I know when I have a good thing going.
We started our day after a great night’s sleep at the Bird Brook B&B. If you ever visit the land of Oz (Chittenango, N.Y.), I heartily recommend this place.
It is a short (honest, I mean it) walk to the downtown area and the La Cocina has real Mexican food. It’s neat to look at all the old houses and they are all old because of the Canal Boom years. The Bird Brook was built about 1830 but it is all updated. In our room, there were plenty of plugs for our electronics, a ceiling fan, a private bath and a private exterior entry.
Our hostess, Terry, did the decorating and used solid, warm colors on the walls instead of wallpaper and added just enough decorations in the room so it doesn’t take up the guest’s space.
We walked about five miles on the canal trail that is part of the state park. It has benches at reasonable intervals and signs giving the history of the canal. It’s like walking through a really, really, really long museum.
Today I learned some items to share. I had been worrying about all those people going up and down the canal on their boats and where did they stop to go to the bathroom. Well, one of the signs answered with what I had suspected – everything went overboard.
At least they were smart enough not to drink the water. They filled barrels with fresh water when they stopped at the villages. In the winter in the areas where the canal was not drained, they made ice. And I’m thinking – no! But, the sign said the canal ice was specially labeled so it wouldn’t be consumed. Whew!
Lots of families lived on the canal full time because of their business. Canal family children might only go to school from December to March while the canal couldn’t be traveled.
We got off the trail at Canastota and discovered it was there the Watson dump wagon was invented. This sped up canal work and railroad work tremendously because a man could pull a lever and dump the contents out of the bottom rather than having to scrape it out the back.
Tonight, we are staying in Oneida – home of the Oneida Nation, Oneida silverware, and the Oneida Community (a utopian commune started in 1848).