The Erie Canal Walk – Day Twenty-Five ~ Lockport to Amherst

Headstones in pioneer cemetery, Lockport, NY
Headstones in pioneer cemetery, Lockport, NY

We had to walk a mile and one half to rejoin the Erie Canal trail this morning. Our route took us immediately from the busy road our motel was on to a country road lined with fields of bush beans and a horse ranch. Traffic was light and it wasn’t long before we came upon a pioneer cemetary. It was not marked by a sign indictating its name, nor was there an access road to it. There was no where to park. Although many of the stones were toppled or broken, some were standing, with names and dates readable. Most of the dates indicated that the deceased had been born in the early 1800’s and lived till the late 1800’s. The cemetary is mowed by someone and a quick Google search called it the Calvary Cemetary, owned by the Roma Catholic Church of Lockport and set to be restored. The first Erie Canal opened in 1825 making many of the folks in this cemetary first generation canal residents.

Cemetery, Summit Road, Lockport, NY
Cemetery, Summit Road, Lockport, NY

This amazing stone house was very near the cemetary and is where the horses lived.

Stone House, Summit Road, Lockport, NY
Stone House, Summit Road, Lockport, NY

The trail towards Tonawanda/Buffalo begins with rural farming residences, changing to rural residences, giving way to to suburban neighborhoods, with four lane boulevards lined with Home Depots and Rite Aids swallowing it all. We are staying on the latter. Urban Trail Trivia: the number one piece of litter is discarded cigarette cartons.

Erie Canal signature fence
Erie Canal signature fence

This is a picture of the trail early this morning. The official fence along the Erie Canal Trail is constructed as seen above. I’ve contemplated the reason behind the design for many, many miles now. These are my conclusions, in order from the least likely to most likely. Initially, I thought they had forgotten to put in the third rung, then I came to a more meaningful conclusion. The open space, where the ‘missing’ rung is, represents the canal and the rung just above it represents the towpath where mules and horses pulled the boats and barges. A more practical reason for its design is that it makes the trail identifiable if one is not sure where they are…this happened for us today when we weren’t sure which way to go; we saw the fence and knew the correct way to go. The last rationale is purely economical. The canal system would save 25% on the cost of the fence runners by leaving one off.

Here are a few other things we saw today.

Mileage sign
Mileage sign
Uncle G's ice cream stand
Uncle G’s ice cream stand
The cutest footprints in the world! What made them?!
The cutest footprints in the world! What made them?!
Freeway underpass; I hope the artist is in art school!
Freeway underpass; I hope the artist is in art school!
Wendelville Fire Department in 1862 school house
Wendelville Fire Department in 1862 school house

We experienced a slight feeling of melancholia today knowing that after tomorrow we would be saying goodbye to the canal and trail that have been our home for the last month. The trail has provided a consistent way forward, strewn with a variety challenging challenges, meant to exercise our commitment and endurance, as well as many open, generous, and heartfelt human exchanges, meant to strengthen our belief and trust in the goodness of the human community. We are also ready to be finished and look forward to returning to Bellingham. I will likely post a few times after we finish. I will take no offense if anyone wishes to unsubscribe from receiving this blog after The Erie Canal Walk concludes. My future posts will likely be focused on walks closer to home.

With many blessings,

Ann

7 thoughts on “The Erie Canal Walk – Day Twenty-Five ~ Lockport to Amherst

  1. Julie Selleck July 30, 2016 / 1:41 am

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } I have enjoyed reading these blogs so much and admire you 2 for the adventure. I KNOW I will continue to read your blogs no matter your location.  You two enjoy your last days. I love you! 💞

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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    • bellinghamwalks July 30, 2016 / 10:23 am

      Thanks Jules…it’s calling for rain today. We’ll probably get one last soaking!( :

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  2. artmaker85 July 30, 2016 / 1:41 am

    Congratulations to you and Aaron for finishing your walk! An experience to remember…forever.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. acubellingham July 30, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    Your posts have been wonderful! I admire you both so much for a) taking it all on, and b) sticking with it through what has sounded like some super challenging and unexpected obstacles. But never sounding whiny (like I would have!), always finding the silver lining in every situation. I’ve appreciated learning so much about the region where I grew up in NY and look forward to your future posts about places to walk in/near Bellingham, where I now live. And maybe I’ll even meet you here someday!

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    • bellinghamwalks July 30, 2016 / 11:32 pm

      Oh, Nancy. Thank you so much for keeping us company on this adventure!
      See you soon,
      Ann

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  4. mary corcoran July 30, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    Ann and Aaron, Can’t thank you enough for this post. I have looked forward to every post, picture and video. I take a cup of tea to the computer each night thoroughly looking forward to what you are going to share with us! I too am a bit sad it’s over but oh so happy for the 2 of you for doing it and sharing it and taking some time to kick around the Buffalo area and enjoy that in a less grueling manner! Bravo! Lots and lots of love, Mary

    On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 5:53 PM, Bellingham Walks wrote:

    > bellinghamwalks posted: ” We had to walk a mile and one half to rejoin the > Erie Canal trail this morning. Our route took us immediately from the busy > road our motel was on to a country road lined with fields of bush beans and > a horse ranch. Traffic was light and it wasn’t long” >

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    • bellinghamwalks July 30, 2016 / 11:35 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that these posts brought you enjoyment. I have enjoyed sharing this rich history and culture the best I could. See you soon Mary. ox, Ann

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