Mileage: 78 miles
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Mid 80s to end. Winds out of the SSE. And dry. Huh??
Highlights of the day:
There was no rain today. We rode to Little Falls. There was no rain today. But we rode to Little Falls! The entire staff is flummoxed. We are confused. It always rains when we ride into Little Falls. Something is a bit off in the balance of things but we will attempt to adjust to this reality. We rode to Little Falls and it didn’t rain??!!??
Today started on roads through Liverpool and other suburbs of Syracuse. It was more traffic and traffic lights than we’ve seen all tour. After an unofficial count of 27 traffic lights, we made it out of town and on to quieter roads with fewer signals. Our route followed the Erie Canal & Mohawk River for most of the day and then took a parallel route along the NY Throughway. We’ll have more opportunities tomorrow to get a little more up close and personal with more locks along the waterway.
A different tourist attraction today was The World’s Smallest Church. It was built back in 1989. It seats two people. It sits in the middle of a small pond covered in algae. You might ask yourself, as I did, why one would build a church that seats two people in the middle of the pond. If you find the answer – please send it along.
We had a visitor today at our first SAG stop. Joan, an alumna from the Cross Country Challenge 2012 and Fall Foliage 2015, drove up from Ithaca, NY to say hi and bring us some of the most decadent cookies. 4 different kinds. Chocolate peanut butter cup, Cocoa ginger snaps, Cherry cordial and Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. All amazing. She sent the riders off with the most delightful sugar buzz. It was great catching up with Joan and the cookies were delicious.
After arriving in Little Falls (with no rain), some riders took a quick side trip down to Lock No 17. It is touted, by wikimapia.com to be “the largest single lock in New York State and on the Erie Canal, and at the time of its 1916 completion it held the title of being the world's highest single lift lock at the time raising boats 40.5 feet.” As explained to me, rather than having doors that hinge open to change the water levels, the door lifts like a guillotine. It is impressive. Oh and there is ice cream nearby.
With no rain, there wasn’t as much bike cleaning as we usually see here at the hotel. However, there was a lot of laundry washing at a laundromat. A laundromat right across the street from the hotel. A laundromat that is probably the last laundromat for most of the riders & staff on this tour. Wiping a tear as I type.
We had a reception, courtesy of our hotel here in Little Falls, a dinner, and rap to end the day. It’s only 4 more riding days until we dip wheels in the Atlantic. It’s that :) and :( part of the tour. Excited to see the end approaching but also not wanting it to end. Perhaps that’s why we staff members keep coming back year after year.