It can be surprising what you can find in your hometown with just a little bit of effort. This past weekend, Ellie, Audrey, and I headed out to do a little bit of sightseeing in downtown Buffalo. There were two things on our list to see and do. The first was to get a quick run around the Erie Canal terminus area, and the second was to take advantage of the free docent-led tours of the huge grain elevators on the Buffalo River.
A little pet project of mine has been brewing in the back of my head for quite some time. A while ago I thought up a plan to run and document the Erie Canal, which runs from Buffalo, my current city, through Albany, my hometown. The Erie Canal runs 363 miles from Buffalo, NY, to Albany, NY, and the Hudson River, which then can be navigated south to New York City and out into the Atlantic Ocean. This was, at the time, arguably the most important waterway in the entire world. It cut shipping costs from the middle of the country to the East Coast by 90 percent, and nearly all grain production was routed through Buffalo.
I thought it would be a neat idea to try to document all of the small cities and towns along the canal while providing a great excuse to get out and run through places I've never been. It would be a tour through New York's past, and it would give Ellie and I an excuse to get out and travel around. Thus, this past weekend kicked off what I hope will be many weekends filled with runs and sightseeing.
We headed downtown to the western terminus of the canal, which has recently been excavated and turned into a little park. The vast majority of the original canal in Buffalo has been filled in, and the current route actually ends in Tonawanda, just north of the city. Because of this, Ellie and I had just a quick run around, but it was still a blast.