Hello, Niagara! Tues/Wed, 6/28-29/16
So, with Jimmy at the wheel, as we're driving along Lake Ontario's shoreline toward Oswego, he asks me if we might just as well go to Niagara Falls for a few days. I thought for a few seconds, and said, "sure." We scraped the planned bike ride along Oswego's canal trail, and continued to far western New York and the Elks Lodge there (with welcome electric hookups!), arriving in late afternoon. We even had someone from the lodge show us where to park and hook up. The view from the lodge wasn't so great, but we knew where we could find spectacular scenery!
First order of business? A visit to Michael's Restaurant in Little Italy Tuesday evening. We've eaten here before and know about the sizable proportions, but ...
... Jimmy's calzone was outlandishly huge! I ordered a small pizza. Now, I can eat a pizza down to the last slice, but I couldn't finish THIS pizza. We took our leftover meals home to eat another day.
Horseshoe Falls Overlook, looking toward Canada, with the Maid of the Mist closing in on the falls.
Wednesday was our day to experience the falls one more time. The day was warm, not hot, and mostly sunny. We had our walking shoes on, and walk we did! By bedtime, I had over six miles on my fitbit. Six stellar miles.
We parked Smartie at the Goat Island lot and walked to Terrapin Point and the Horseshoe Falls overlook. A throng of tourists pressed up against the guard rail to see the same thing we wanted to see, but I wouldn't say the walking area was crowded. It's all accessible.
At the Overlook.
From the Overlook, we walked toward the Three Sisters Islands. Above you see the Niagara River Rapids, which I think are terrifying in their intensity. Look at this wildness! Raw power.
Picturesque, yes, as Jimmy stares the river. It's easy to do; the river can hold you spellbound. Its beauty is underscored by its potential peril ....
Here's looking at the beginning of those Class V+ rapids, sort of. Finding rocks, a log, or "reefs" in this water, Canada geese, gulls, and cormorants rest and preen. Personally, I'd find a better place to sit. Good thing they can fly.
Nothing spells Western New York's summer wildflowers better than sky-blue Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace, which grow along roadsides and ditches everywhere. They're a happy combination, I think.
Lunchtime found us at another famous Niagara eatery -- Como's Restaurant. I've been there maybe once before, a very VERY long time ago. The Italian bread was sooo yummy. If we ate like this all the time, we'd weigh 300 pounds each! Well, maybe not quite.
I ordered a Western New York legendary Roast Beef on kummelweck, aka "Beef on Wick." I'm not a big meat eater, but this was delicious. Even though I grew up in Niagara Falls, I didn't eat Beef on Wick except every now and then, so it's been a hundred years since I've had one. I ate the fries, too. Oink oink.
We needed to work off some of those lunch calories, so we drove Smartie to the American Falls pkg lot, to park and walk across Rainbow Bridge. Both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls are viewable from Canada. Passports in our pockets, off we went; what a pleasant day to walk on the bridge. New York is on the left; high rises in Ontario, Canada on the right. Maid of the Mist boat, which takes people to the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls, is loading on the left.
A few years ago, Jimmy and I, with my sister and BiL, experienced the Maid of the Mist, as well as the thrilling (and WET) Cave of the Winds walking tour (above), which carried us (in our souvenir blue ponchos and blue "sandals") into the deluge along slick wooden walkways. Woo-hoo, talk about a rush!
We walked and walked and walked, to the other end of the Horseshoe Falls; in effect, walking all the way around it, minus a portion. The flower gardens and grounds on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls are nicer, well-tended, and their walkways wide. The view is outstanding because you can see both falls from the Canadian side. And rainbows, ohmygosh, those rainbows are perfect. Just perfect. That's where the bridge gets its name. Imagine, the Canadians are making a Zip Line along the gorge! But not for me. We remembered to take four quarters with us -- 50 cents each to get back into the US.
The torrent at the edge.
On the other side!
It's been six years since Jimmy and I visited the falls area. Loved stopping by again ... not sure if we'll ever be back, but we're all loaded up with nostalgia now. Niagara Falls deserves to be designated one of world's great wonders.