Day 13 – Palmyra to Rochester

photo-13Much thanks to Wanda Pietromonica and Sue for hosting Lindsy and me tonight! Another gray, misty day on the water leaves one craving a dry warm home and a hot shower. The highlights of the day included paddling through Fairport and Bushnell, two towns which look like amazing little towns. Both actively promote their waterfront with docks that are suitable for paddle craft as well as larger boats. It is HUGE to have one of those low floating docks to tie up to hit the facilities. I wish I had been able to tarry a little longer at those towns, as they had a great vibe and outdoor minded residents.
Heading into Rochester, the Erie Canal is HORRIBLY marked at the intersection of the Genesee River. Unless I had marked it out before hand, if I were just following the markers, I would have made a right. Could not believe how horribly marked that was. All indicators were to make a right. You really had to go on faith that you were heading in the right direction. I shoulda taken a photo of it. Simply ridiculous to NOT have some sort if sign, like elsewhere on the canal, that that smaller cut is the historic Erie Canal. I had to call Lindsy to confirm the right way because the profusion of markers would have you believe otherwise.
It seems that when towns accentuate their natural resources, whether it be hiking trails and waterways, a certain culture develops around the use and appreciation of them. I ran into my first stand up paddler, Brad Larew, out enjoying the gray day. He works at North Face and one of his goals is to get more folks working-out outside. I’m totally right there- could not agree with him more. Other than a pool, I have no need for a gym. 
At the Brushnell docks I met up with Don on the Alice E. He had rowed a big portion of “the loop” when he was younger. Now at 75 he enjoys his boat and wanders from town to town along the Erie and the other canals in NY. I think that sounds like the perfect life! I love the idea of being a paddling nomad. Would be fun to really take ones time and paddle, stop and explore an area, and paddle on.
Speaking of exploring and taking the time to really soak up a place and it’s people, the folks who hosted me on Cross Lake, Deb and Jerry, have a free spirited daughter who is doing just that. She maintains a blog that beautifully describes her experiences at please check it out-well worth the read! If I weren’t paddling so much right now I’d be reading more. Am actually looking forward a day off but not thinking I’ll get one til Lake Erie, the first inland ocean I’ll come to.

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