The Erie Canal

Ken leads the way.

Ken leads the way.

Our new friend Ken guided us west this morning.  Leslie and Ken live in an historic house in a gorgeous 90 acre neighborhood near Union College, the GE Realty Plot.  The Stockade District also is historic, and much older.

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Then we started west.

imageOld locks …imageimage

… and new.

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Rain fell intermittently, sometimes heavily.

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At the 25 mile mark, the humans (including Leslie, who drove out to retrieve Ken) ate lunch at an ice cream and sandwich place.  The trikes and our Ride signs attracted attention.  Jeffrey explained to a family how asylum applicants are lost without lawyers, and how Human Rights First tries to provide them.  The mother said she will follow our progress on the Web.

Then Jeffrey and I took our leave of Leslie and Ken, and continued west through overcast that turned into heavy rain.  We heard thunder, saw distant lightning, and climbed steep upgrades that were as long as a mile and a quarter, our uphill crawls followed by 35 mph descents.

Weather and terrain limited our contact with locals today.  It was a relief to find a motel with a vacancy – like many other motels in the Heartland, this one is run by a family from India – and get out of the rain.  The manager gave us a discount and rearranged the guest list so we could have a ground-floor room and bring the trike inside.

Americans often pretend to practice “rugged individualism.”  But self-sufficiency is a myth.  All of us depend on others’ kindness, work and good will.  On our Rides, most of the time, people do not disappoint us.  It brings to mind the refrain from the 1905 Thomas Allen song:

Low bridge, everybody down / Low bridge for we’re coming to a town / And you’ll always know your neighbor / You’ll always know your pal / If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Farm

Farm

Every little town has interesting buildings. This one is in Ft. Plain.

Every little town has interesting buildings. This one is in Ft. Plain.

Steep downhill - after steep uphill. Remember, we started at sea level.

Steep downhill – after steep uphill. Remember, we started at sea level.

Storm clouds.

Storm clouds.

Some of these hills have roads up them, not around them.

Some of these hills have roads up them, not around them.

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One thought on “The Erie Canal

  1. Joey, You and Jeffrey are magnets for good people. I think you find the good ones right away and then turn the grumpy ones into happy ones. Keep up the good work and remember to come out of the rain.

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