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If that works, that's sort of the route I've taken so far. Sort of. The letters are where I've slept...well, roughly where I've slept. I'm not making as much distance each day as I'd like, but I'm assuming that'll change in time.
The first couple days I was super not impressed. My hips and knees were killing me and everything seemed to go so sloooooooow. Well, now it's my shoulders and feet that are killing me, and things still seem to be going slowly, but I'm getting accustomed to that. It's just frustrating to work so hard all day, then look at the map and see you've only gone about an inch on there! But I think it's just a different mindset I have to get used to.
Honestly, it hasn't been the wonder and adventure that I imagined. Yet. No treasure chests waiting in fields or caves. No secret coded maps or messages. No wise old people giving me advice or encouragement. No fellow adventurers joining up to adventure together. But hey, it's still early, right?
And Eastern NY is not impressing me. I guess I was spoiled with the Western side of the Erie Canal, where they have little towns/villages nestled right along the canal, and plenty of grassy areas to set up a tent. None of that over this way. Instead you get chunks of trail, then chunks of Rt 5 (with a ton of trucks that don't slow down), and then every ten miles or something you get kind of sketchy cities. So yeah, not impressed.
But, as I go Westward there's more and more actual Canal trails, which is way better than walking on the road. And as I follow the river I'm hoping I'll have more random spots along the bank to camp.
I have met a handful of friendly folk along the way. The second day I met a couple of ladies sitting in a park along the Mohawk/Hudson bike trail. Then, around the same area, I met a man named Don who walked with me for a ways. He told me the history of the area, and where I should keep a lookout for a pair of Bald Eagles that had recently moved in the area. He walked about a mile then turned around to head back home, wishing me luck on my walk.
And the other day I met another Don, who was also super friendly. He told me all about the trail in the area, and how he was on the committee for cleaning up the river and the trail, and how he and his buddies often participate in canoe races down the canal in the summer. He told me to head to Lock 9, and that if the Lockmaster gave me any trouble just tell 'em Cannoeing Don sent me. (I didn't actually make it to Lock 9 and instead just found a random spot to camp that night.)
I haven't gotten pictures of any of these friendly folks because after that Toll Booth Lady incident I find myself nervous about photographing people. Once you've been lunged at by a Toll Booth Lady, it leaves a mark. I suppose I need to get over that, because I really do regret not getting pictures of the Dons. They were pretty awesome old dudes. (Both had full beards, if that helps your mental image.)
Tomorrow I plan to get at least 10 miles down the river, where I'm hoping there will be a nice place to set up camp. Then, hopefully, the day after that I'll make it to the Ace of Diamonds Mine and Campground. You can mine for diamonds and get to keep anything you find! But I'll probably pass on that and just make use of their campgrounds.
CouchSurfing has been pretty disappointing. It was helpful for the first nights stay, but I haven't had any luck after that. Bummer.
Okay, now onto pictures. Just to let you know, these aren't cropped or sized or anything. I just dump them online from my camera and go. So some of them are kinda dark or whatever.
Day 3 - we finally get to the Erie Canal/Mohawk River! Woo!
Day 3 - a small park along the trail. This part of the trail used to be the old Troy to Schenectady Railroad, and this was the train station. I guess the family that ran the station used the building as a house too.
A nice little rest station along the trail in Niskayuna.
A view of the Mohawk River. We were resting before having to hike down the hill and cross that bridge.
And a fuzzy picture of the trail with the canal.
And camping by the river.
Looking back, I realize I need to take more pictures. But when you're walking it all kinda looks the same. Small paved trail with the canal or the river next to you. Same ol' same ol'. But I suppose it's not so boring if you're not walking it 8 hours a day. I'll try and snap more in the next couple days.