Snail trail. - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

Snail trail.

Today's ride took us down the elephant's leg all the way down to his toes. After days of riding on roads, we found ourselves back on trails, beginning with the Friendship trail that took us from the Welland canal to the Niagara River.

It was a Saturday and the weather was perfect for cycling, so the trail was full of bikes. At first the riders were spread out enough so that it felt correct to greet everyone we met. As the day progressed, the riders started coming every few seconds, so I switched over from greeting everyone to just returning greetings from those who chose to say hello.

These gates are intended to keep snowmobiles off of the trail. They pose a challenge for tandems.
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The Friendship trail was full of Queen Anne's Lace.
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We were heading East, into the morning sun. Snails had been crossing the Friendship trail, leaving beautiful, silver, slimy trails behind them, glistening in the morning sun.

A trail on a trail, leading to a snail.
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Species unknown.
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Bill ShaneyfeltSometimes I get lucky on my internet searches! Common Amber Snail.

http://toronto-wildlife.com/Gastropods/gastropods.html
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10 months ago
Species also unknown. I had neither saucepan nor butter, so I couldn't collect some key data needed to identify these snails.
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Bill ShaneyfeltSometimes I get incredibly lucky, and find two in the same internet site!

Brown lipped snail.
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10 months ago
Alain AbbateTo Bill ShaneyfeltThere's a lot more than luck involved in tracking down these critters. We appreciate your interest in solving these mysteries.
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10 months ago
Boris FayferGrove snail
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grove_snail
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10 months ago
Boris FayferTo Boris Fayferoops ... The grove snail or brown-lipped snail... it is the same
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10 months ago
Alain AbbateIt's amazing to me that people can identify a brown lipped snail from a photo that doesn't even show the snail's lips.
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10 months ago
An action shot - a snail race!
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Our first glimpse of Buffalo as we come to the end of the Friendship trail.
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The Peace Bridge looks hectic because of the ongoing construction, but it was actually a pleasant crossing. We had one of the two American bound traffic lanes for our exclusive use.
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This bridge authority truck litterally had our back, following behind us to keep cars out of the lane we were using.
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Once we crossed the Peace Bridge into New York and passed through the immigration checkpoint, we transitioned from Interstate highway, to city streets, to a bike path in the space of a half mile. The bike path took us along the American side of the Niagara River. The path had a few awkward street crossings, but was much nicer than dealing with Buffalo traffic.

What is the quintessential rust belt city? Detroit? Pittsburgh? Cleveland? Surely Buffalo must be part of that select company. It was nice to combine the feeling of being in the heart of the rust belt with being on a nice bike path.

The Niagara River was a final barrier to cross for thousands of slaves escaping to Canada. A nice touch in the park next to the river was a set of plaques with information about some specific individuals who made that crossing.

Those dark lines in the sidewalk are plaques about people who crossed the river to freedom.
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Signs along the bike trail called it the Shoreline trail. But somewhere around Tonawanda it becomes the Erie Canal trail. Until around 100 years ago, a last leg of the Erie Canal ran next to the Niagara River. Mules could not pull canal boats upstream against the powerful Niagara River current. Once the boats became motorized, they could power themselves up the river and that section of the canal was abandoned.

A manually operated swing bridge that once allowed trains to cross the Erie Canal into "Goosetown" near Tonawanda.
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