Four weeks on the road, though I am still east of where I started in Washington DC. If you look at a relief map from Wikipedia (below), yesterday I passed the skinniest part of that gap in the hills/mountains. Today the flat part of the landscape started to widen and the Empire Trail also has more gravel sections. This let me try a mix of following the trail and taking small more direct paved routes.
Today I passed Utica and ended just south of the Eastern end of Oneida Lake in the map above. I have cycled through this corridor twice before. The first time in 1988 on a trip from Boston to Rochester Minnesota. The second time crossing the US from west to east in 1992. Those trips 30+ years ago I used maps and stayed on the mid-sized roads. The use of GPS mapping and introduction of the Empire State Trail makes it easier to take smaller roads. For example despite passing along Utica, I barely noticed the town.
It was 39F this morning. One peaceful calm photo of the Mohawk River as I cross back to follow the trail.
These geese were defensively hissing as I cycled past. I saw many goslings along the canal.
After Frankford, a few miles of quiet road.
Construction barges in the canal.
The trail took us across the top of this lock.
Lock #20 had a small park, a campground and signs like this one about the New York Navy (in the canal). I met three other groups of cyclists along the canal.
This boat is inside a barge.
This section was about two miles of gravel right along the canal. I also cycled another section of six miles and otherwise bypassed other gravel sections.
An example of the country roads I followed instead. Mostly rural, though I did pass by a large prison (I believe Mohawk Correctional Facility with ~1000 inmates).
The last few miles brought me back to the trail including passing over the top of this aqueduct.
Canastota is the site of the Boxing Hall of Fame. I am not enough of a boxing fan to pay $15.50 admission to see what is inside.
The gift shop was free. It includes this boxing ring from Madison Square Garden that I was told had the Ali/Frasier boxing match. Also in the gift shop, one can buy framed photos of other boxers, most of whom I don’t know.
Strava says: 50.21 miles in 5:20:04 for 9.4 miles/hour. 1073 feet climbed and 3417 calories burned.