So, last time I updated was way back in Utica. Man, that was forever ago. I made it to Rome just fine, and even had a delicious dinner cooked by my lovely host for the night. After dinner I even got a tour of Rome!
The day after....wasn't so great. I don't really want to talk about it, but by the end of the day I was so fed up I actually went in to an Enterprise place to see about renting a car. Turns out I can't rent a car, due to not having a real credit card. Or something. But! A friendly guy who heard my plight offered me a ride to Syracuse. Score!
So after Tim, my friendly driver, got out of work he drove me over to Syracuse and the lovely pet-friendly Red Roof Inn. Tim was, I'd guess, about my age and had lots of stories of adventures of his own. However, Tim did not want his picture taken, so you'll just have to imagine the how awesome he is.
Next up, Syracuse and couchsurfing! I found a person in Syracuse that was in walking distance from where I was, and she graciously let us stay with her, even though it was such short notice.
The day started out with me just about in tears from frustration, but ended going to an Irish Pub and eating a delicious veggie burger and fries, so I count it as a win overall.
Anna enjoyed having a bed, methinks:
God, I'm trying to think back, and there's so much more I want to say, but so many days to cover! After Syracuse the days only got better. I've met so many friendly and helpful people, it's just been amazing.
So I think the next day was out of Syracuse and back to the trail. I was so excited to get off the road and back on the actual Erie Canal trail. Words cannot describe!
The end of that day brought us to Camillus and Sim's Store Museum, which is staffed with the most helpful and friendly of volunteers. I cannot say enough how awesome these people were. Not only did they direct me to a good (and free!) camping spot back down the canal a ways, but they offered to open the museum the next morning so I could use the facilities and fill my water for the day.
And that's not the only reason Camillus is so awesome! The next morning I stopped in to fill up on water and whatnot, but I was a tad early. I started chatting with some early morning joggers and after explaining my route they told me that there wasn't easy access to any stores for quite a ways, and then offered to drive me to the local WalMart to stock up on food and supplies. How awesome is that?
But wait, there's more! So we get back from Walmart and Liz, the lady to open the musuem, is there. She not only lets me and my dog in to use the bathroom etc, but she gives us a postcard for a momento, tells us a good place to camp when we get to Jordan, and then offers us cookies for the road. Seriously awesome people.
Next up - Jordan! Which is also filled with magically awesome people. I'm serious, this week has been filled with wonderful people.
Okay, so we walk down the trail about eight miles and get to Jordan, which is a rather small town, but has done some neato things with the trail. See, I'm not actually following the Erie Canal at this point, but the Old Erie Canal, which has been abandoned. Mostly this means it's overgrown and kind of marshy, and then totally dried up in spots. But Jordan has done something a little different..
They've made a cool park between the old canal walls!Pretty neato. So anyway, we walk up the old canalway there, and spot a woman doing some weeding along Main St. So we walk up and I introduce myself and Anna and explain that we're hiking the trail and looking for a spot to set up our tent. Long story short, the woman, Colleen, owns the dance studio right there in town and would be happy to let us sleep there for the night. Score!
Anna enjoys the low windows in the studio:
Our next stop was going to be Port Byron, where Colleen had a friend who was going to let us camp on their lawn for the night. However, we got talking and eventually Colleen offered to give me a ride to Newark. See, the trail kind of stops in Port Byron and then you have to walk along Rt 31 for about 25 miles or so until Newark where the trail picks back up. Colleen said, and I totally agree, that I didn't want to be walking along 31 and that she was totally willing to give us a ride.
So, now here we are in the Village of Newark, NY. We arrived at the Chamber of Commerce/Info Center where I walked in and asked if the dudes there knew of a place to set up my tent for the night. Long story short, again, and I'm talking to the mayor himself and am shortly set up at the Canal Port where I have a key for the facilities (bathroom, shower, laundry, and electricity!) and a lovely view of the canal.
Tonight, we camp in style.
Life has been pretty good to me these past few days.
If you want to see all the pictures I've taken over the trip, you can head on over to my Picasa album, where I'll be uploading all my pictures along the way.
Next stop - Palmyra!