Last’s nights stay was at the best hotel in Little Falls but then again it was the only hotel in Little Falls so it could also be described as the worst hotel in Little Falls. Let’s just say the wi-fi was next to non-existent and thus this post is a day late.
It was 80 F and very humid at the 7:30 am start. By 8 am it was raining. Not enough to flood the roads but a steady rain non-stop. It stayed that way until about an hour before we reached our destination then the rain let up and the skies cleared. As we checked in at the hotel the sun was shining. Actually the rain was better to ride in than the hot humid conditions. It cooled you off a bit. Two riders did take a tumble as one mis-read the depth of a water-filled pothole and went down, with the 2nd rider falling on top. Neither was hurt badly. Just some scrapes and bruises. Both will continue the ride.
Our route took us through thickly treed old New York towns, with old red brick buildings in the downtown area and old stone and brick factories with big gray smokestacks; many having closed years ago. Many of the streets into and out of the town centers were lined with stately old Victorian homes and well kept yards. These towns have clearly been here since the 1700’s and their fortunes have risen and fallen with the industrial surge in the first half of the 20th century, followed by the migration of manufacturing offshore in the late 20th century. The expansion of the railways also took commerce away from the Erie canal which had been the life blood of the area in the 1800’s.
One unusual sight along our ride was a tiny chapel on a pier in the middle of an algae covered lake at Oneida NY that is touted as the world’s smallest church. It’s floor space measures 51″ x 81″. They say folks get married here but three is a tight squeeze and definitely no room for best man or maid of honor.
The terrain became hillier as we rode into the Mohawk Valley and traversed the edge of the Adirondacks later in the day. We will not see much flat land from here until the Atlantic. Our destination for the night is Little Falls NY, a charming little town of 5,000 people by the Mohawk R. / Erie Canal. Original industries were a sawmill, grist mill and foundry; all taking advantage of the water flow to operate their machinery back then.
The canal drops 40 ft over a short distance here. The current lock (#17) at Little Falls was constructed in the mid 20th century to replace 3 of the original locks. It’s the largest lock on the Erie Canal.
Once at the hotel we all spent a good 30 minutes, cleaning and re-lubing our bikes before heading across the street to the laundromat for the last laundry load of the tour. Tomorrow’s weather calls for sunny skies and cooler temps.
Four riding days left…….