With only 9 miles and one lock to our next stop we did not start early this morning. Since our one lock was just cycling someone up as we approached, we had our longest wait yet, but still arrived early at Little Falls’ Canal Harbor at Rotary Park, where we stayed last year also.
By 11 AM 650 bicyclists had already arrived and were all over the place for a lunch and rest break. They were on a Buffalo to Albany trek and this morning had started out from Rome at 7. I think they had been there for awhile since the line for the restrooms was not too bad. Paul rides a lot and enjoyed exchanging information with everyone.
The harbormaster drove us across the canal to a downtown restaurant for lunch. Later Sharon and Sue looked at some shops and Paul and I looked around town. We visited the library, which started in a grand old home on a corner from which it pushed small new buildings out and up both streets. We also photo’d the “grand entrance” inside the old city hall. As the town shrank this also came to house the police and fire departments. When a policeman approached me I found it also had a courtroom. It’s against the law to photograph inside a courtroom, which was up the stairs across the landing and through a door. We finally agreed he would close the door and I could continue. He was a little aggressive first until he saw that I was a tourist (Paul says it’s the hat).
We stopped by the Catholic church where the caretaker told us all about it and town. Like most people we met he was originally from the area. Catholic churches are great because they’re usually open and have nice windows. These windows were easy to read since all referred to events in the Bible. I did have to stop and think about two for awhile. Much easier than in eastern Europe a few months ago.
The town museum/visitor center had a small exhibit showing how an old urban renewal project was pretty good at tearing down a lot of the old buildings in town, but never was able to do much of the new building part of the plan. Too bad about that, but if all the old buildings remained, I suppose they’d have been empty for the last 70 years, so maybe they would have just fallen down anyway. Hate to see history go like that.