Some thoughts from the trail

11 Apr

I hope you got a chance to get out and work in the yard or take a walk or ride your bike — or all three — on that summer-like Saturday we just had.

My husband and I got our bikes out for the first time, hoisted them up onto the bike rack and drove down to one of our favorite riding spots, the Canal Trail. We like to park in Fairport and ride along the trail seven miles west to Pittsford. There, we rest, enjoy the sights of Schoen Place, then head back to Fairport, rewarding ourselves with a pint upon our return.

I saw a delightful addition to the trail which impressed me so much that I would have written about it in my D&C column if I were still writing it. But since I’m not, I’ll pass it along to all you fine blog readers.

It’s a project called the 2021 Poet-Tree Installation. It’s sponsored by the Village of Fairport Tree Board in celebration of National Poetry Month (April). What they’ve done is hung 45 poems in and around the village, along North Main Street and east and west of the village along the canal path.

According to the a press release I found online, many of the poems were written by Fairport High School juniors, and others are from current and former community members. The poems were installed on April 5 and will remain on the trees through the end of the month.

What an outstanding idea to honor poetry and those who write it, especially our high school students. I would love to see Webster do something like this next year, or even later this year. How about it, Thomas and Schroeder English teachers? This would be a great project to put a spark into the end of the year for these kids.

Speaking of columns, one of the favorite ones was the Mystery of the Little Pine Tree.

My husband and I came across the little tree back in 2016 while we were riding the canal. It stood in a small clearing about a quarter mile southeast of Great Embankment Park. It was clearly a piece of chainsaw artwork, but the only identyfying feature was a date: 9-6-98.

After some research, I found out it was created by Pittsford-based chainsaw artist Dave Jewett, who carved it out of a tree that fell during the massive windstorm that blew through that day.

We enjoyed seeing the little tree each time we rode the canal path. But then, one day last year, we discovered the tree had been replaced with a much taller, much more beautiful tree, probably also the work of Dave Jewett. It’s a nice piece, but I was sad to see that our little friend had been removed.

On Saturday, I saw that the little tree was back, and that stopped me in my tracks. It’s not standing on its original pedestal — the taller one is still there — but sitting proudly beside a brand new bench at the edge of the clearing. The bench, and the new tree, and a bunch of pretty painted rocks at its base are all part of what a sign on the bench calls the “KIndness Rocks Project.”

Next time you’re down that way, walking or biking the canal trail, make a point to stop and rest a while in this peaceful spot with the strange but beautiful little carved trees. And feel free to pick up one of the rocks and pass a little kindness along in your travels.

Remember I said how we like to grab a pint at the end of our 14-mile canal ride? There’s a brand new place we can do that in Fairport, now, and it has a very Webster connection.

It’s Faircraft Brauhaus, which opened in December in the old American Can Factory on the north end of village near Iron Smoke Distillery. And the decidedly Webster connection is that the new brewery is partly owned by retired Webster music teacher Steve Landgren.

I worked for many years with Steve at Webster Thomas, and have always known him to be passionate about his brewing. I’m so happy for him that he’s been able to turn that passion into a money-making business.

And from what I saw, it should do very well. The brewpub is very spacious inside, has a nice German-themed menu, and a nice variety of German-themed beers. And the patio outside was absolutely packed with patrons enjoying the food, beer and weather. Clearly it’s already a favorite stop for others as well.

We look forward to returning after our next canal ride.

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One Response to “Some thoughts from the trail”

  1. David S Kassnoff April 12, 2021 at 5:51 pm #

    Really enjoyed this column. Thanks.

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