docks looked like three-sided swimming pools into which a boat could be moved. After a boat entered a dock, the water was drained out allowing the boat to rest on wooden supports while being repaired. When the repairs were finished, the pool was refilled with water and the boat was ready to renter the canal. The three pools could be operated independently of each other. These were the forerunners of the car pits mechanics work in today. I’m sorry we don’t have a picture of them. Here is the canal at Chittenango.
From Chittenango we went to see the Butternut Creek aqueduct near Fayetteville. The stone arches are what remain of this lovely aqueduct.
Marie then drove us right to the front door of our hotel. Imagine! We are deeply thankful to Marie, the latest trail angel in a whole host of angels, who have blessed us on this adventure.
We decided to change our earlier lodging plans in Syracuse. Instead of staying the youth hostel, which looks very nice, we decided to take advantage of an amazing grand opening offer at Aloft, on Syracuse’s inner harbor. We received a warm and welcoming greeting from everyone and when they found out that it was my birthday, they really astounded us. Aaron and were at the pool and here comes Matthew and Sarah with a huge basket, filled with local products, representative of the local bounty and industry. At one time, Syracuse was the salt capital of the country, so of course, there was Syracuse salt. There was also wine, candles, pancake mix, baked beans, root beer, garlic oil, chocolate syrup, ice cream, salad dressing, and a huge bottle of barbecue sauce. There were also free drink vouchers for use at the bar. It weighed more than my pack! Matthew said, “no problem, we’ll ship it home for you.” Minus the ice cream. 😊 Thanks to Michael, Heather, Matthew, Sarah, Kelsy, Sherry, Sherelle, and everyone else! Take a look what these very kind people put together for me.
Saturday, July 17…
We walked to downtown Syracuse this morning. The Creekside Trail runs from The Inner Harbor to Armory Square, the downtown area. The Erie Canal used to run down what is now Erie Street. Here is the city park that commemorates the canal. All those tall buildings are the banks that sprung up around the lucrative canal.
The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse is in the old weighlock building. It was a regular lock except for having a sling that would weigh the boat to determine the toll for using the canal. The toll was based on weight, type of cargo, and distance. There is a replica of a packet boat displayed in the old lock, although packet boats, who carried passengers, were not weighed. In this picture, you can see the pillars of the building and some of the boat.
I’ve had a great birthday here in Syracuse. We are both looking forward to getting back on the trail. Tomorrow, we’ll walk to Weedsport, hoping to see the aquaduct and museum at Camillus on the way.
Thanks for reading!