The Erie Canal Walk – Days Twelve and Thirteen ~ Ann’s Birthday Weekend in Syracuse

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!

Yellow Brick Road
Yellow Brick Road

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.

Chittanongo Canal Museum
Chittenango Canal Museum

From Chittenango we went to see the Butternut Creek aqueduct near Fayetteville. The stone arches are what remain of this lovely aqueduct.

Butternut Creek Aqueduct near Fayetteville, NY
Butternut Creek Aqueduct near Fayetteville, NY

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 atΒ 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.

Basket of Birthday gifts from the staff at Aloft in Syracuse, NY
Basket of Birthday gifts from the staff at Aloft in Syracuse, NY

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.

Erie Canal Monument in Syracuse, NY
Erie Canal Monument in Syracuse, NY

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.

Boat in Weighlock building in Syracuse, NY
Boat in Weighlock building in Syracuse, NY

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!




6 thoughts on “The Erie Canal Walk – Days Twelve and Thirteen ~ Ann’s Birthday Weekend in Syracuse

  1. acubellingham July 18, 2016 / 3:35 am

    Nice to hear about all the friendly, helpful people you’re encountering! Tomorrow you’ll be in my old neck of the woods–Weedsport is not far from Jordan, where I grew up from third grade to age 17. Weedsport was the exit on the NY State Thruway that I’d take when going or coming back from college in Buffalo, driving my mom’s old ’58 Chevy. Thanks for your posts, I’m enjoying them.


    • bellinghamwalks July 18, 2016 / 8:26 pm

      We passed through Jordan today. The first person we met was the mayor. I took some pics for you and will post soon. What a lovely village. I thought of you the whole way through.


  2. Leah Martaindale July 18, 2016 / 9:58 am

    You said thanks for reading–I say thanks for writing! Happy birthday Ann! Sounds like a way cool birthday! Keep on trekking!

    Sent from my iPhone



    • bellinghamwalks July 18, 2016 / 8:28 pm

      Thanks Leah! 17 miles today! Feet are burning, hips are stiff…you know the feeling!


  3. artmaker85 July 18, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    It seems you are meeting some very nice, interesting people along the way. What a feeling you must have to be surrounded by these “angels”. So glad your birthday was good and eventful. Still enjoying the historical information and all the pictures. You both look fantastic! Love, Lynne


    • bellinghamwalks July 18, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      It was really an amazing birthday made so nice by the folks at Aloft in Syracuse. Lots of love…


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