Kayaking on the Hudson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Erie Canal - Lockport to Rochester Part 3

July 6 – We started our day with a newsman from a Buffalo TV station who took some film of us launching and paddling about, and interviewed two of us kayakers.  When we finally got started for real, we paddled to Brockport for our lunch stop.

Unloading Phebe the Erie Canal Mule
While we were walking into town, we came across and old man, Jack, unloading a full-sized mule statue off of a trailer.  He was attempting this alone so we offered our assistance.  It turns out that the statue – Phebe- was in for repairs and needed to get back to her perch overlooking the marina.  So we pushed and pulled and finally got the mule back where she belonged.  As a thank-you, Jack told us to go to 58 Main Street for lunch.  No one there knew who Jack was, but it was really good food.  
Jack & Phebe

Our "campsite" in Adam's Basin
Paddling on, we arrived at Adam’s Basin and took out at another B&B whose owners had graciously allowed us to camp on their lawn.  Once again, a few of us availed ourselves of the comfy rooms.  We drove into Spencerport and had great BBQ at the Taste of Texas.  The next morning, we once again had an amazing breakfast buffet.

Where the Erie Canal meets the Genesee River
July 7 – Our lunch stop this day was Henpeck Park in the town of Greece.  It was a nice spot to stop, relax and eat lunch while we reflected on this year’s trip. 

Our final destination for this trip
After lunch, it was off to the finish line- the Genesee Waterways Park in Rochester.  The landing here was a paddler’s dream.  The center has over 100 feet of low docks and nice wide ramps that lead to the parking lot.  It was good to be back to where we started this trip four years ago.  At this point, we have paddled from the Niagara River to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal—about half of the total canal.

Observations – I have read a couple of travel logs written by people who have kayaked the Erie Canal.  They listed this section as very boring and said that there was nowhere to get out of the canal.  I found it very scenic.  It is true that several sections are walled in by the ubiquitous broken rocks found all along the canal and much of the way you can only see the trees that line the canal, but I found it very green and peaceful.  There is a stretch of a few miles leading into Rochester where the canal walls are very high, but even here we found the occasional flat rock on the side where we could get out and stretch.  I think because we paddled as a group and took time to walk around the towns; the trip was much more interesting.  If you were paddling alone and focused only about covering as many miles as possible in a day, then I suppose it would be boring. 

The other thing we noticed is that many of the towns have added low docks or ramps.  Approximately half of the landings we used this trip did not exist 4 years ago. 

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