Restless curiosity would get the tourist nowhere if not for a mode of conveyance from one place to the next. Tourists may experience mixed feelings towards their mode of transport, be it stagecoach, canal or steamboat. The speed and comfort of the steamboats could very well rob the journey of its rustic aspect; the stagecoach line could indeed live up to its name of "Shake Gut."
The rapidity of our steamboats and railroad cars deprive us of a great many interesting sights and agreeable reflections, and prevent us from becoming particularly acquainted with any part of our country. The improved vehicles undoubtedly have their advantages; but while I acknowledge this evident fact, I am not forgetful of those belonging to the old and slower modes. I am fond indeed, now and then, when time permits, and an interesting region invites, of leaving every thing which modern fashion approves in the traveller, and betaking myself to a country stage-coach or a farmer's wagon, and feel delight in the rattling wheels and healthful jolting motion of a stony hill.
Theodore Dwight, Notes of a Traveller
The Grand Tour covers some 1500 miles. Travellers are likely to employ a combination of modes of transport on their journey. If presented with a choice, the traveller must consider not only the speed factor, but also the experience offered by each option.
In the case of the Erie Canal, the route is also the attraction. Canal and steam boats combine transportation and accommodation. The mode of transport used by the tourist can be as much a part of his Tour as are the inns in which he stays and the sites to which he is transported.