Cycling the Erie Canal

September 4, 2016


For me, there are few things as invigorating as a long, quiet bike ride through a place in which natural beauty intertwines with both history and the daily life of town and city dwellers; few things I enjoy more then the contemplation and kind of moving meditation such journeys allow and invite. The Erie Canal bike trail offers them all in abundance if you want them and as the summer nears its end, I was fortunate enough to, once again, experience them.

And very happy I did.




Predictably, Trump signs were abundant, especially in the small towns. Indeed, it seemed to me the more economically devastated the town, the greater the number of Trump signs. I engaged, in fact, in a few conversations over coffee with various Trump supporters that echoed the utter incoherence of Trump himself, minus the man’s viciousness.

So it goes.



To give perspective to America 2016, to Trump and Clinton and all they embody, at the Jesuit shrine in Auriesville, I visited the graves of two recently departed friends to whose lives and teaching I am forever grateful and whose radical humanity I think of daily.



And daily was the green and the silence. And daily was the water.



15 Responses to “Cycling the Erie Canal”

  1. Tim McCormack Says:

    I was a dear friend of Fr. Joe Towle years ago and lost contact. I would love to speak with anyone who has befriended him and share their experiences with him as I would share mine with you.

    Thank you

  2. Mary Walters Says:

    My family and I were very close friends of Fr. Joseph Towle’s. He was spiritual advisor to my late Dad and I lost contact with Fr. Joe a couple of years ago. I had been trying to reach him recently and left several lmessages on his phone number he had last sent me and after no reply, I knew that he was either in the hospital or had died. If you could send me information about his passing and if there is a family member I can contact, I would appreciate it. You can contact me privately at Thank you and God bless. Mary Walters

  3. Michael Fiorillo Says:

    Lovely post, thank you.

  4. Marty Babits Says:

    You evoke serenity along with discovery on this trip. Your response to meeting with Trump followers radiates with your own integrity, humility and compassion. Beautiful piece.

  5. Lisa Says:

    Sounds like an eye-opening, invigorating and also peaceful adventure, Patrick. Thanks for sharing!
    As ever,
    Lady Bab

  6. Larry Trap Says:

    Patrick,you have sketched yet another moving series of moments while rambling with open eyes and a very personal vision of what has become of much of what once was.

  7. …and what counsel did your 2 mentors offer to you, Old Friend?

  8. cjonsson1 Says:

    Thanks for taking us on your fabulous journey, Patrick.

  9. Cristina Lalli Says:

    I grew up close to the Akron portion of the Erie Canal, lucky for its beauty. Unfortunately I’ve been sighting many a Trump sign in Vermont and upstate NY during my hiking travels as well.

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