To continue from last night, Dave and Ying from Pittsburg were the cyclists that came in as I was doing my blog post. But wait, there's more! Not much later, Ralph from Chicago area rolled in, then even later, two more guys (I talked to both this morning, but only got one guy's name, Avery). Yes, there ended up being 6 of us!
Ying and Dave are newlyweds on their honeymoon. They have the same tent as me, only their tent is new...so shiny and clean! I gave them a couple of tips on setting it up.
Everyone except me is doing the Erie Canal, going east. Ralph started in Anacortes doing Northern Tier, but became disenchanted in Montana (the drivers were terrible, he says). He didn't realize he was back on the NT route.
Ralph and I walked into town (Holley) to one of two restaurants, Sam's Diner. Everyone we talked to recommended the fish fry, so we both had that. It was good, very salty (so I didn't have to get up once to pee last night--bonus!).
Back at our tents on the canal side, we chatted with Ying and Dave for awhile. The moon came up pretty full, and it was a beautiful night along the canal.
|Ralph, Ying and Dave|
|The Holley Drawbridge|
Everyone had said they were slow going getting packed up in the morning. I woke up at 5:45, got up to pee, and got back in my sleeping bag. However, due to some chatting Canada geese, I couldn't go back to sleep. I just got up and started my usual morning routine.
|Good morning geese!|
Ralph was up before long. The other two guys were up and packed pretty quickly. It was a little longer before Ying and Dave were moving about. I took my time packing because Ralph and I had loosely planned to ride together. We were all going to the same place, Macedon.
|Everyone packing up|
Ralph and I headed out about 8:30 or so. Ying and Dave were still packing up. Ralph had said he was a slow rider--about 9-10mph. Actually, it was more like 13-14mph. But, we had a tailwind, and the trail was dry. It was pretty easy.
At Spencerport we decided a break was in order, and opted for 2nd breakfast at a place called Slayton's. I had a banana pecan waffle. It was quite good.
Back on the Canal Trail we cruised along headed for Rochester, NY. Although it wasn't difficult navigation, we did have to pay attention as there were many bike routes. We had to follow the yellow Erie Canal Trail arrows. Then we came to a spot where the trail was closed, and we had to detour. We came out to the road (we were mostly through Rochester by then), and I turned right. Ralph asked if I knew where I was going. I said, "Yep". I had no idea where I was going. All I was doing was following the Detour signs.
At one point, Ralph got ahead of me a bit. We came down a big hill. I could see the next detour sign. I yelled at Ralph when I could see he was going to sail by it. Of course, he couldn't hear me. I stopped, and waited for Ralph to realize I wasn't there. Pretty soon, I saw him turn around and head back along the sidewalk. When he got back to me, I said, "We need to turn here." He said, "Oh, is that the sign?" Uh...yep. Reminded me of a certain German...yes, you Christian!
After the detour, we were riding along the Canal when we came to the first lock I'd seen since Lockport. We pulled over to have a look and take some photos. About the time we were going to leave, the gates of the downstream part close, and the lock tender comes out. I asked if a boat was coming. He said there was one in the lock. Then he said we could go with him to the other end and watch the process. His name was Louie, and he has a brother that owns a winery in Leavenworth, WA. The shop in town is called Monaco. I'll have to check it out next time I'm in Leavenworth.
|Boat coming in down below out of sight|
|It looks so tiny down there|
|Louie and me|
|Boat moving out|
It was totally cool to watch the lock work. So, once the gates are closed, the lock tender opens the upstream valves, and water comes in to fill the lock (this one has to rise 25 feet). Once the lock is at the upstream water level, he opens the gate, and the boat goes out. I asked if he just left it like that until the next boat came, but he said there was already another boat coming from downstream. He closed the gate, then walked down to the other end and opened the valves to let the water out of the lock. We got back on our bikes, and went to where we could see the water bubbling up from the valves. Once the water level is back down, he opens the downstream gate. We were lucky to have been there at just the right time!
|Water bubbling up from the lower valve|
Back on the Canal, our next planned stop was for ice cream in Pittsford. A guy I met yesterday had told me about the Pittsford Dairy. Pittsford was pretty touristy. After a few false directions (part of which brought me to the Towpath Bike Shop where I got a sticker, so all good), we finally found it. It was a pretty awesome place. I had to restrain myself from buying the awesome food (so much more than just ice cream). I settled with a two scoop bowl of Dirty Coconut (Coconut with chocolate bits in it) and a chocolate with peanut butter fudge. Serious goodness!!!
|Pittsford Dairy Ice Cream|
We had 14 more miles from Pittsford to Macedon. I had to stop at this lemonade stand that these two little girls (and their mom) had going. I had a nice big glass of pink lemonade. It cost a dollar, and I gave them a dollar tip for such good service.
We arrived at Macedon, and I could see the tables and potty shack on the other side of the Canal. There is also a Lock. Here it was possible to walk my bike across the lock gate. I said goodbye to Ralph as he was going to go on further. Tomorrow I will leave the Canal at Palmyra which is in 3 miles. Ralph was going to camp at the Lock in Palmyra, but I wanted to have a little bit more time on the Canal tomorrow.
|Walking across the gate|
Not 10 minutes after I got off my bike, Ying and Dave arrived. They crossed over the Canal. A boat was coming into the Lock, so we watched that. I told them Ralph had gone on to camp at the Palmyra Lock. They decided to go there too. Supposedly, there were showers at a marina there. Well, after I got my tent set up, and was changing out of my bike shorts, Ying and Dave were back. They said there was no water in Palmyra (weird if there were showers). So, we are camping together again, which is great! I don't know where Ralph went, but he didn't come back here.
I've really enjoyed riding the Erie Canal Trail. This could make a good tour with My Sweet Baboo!