Thursday’s walk wasn’t too spectacular, but it was free of problems … that’s good every now and then.
Leah had a tough time Wednesday, like sore feet and general discomfort. Last Friday and Sunday (two consecutive walking days since we took off Saturday), I had considerable issues with my left knee, but I’ve had no problems since then.
So, Thursday, we walked mostly through the countryside, past one farm after another.
There was yet another hailed greeting. We were passing what was apparently a Mennonite family (of which, along with Amish, are fairly common around here) with the mom and children, or maybe two moms and children, working in the garden. One girl, about 13 years old, was pushing a hand-driven plow. The others were doing an assortment of things.
Mom yelled out, “How far are you going?” That’s probably the most common way for people to ask about what we’re doing. (There was a guy as we passed through Port Byron who asked, “Are you walking?” as we were putting on our packs after a break. I resisted the urge to say, “No, we’re flying; don’t you recognize our jetpacks?”)
Anyway, Leah exchanged pleasantries with the mom and we went on.
The photo at top was taken as we left Port Byron. It is the beginning of a remaining segment of the original canal, which Leah talks about below. There are a couple of extra pics on the photo page here.
We learned something Thursday: walking long distances is ever so much pleasant when you can take a nice long break to see something interesting or have a slow lunch.
We had the most pleasant meal at the Port Byron Diner. Best BLT I ever had.
To me today, the walk was sort of sad. We walked along the old canal from Port Byron to Weedsport. Most of the way, the canal was nothing more than a creek running through a sea of cattails.
It was the original canal dug by hand, only 4 feet deep. Now those hearty individuals have been replaced by beavers working hard to construct a new landscape.
After the first digging of the canal, it underwent two upgrades and now it is part of the New York barge canal system. But as we walked past the old canal, I thought about all the artifacts from by gone days on the bottom of that big ditch, and all the people who traversed the state via canal.
Some cities have dwindled to tiny villages since the boom period of the canal ended. Railroads and highways caused businesses to reroute.
Our canal trail way has hundreds of signs relating stories about the building of the canal and the people who lived and died during those amazing years.