Goal: Erie Canal

One goal down the line is the traversal of the Erie Canal. This is a 363-mile descent across the Empire State, from Albany to Buffalo, across 36 locks. Only three miles longer than the circumnavigation of the Finger Lakes, this quest couldn’t be more different.

For starters, it’s one way downhill. Each section bracketed by locks spills over into the next. 36 locks translates to a giant 36-step stairway descending across wine country. My average speed will probably double. Also, shore is just a stone’s throw away. The Canal will pass through many important towns and historical sites. All that will help offset the sheer length and the difficulty of finding lodging.