The time had come. We now had to enter.
There was water gushing out from the raceway under our feet as we climbed the stairs. This was perfectly normal. We had nothing to worry about. Nothing was going to happen to us.
Nate, our Trusty Tour Guide, opened the door for us and into the pipe we climbed. Stair after stair. I felt my heart race and my knees grow weak. Where was I going? Was I going to survive being in this pipe? Sure it was big enough for a man, but the only way out was down the stairs through the door that Nate (our Trusty Tour Guide) had locked again.
So I took a deep breath and said to Chris, “My mom would hate this!” And voila! I was better! No worries!
We made it to the top. While Nate, our Trusty Tour Guide, had a gigantic flashlight to point us the right way (plus there was a little light here and there), who would have been the only other person in all the world to have his own flashlight?
Oh, that would be Dad. Honestly, it was helpful when he was pointing something out, but I wonder how Nate, the Trusty Tour Guide, felt.
Nate (the Trusty Tour Guide) mentioned that as we traveled through the cave, more than likely, we would be dripped on as caves are drippy places. He had a reason, and since I can’t remember it, I would encourage you to take this trip and learn about it yourself. The Lockportians called it being Kissed by the Cave. Being kissed by the cave was supposed to bring you 7 years of good luck. By the time we were done with the tour, I had over 91 years of good luck. I think I’m good!
Heading through this man made tunnel was so amazing. They had pounded railroad sized spike into the rock with a sledgehammer for a solid hour to an hour and a half. They packed that with powder, ignited it, and waited for the blast. After the blast, they had a dent the size of a half a basketball!
And they did all over again!
In the rock was a lot of gypsum. While it didn’t have any use or value, some of the crewmen would take it, grind it up in to super fine dust, and head over to Niagara Falls. They would sell it as dehydrated mist! Talk about ingenuity. And gullibility.
We were warned not to touch the cave walls because they were covered in bat poop.
After a horrified gasp, Nate, our Trusty Tour Guide, cracked up and said, “I’m just kidding!” He then went on to explain what it was and reassured us that there were not bats in the cave because there was not vegetation and no circle of life. He also told us that he was terrified of bats. Not sure if that was true or scripted, but it didn’t really matter! We all were feeling a tad bit safer.
The walking tour came to an end and we boarded a small (yet roomy) barge type boat and traveled to the end of the raceway. This is where I got kissed by the cave like 11 times. Most everyone else was feeling the cave’s love, too. The kids loved it! They would exclaim every time they were kissed.
Ventilation shaft we saw while on our boat ride.
Tools used by the crewmen who built the cave.
Exiting back up to the street was the most arduous task of the journey.
And there you have it! Part of the history of the Erie Canal!
Time for a treat! Or maybe not.
Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream was located next to where we parked the cars, but we were in a hurry, so we missed out on that tasty treat!
But if you’ve ever eaten there, please let me know what you think.