Some thoughts before turning it over to Leah to talk about our walk Sunday from Fairport to Palmyra.
One of the highlights of the trip, so far, was a brief moment just blocks from completing this leg. After walking through uncomfortable conditions the entire way, we were plodding up Main Street on the sidewalk, both us and our packs covered by rain gear.
Then I saw, racing toward us in the opposite direction, were two bicyclists in the bike lane. They, too, were decked out for the weather and their bikes loaded with gear. It was obvious they were doing something similar to us but on wheels and headed west.
In that brief moment, I gave a big wave. They both waved back, but the guy, recognized the same thing I did. He gave me a big grin and wave just like we were lost friends.
Later that night, we got an email from Mike and Bernadette. We met them on the trail May 8, walking the opposite direction. They weren’t doing the entire distance, though, and have since finished.
Apparently, the live near the end of our journey, in the Schenectady or Albany area and said they’d like to treat us to a home-cooked meal when we get there. I hope we can get together and swap a couple of stories.
These are the moments I envisioned when we were planning this walk.
Leah talks below about the detour we were forced to make. Hey, things like that happen, but what was frustrating was the lack of information. The sign (for which I should be thankful, I know) only said the trail was closed at the next highway crossing. There was no detour offered. It really would have been nice to understand just what they meant by closed and where it would reopen.
One additional note. Leah mentions the cemetery and the marker dedicated to the canal workers buried there, but she also did a little research that indicates more than a thousand workers died during the Erie Canal construction, many of them due to malaria during a swampy stretch that we’ll be walking through this week.
Today we braved 40ish degree temps to walk to Palmyra.
Started off pretty easily, but then we hit a detour at Waynesport Road which said the trail was closed at Canandaigua Road, which meant we might not be able to go further. So we had to find a detour, but it turned out to be interesting.
About a mile into our detour north on Waynesport Road, we came to a tiny cemetery where 26 Erie Canal construction workers who had died were remembered. The sign was erected “by people who cared.”
After the cemetery, we turned right onto Quaker Road. Then an amazing thing happened: it started sleeting! That was much more pleasant than rain! It bounced off us instead of getting us wet and melted soon after it hit the ground. Sort of fun! We were occasionally pelted by sleet the rest of the trip.
In Macedon, we could get back on the trail (we could see the bridge was out on Canandaigua Road), but first we had a little break at the lock park – picnic and a portable toilet! Then it was off on the trail again.
In no time, we were in our destination town of Palmyra and down Main Street to reach the Beckwith Mansion. It is owned and managed by D. Brent & Elizabethe Walton and is a tourist home, which is a different sort of lodging than a bed and breakfast.
The house is historic and roomy and busy. Brent is a professional photographer that you can find at www.dbwalton.com. Elizabethe is an artist who designs amazing greeting cards with paper crafting. She also designs costumes and other beautiful items.
Best of all, she has a workroom that was sinfully wonderful – it made me covet it and I’m pretty sure her spacious well-organized workroom will not fit in my RV! They are very generous, wonderful people to have as our hosts.