Day 87: Weedsport to Chittenango to Cazenovia - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

August 26, 2021

Day 87: Weedsport to Chittenango to Cazenovia

A ride to Cazenovia by a College Friend

“Can you believe it? It’s been 50 years,” Mimi and Rachel both say. Mimi and Rachel lived in Columbia Hall at Stephens College 1968-70. We re-connected through Facebook along with Michigan roommates Linda and Ann.  This past spring, Ann arranged a Skype meeting with the 4 of us. That is when Mimi invited us to stay if we were near Syracuse.

Stephens College, Columbia MO 1968-70 (Left to RIght) Mimi, Ann, Linda, Sue, Chopeta, Judy
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Friends visited the Covered Bridge in Rachel's home town of Cowden Illinois. (Left to RIght) Mimi, Ann, Sue, Linda, Rachel, Judy J
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Once again we are on the road early to beat the heat of the day. We find the trail and Patrick sets a fast and furious pace. The canal water appears stagnant and smells organic: lots of bugs. The trail surface good and we make good time. The challenge today is to get through Syracuse and off the road before it’s too hot.

Patrick has pinned on the tablet a route through Syracuse, but the plan is to follow any bike signs we see. This goes pretty good until we are at an intersection after crossing the railroad, and past the fairgrounds with the interstate ahead. We go right to get to an underpass to the interstate and the lake. We see a “Loop the Lake Trail” sign that takes us under the interstate and to the lake trail. Then the Empire State Trail signs return. This is always reassuring to see that we are still on track in the correct direction.

Eventually we are on the Creekwalk Trail with one more confusing intersection until Patrick sees the bike sign off to the far right. This leads us through downtown on Water Street and on a bike path on Erie Blvd that looks brand new and is not shown on Google maps.

This new bike path on Erie Blvd is fantastic, two lanes separated from traffic with intersection crossings painted green and the lights with little bicycles. The trail leads us all the way out of the city and to the Old Erie Canal Historic State Park. This part of the trail goes 36 miles from Butternut Creek east of Syracuse to Rome.  It is part of the original Long Level section of the Erie Canal. The first town we reach is Jordan about 4 miles where the old canal has been made into a beautiful sunken garden. We see this all along the trail, nice gardens in the old canal.

It’s hot and humid and we reach Chittenango we pass by the Landing and find the Subway Restaurant just before noon. There is only one overworked and grumpy employee who is making sandwiches at a steady pace but cannot keep up with the growing line inside the restaurant. We call Mimi to let her know we are here. Mimi volunteers at the Local Food Bank and will be able to leave to pick us up in 15 minutes. “No worries,” Rachel says. “We are comfortable in the air conditioning in Subway and will eat lunch. Half an hour late she pulls in and we load our gear in the car and bikes on the bike rack and see the hills that we don’t need to climb.

Mimi gets us settled into a room in her house. We go to dinner at the golf course at Green Lake State Park. We take a short hike around the lake to see what we missed by not camping here.  

After two rest days, we will cycle back to Chittenango and continue on the Erie Canalway.

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Sunken garden in the old erie canal
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Downtown Syracuse
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Erie Blvd and new bike path takes out of Syracuse to the Old Erie Canal Historic Park
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Chittenango Landing
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Mimi picks us up in Chittenango to her home in Cazenovia
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View of Green Lake that we would have missed if we camped here.
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Dinner at Green Lake
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Rachel and Mimi, Columbia Hall Stephens College, 1968-70
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Dessert in Cazenovia
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Mimi picked us up in Chittenango to her house in Cazenovia. After two rest days, we'll cycle the 9 miles back to Chittenango and continue on the Erie Canalway.

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Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 3,619 miles (5,824 km)

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