Friday, July 13, 2012

Cycling the Erie Canal - Day 6

Day 6 –Rome to Canajoharie (63.36 miles)
Gary shuttled the car today and rode with us during the middle section of the ride through Little Falls and to Lock 17.

Mark, running Lock 18 and waiting for a tour boat headed down stream.
Today we reached the Canalway path within 4 miles of leaving Fort Stanwix.  After 17 miles, we hit roads the rest of the morning following the Mohawk River and various sections of old (pre barge)canal.  About 5 miles before reaching Little Falls, Harold and I took an off course detour to visit Lock 18 and met the lockmaster, Mark, who spent about an hour (while working) showing us around and how the equipment worked as a tour boat passed through the lock. It was a relaxing hour spent off the beaten path, and one could easily think they were back in the early 1920’s since the scenery was the same at it would have been back then.  All of the lock equipment is original from when the barge canal was built to replace the old canal in the late 1910’s.

Lock 18
At Little Falls we took another detour into town and to Lock 17, one of my favorites from the 2010 ABB ride.  (Great memories of walking to Lock 17 after dinner at sunset with Jeff, Baltimore Mark, Alex, Todd, and Leo back in July 2010.) This was at one time the highest lift lock in the world and with a lift of 40.5 feet, has a 150 ton lock door that lifts straight up with a counterweight.  (The height of the lock and weight of the water in the lock precludes the normal side opening gates.) Five million gallons of water are used each time a boat passes through the lock.
Lock 17 with the white counterweight above and the 31 ft. high door closed below.
 After leaving Little Falls, Harold and I cycled on roads to Canajoharie where we are camping at Canajoharie High School. After a quick shower and camp setup, we drove about 30 miles to Cooperstown and visited the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum this evening as it was open until 9PM. Then, back to town where there was music in downtown Canajoharie until about 10PM. A great day in upstate New York indeed.

Cooperstown, NY

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