Weedsport - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

Weedsport

Our route today took us through the town of Weedsport. Most towns in upstate New York that have "port" in their name are associated with the Erie Canal. Lockport is famous for it's locks, Gasport produces gas, and Fairport is in a scenic location. 

We wondered what was behind the Weedsport name. Was it the home town of Cheech and Chong?

Kerry speculated that Weedsport might have been a major dandelion exporter. When we arrived, it seemed more likely that they exported duckweed.

Weedsville crop?
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Some research in town revealed that the town took it's name from the Weed brothers. These 3 brothers realized there was money to be made from the canal and set up docks, warehouses and a repair yard. The town grew up around this commercial hub. In later years, Weedsport became a garment center, producing hoop skirts and shirts.

We continue to see lots of cyclists on the canal trail. A tour group of 28 cyclists was staying at our hotel last night. They were with a company that rents bikes, hauls luggage, provides sag support and arranges stops and lodgings.

The scene at our hotel this morning. Knobby tire bikes are better suited to the trail than our tandems.
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There have been 3 versions of the canal. Prior to today, we have been following the most recent 1918 version, which was designed for self-propelled boats. The 1918 route can incorporate natural lakes and rivers, since no mule path is needed next to the canal. Today, our ride took us to some of the original 1825 "Clinton's Ditch" route, named for NY governor Dewit Clinton who's leadership made the canal a reality.

No one clears away tree debris from Clinton's Ditch.
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Some sections of Clinton's Ditch no longer have water in them.
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It's hard to notice that this was once an important canal.
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At times it was hard to even guess which side of the trail had been the canal.
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An aqueduct. Clinton's Ditch is on top, a creek is below.
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The aqueduct seen from above.
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We visited a museum that did a good job of explaining some of the inventions, large and small, that made digging Clinton's Ditch possible back in the 1820s. The discipline of Civil Engineering in the United States began by a bunch of ametures trying to solve the engineering problems of creating a 360 mile long artificial river across rugged terrain.

A stump pulling invention. Think of how many stumps had to be removed to create a path through hundreds of miles of forest.
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How many billions of shovelfuls of dirt were moved? A subtle change in the shape of the wheelbarrow saved a few inches of lifting on each shovelful.
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We saw some nice murals today. The 4 freedoms is a nod to FDR's 1941 state of the union speech.

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Not a mural, but I like the "abate" bicycle design.
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We had to time our passage of this field carefully to avoid being sprayed by this crop duster.
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A fuzzy wuzzy. At least I think that's the correct scientific name for this beast.
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Bill ShaneyfeltWooly bear! Loved finding them as far back as I can remember... 2 or 3 years old. About 70 years back.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrharctia_isabella

----->Bill
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10 months ago
Alain AbbateTo Bill ShaneyfeltFuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?
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10 months ago
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