Paths to Syracuse
September 17, 2010
Good morning world! It’s an overcast, spittin’ wet Friday morning. The only thing that’s dry is my sense of humor. I jump on Gravel Road, which eventually leads me to Armitage Road. Corn and soybean fields flood the land around huge farms with formidable barns. The narrow two-lane road climbs and descends to SR 31. Soon I arrive in the town of Montezuma where produce stands are plentiful. On my way to Port Byron, I spot a dog sitting on top of his doghouse.
Outside Centerport, I enter a short bike path portion of the Erie Canalway Trail. I cycle by wetlands and come to the Centerport Aqueduct. The purpose of an aqueduct is to carry the canal and its towpath over a river, a ravine, a railroad, or a road. Typically, the towpath is carried across an aqueduct on stone arches, while the canal itself is carried across in an adjacent heavily braced wooden trough resting on stone piles. There were 18 of these amazing structures along the canal.
Most of the remains of old locks, bridges and aqueducts I see along the path are from the Old Erie Canal and the Enlarged Erie Canal. Much of the Erie Canalway Trail runs by the defunct Enlarged Erie Canal. The modern Erie Canal (Barge) is located to the north of the old canals.
The path ends and I’m cycling along SR 31. Just before the town of Weedsport, I discover a mural painted on an old canal remnant. It depicts The “Four Freedoms” as described by Franklin Roosevelt, in August 1941 in the State of the Union Address. A train with four cars represents the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom of fear. It is quite an impressive site.
I turn onto Towpath Road and start riding on a 20-mile bike path that will take me to Syracuse, New York. It is still overcast and nasty out. My nose and hands are cold as I cycle by woods on a grassy path. I arrive in the town of Jordan where people are busy setting up for a weekend celebration. Tents and carnival rides line the park road waiting for the hustle and bustle of people.
In the town of Van Buren, I find my long lost friend, the sun. It’s warm rays are good for whatever ails me. I arrive in Camillus Park and the trail ends in the city of Syracuse. It’s time to call it a day. Destiny is tire..d and I’m ravenous. See you tomorrow along the Erie Canal.