How much have you seen of your own backyard, Western New York?

I grew up in a small town in Northern New Jersey, and I've always liked to travel, whether it was hopping on a plane or driving in a car. My best friend has been to all 48 continental states because her family would take long road trips in the summer to places like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Glacier National Park, etc.

When I was a kid, we used to take short family road trips on the weekends. The trips would generally be a couple of hours in the car each way, and we would end up home after it got dark, or possibly spend the night in a hotel and go home the next day. Most of the trips were in the New England area (New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine). One of the coolest trips I remember was when we stumbled on a hot air balloon festival north of Albany. It was so fun and totally accidental.

As kids, we didn't always know that my parents had decided that we were going on a road trip, and they would just throw us in the car. Inevitably one of my brothers or I would ask my parents, "Where are we going?" My mom or dad would say, "Crazy -- it's a short trip."

Being that I don't know a lot about Western New York, I've decided that I'm going to start taking some "Crazy Short Trips" now that the weather is a little nicer to find out more about my new home. I wandered into Lockport a couple of weeks ago and got my first look at what is left of the Erie Canal. I remembered reading about the canal in my history books as a kid, but you don't understand the size of it until you are looking over the railing into the canal.

Here are some of the pictures from my trip:

While I was in Lockport, I stopped by the Erie Canal Discovery Center and picked up some more information on other interesting things in the area that I want to go check out. If you have any suggestions of things I need to see, send me an email:

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