Monday, May 7, 2018

Changing it up.......

6:29 am - Monday - May 7th - Lockport, NY - 49º F, 74% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the northeast......cloudy with a forecast high of 62º F, but we will not experience it as we roll our wheels in 90 minutes!

I got up at 6 am Sunday morning and immediately turned on the block heater fully intending to roll our  wheels by 8 am.  Our destination was Herkimer, NY (about 26 miles north of Cooperstown, NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame).  As I do every morning I checked the weather for the day where we were (Lockport) and where we were headed (Herkimer).  The weather forecast for Lockport was fine all day, but the weather forecast for Herkimer was for rain beginning early afternoon, and continuing into the evening.  

Our Jello plan was to reach Herkimer early afternoon, get out the VW and drive the rest of the way to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it appeared we would be arriving in the rain, doing the round trip to Cooperstown in the rain, and sitting in a Walmart parking lot in the rain all night.....not our ideal situation, right?  When TLE awoke around 6:30 I told her about the weather issues in Herkimer and after discussing it for a few minutes we decided to stay put in Lockport one more day, and what a great decision that was!

We lazed around most of the morning watching a couple of British Premier Soccer matches, during which time I spent some time outside cleaning the front windshield, and the front cap thoroughly (including the air horns on the roof), then refilled our water tank, which was down below half full.

Initially we were going to get our bikes out of the trailer and ride the Erie Canal bike path into Lockport to a local winery (Flight of Five Winery) to do some wine tasting, and maybe have lunch.  Ultimately we opted to walk the 3+ miles into town along the canal path, have lunch and then walk back.

We left for our walk into town about 11:30 am....it was partly cloudy and just the right temperature for a long walk.......


.....there are a lot of stately homes on the south side of the canal on this stretch, as well as this cool limestone church (hard to take a good picture due to the trees)......


.....outside of town the bridges are all fixed, and elevated, but in town they must be raised for boat traffic to pass through.  This is what a typical lift bridge along the canal looks like.......


......gradually we reached the 'locks' where boats must descend or rise 49.1 feet to reach the top of the Niagra escarpment, or the bottom, as the case may be.  Originally back in the early 1800's when the canal was built, 5 clocks were required to make this transition (they were named the 'Flight of Five), but later in the 1800's they widened the locks, and reduced the number of locks needed for the transition to two........


 The newer locks are on the left in these pictures

 The old narrow locks

 The current steel lock doors

The original wooden lock doors


'Flight of Five Winery' is located in the old City Hall building


.......our destination was the 'Flight of Five Winery' named for the locks located to the left of winery.  It is located inside the old City Hall.  Instead of doing a wine tasting we opted to have lunch in the restaurant just outside the winery tasting room.....Stooges......





......this little restaurant has only been open a short time, but has already garnered a 4.5 star Yelp rating on 22 reviews, and we would have to agree.  We were shown to a nice window table overlooking the locks..... 




 An old canal boat in the old lock 

......TLE ordered a glass of savignon blanc, and I a pint of Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (prounced līnenkugĕl).  We did not feel like having a big lunch so we both ordered a bowl of the French Onion Soup, and I added a Caesar Salad.  Both were right up there with the best I have ever had.  We sat talking about how little decisions like staying put in Lockport another day completely changed our day.  We couldn't imagine not having taken that 6+ mile walk, and we really could not imagine having missed that French Onion soup and Caesar Salad......absolutely amazing!

We began our return walk to the Elks Lodge about 1:30 pm walking slowly at first, but gradually increasing our pace.  There were numerous geese along the way nursing their goslings along the canal path..........

Two geese, and five goslings

.......we reached the Newell about 2:30 pm after walking a total of 6.1 miles at 18:46 minutes per mile average (3.25 mph) burning some 1,103 caloric units in the process.  Our total moving time was just over 1 hour and 55 minutes, as one might expect.


Sunday was a wonderful day, and we are so glad we decided to stay in Lockport one more day.  Ultimately that rain that was forecast for Herkimer early afternoon reached us around 8:30 pm.  It rained on and off all night, but as I sit here composing today's latest missive it is partly cloudy and dry.....a perfect driving day!  We roll in 45 minutes!

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