Utica to Amsterdam

June 8, 2017 § 1 Comment

There’s just one canal in this Amsterdam. 
Quite a long day for us today! We got out of Utica pretty early and headed east, bouncing between the Erie Canal bike trail and highway 5, which is a New York State bike path in the form of a wide shoulder. Our goal was to make the shortest day possible, using the quiet trail when convenient and the paved highway when it went somewhere more directly on our map. However, that map makes no mention of altitude gains. We wound up hiking around three miles of uphill over the course of the day, because it turns out the canal went around some serious hills. One of those hills was definitely one of the biggest we’ve climbed! After a punishing few hours, we elected to stick to the low, flat trail even if it meant covering a slightly longer distance. 

We had lunch in Canajoharie, whose name neither of us dared pronounce in the presence of New Yorkers, at a lovely family restaurant where our excellent waiter Josh served up quesadillas larger than my head.

Our afternoon was much flatter because we stayed next to the canal. Bless. Much of the trail was a sand-gravel mix, so my back was black by the end of the day. Ugh. 

After at least 65, maybe 70 miles we arrived in Amsterdam. The town definitely saw its better days when the canal was more widely used, and its population has fallen by thousands. Our cabbie, who is also a race car driver, told this to us between texts and calls on our way to a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. 

Dinner was at Bosco’s Italian Restaurant, where we were the only people not seated at the bar. Really good food though! Now we settle into our accommodation at the Knight’s Inn. The bed covers are browned, the mattress covered in plastic and the shower curtain is moldy. I’m trying to touch as little as possible. 
​CAN-uh-joe-HAR-ee? CAN-uh-JOE-er-ee? 🤷🏼‍♂️

​The cotton was falling like snow all day. 

We passed some churches older than America!

Long, winding downhills are fun but terrifying. 

The trail looked like this most of the day! Tons of happy wildflowers because it’s been so rainy in New York. 

BIG FLUFFY FLOOFER

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