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SUBMITTED by Vicky Daly (7-Mar-2013)

Along the Canal

‘One day closer to Spring!’ That has become my frequent response when someone comments (complains?) on the current weather conditions. The grayness of too much of our canalway winter takes its toll. (Note the major exodus following the holidays and the noticeable tilt of the state to the south.) Garden shows and seed catalogs are antidotes, but so is thinking and planning for summer and all the good things that come with it.

That is certainly what is happening in canal communities from one end of the 500+ mile stretch to the other. Many events, new and highly anticipated annual ones, are still in the planning stage but, in the meantime, here is contact information if you want to do some research. Those I have, I will share so you can get them on your calendar early:
  • April 20th – Clean Sweep Along the Canal – Register you, your family, your club or any combination thereof at www.ptny.org/canalway/sweep. It is a great outing with the kids or grand kids.
  • The Lois McClure will be back on the Western Canal this summer as part of The War of 1812 Commemoration. Look for details atwww.lcmm.org , website of the ship’s owner, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Stops are planned for both its west and east bound journeys. Having been there, I know a visit to LCMM on the Champlain at Vincennes, VT is well worth the effort.
  • Athlete, motivational speaker and quadriplegic John Robinson will visit multiple sites along the canal and canal trail this summer. Travelling by recumbent bike and kayak, he will be telling his story, ‘Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story; and urging others to ‘Connect, Inspire, Achieve’ . For more information about John, go to www.wmht.org.
  • On April 26 – 28, the Canal Society of New York State,www.newyorkcanals.org will have its annual Spring Trip. This year, under the leadership of Professor Tom Grasso, they will explore the Delaware & Hudson Canal in the Kingston area. Folks who tour with Professor Grasso tell me a great time is had by all.
  • For updated calendars of canal activities across the state, checkwww.nyscanals.gov , the NYS Canal Corporation, and www.eriecanalway.org, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Both have quantities of information and downloadable maps. Another resource as you make summer plans is Canal New York Marketing and Business Alliance,www.canalny.com whose website links to its member websites – retail shops, museums, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, attractions, and communities within the Canal Corridor.
  • And then there is Cycling the Erie, an 8 day, 400 mile bike tour from Buffalo to Albany along the Canal Trail. Information and registration forms are available at www.ptny.org/canaltour. Note that if you have questions or are interested in working as a volunteer during part or all of the week, call (607) 423-2769 and have a conversation. For the last 10 years I have met the 500 or so cyclists for breakfast in Pittsford at 6:00 AM before they continue east to their first water stop of that day in Palmyra. They are good, good people from literally all over the country and the world.

Finally, I have to leave with you a recommendation for the book I am currently reading, Summer in a Glass – The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes by Evan Dawson. If the author’s name seems familiar, it should. Mr. Dawson is the morning news anchor at WHAM TV in Rochester. The best books transport you to another place or time and this one manages to do that on a blustery winter day, making you think spring – and summer.


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