Mileage: 78 miles
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Humidity was there but not super thick. Winds out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
We rode into Little Falls without any rain. The staff is confused but no one is complaining. Our standard MO is dodging thunderstorms on the way out of Liverpool and then racing them to beat them as we head into Little Falls. Neither of those scenarios occurred today. We might make up for this tomorrow but that’s tomorrow.
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 28 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.
We had a visitor today. Joan rode with the Cross Country Challenge in 2012 and Maine Foliage Tour in 2015. She drives up 2 hours from Ithaca each year to visit and bring us incredibly tasty homemade cookies. We all definitely got our sugar fix this morning. It was also great fun catching up with Joan and all her post-retirement plans, of which some even include AbB. We really like that idea and look forward to her riding with again soon. Thank you Joan!!
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. I am still in search of the answer.
In addition to their chores, 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. Some of our riders were able to see it in action. Two working locks on one tour, that's a record! Oh and there is ice cream nearby.
We have a reception, courtesy of our hotel here in Little Falls, a dinner, and rap to go before the end of the day. Then it’s only 4 more riding days until we dip wheels in the Atlantic. Its 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.