Diabetes Awareness Campaign: Trekking Along the Erie Canal.
North Tonawanda
Pendleton
Lockport
Medina
Albion
Brockport
Rochester
Rochester
Fairport
Macedon
Palmyra
Newark
Lyons
Weedsport
Jordan
Camillus
Syracuse
DeWitt
Chittenango
Canastota
Canastota
Durhamville
Oneida
Rome
Utica
Ilion
Herkimer
Little Falls
Canajoharie
St. Johnsville
Auriesville
Amseterdam
Schenectady
Schenectady
Colonie
Albany
Montezuma
Photo by J.T. Lloyd.
Photo by J.T. Lloyd
As a young biology student, I used to love driving through the swamp which is the basis for the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. It is teeming with wildlife, especially birds. But as an old diabetic hiker, I dreaded the thought of walking through it. Actually, there is no trail through the refuge. Nor is there a tow path next to the present barge canal which skirts the refuge.
When I had asked John to give me a ride he had laughed. He said that although there were snapping turtles in the water there were no poisonous snakes along the roads. I told him that I was more afraid of getting hit by a car that bitten by a snake. Besides, I had always relied on my old biology professor’s words of wisdom: “When in doubt, get some kid to pick it for you!”
Formerly known as the great Cayuga swamp this was a hellish place to work. The Irish immigrants found the digging to be easy because the moist swampland was soft. However the place was swarming with mosquitoes and other obnoxious insects. Many workers came down with malaria and died. It became obvious that the only way this area could be worked was to wait until winter when the cold weather killed off the pests.
 
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