Tuesday, June 1, 2010

of Florists and Fountains; Tonawanda to Lockport

So, we had reached the end of the canal, but that was not in fact the end of the story!

Mostly because there was nowhere to stay at the end of the canal, so after taking pictures and having a rest to bask in the wonder of reaching our (sort of) goal, Anna and I turned around and started walking back eastward.

We found an island park that, during the daylight hours, was currently an unofficial town dog park. Which was cool. But when asking if the locals thought it'd be an okay place to camp for the night I was told that when the sun went down the vampires "perverts" and drug dealers came out. I decided to keep walking.

I ended up stopping in at a random store, Menne Nursery, and asking if the workers there knew of anyplace to stay for the night. After asking around and hanging out for awhile the owners came out and said I could camp in their yard, which was right behind the store. Score!

Here we are, tucked away in their yard.

The next morning Anna and I got up and started walking. Then ran into a cemetery and the end of the trail...so we turned around and went to the nearby grocery store. And it was Fate, for there we struck up a conversation with, as her family called her, Aunt Nat. She was a very generous grandmother who offered to drive us to her nephew's house where they'd let me sleep for the night.

She was very sweet, and after finding out that her nephew was home because his wife was horribly ill with a stomach flu, and that he had extra children staying with him because his grandmother-in-law passed away that morning, well Aunt Nat and I decided that it wasn't the best time for a house guest. So instead Aunt Nat drove me all the way to Lockport (it wasn't that far away, maybe five minutes down the road?).

That night we camped out again. This time in the side yard of the Wide Waters Drive-In, which if you're in the Lockport area I highly recommend. I didn't actually eat any of the food so I can't say if it's good or not, but the owners are super friendly and they have a kick-ass playground that includes...

The world's coolest water fountain!

How can you say no to that?

We tucked the tent away on the opposite side of the playground, so as not to disturb people too much. Can you spot the tent?

And right across the street was the Wide Waters Marina, which had a public bathroom and showers for boaters and hikers. Also a very nice park area and a boat launch where I let Anna swim around and cool off.

The day after that we got up early (but not too early to be accosted by Jehovah's Witnesses. Seriously people, do I look like I have any extra room to carry your little pamphlets?) and started on our way to Middleport.

Next up: Canadian Sailors!

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