Niagara Falls

Monday, April 30, 2012

We got up this morning pretty excited about seeing the falls.  Neither of us has ever been here.  But we were also anxious to get out of this RV park.  We almost never call ahead and make reservation because we want to see the park before we commit.  In this case we were going to get in late and we wanted to be certain of a space.  We also reasoned that any park that close to the falls and calling itself Niagara Falls Campground had to be okay. It is even on Niagara Falls Blvd.  So against our better judgement, we reserved.  We needn’t have worried about reserving a space.  We were one of about four or five other RV’s.  When we backed into our space it was nearly dark.  I went around the back to start setting up when I realized that the rear of the van was almost in a marsh.  It was close enough that I had to pull the van forward a few feet so I could walk behind it without wading through black, stagnant water.  If it was not so cold there would probably be millions of mosquitos.  So I hooked us up and we went to bed.  This morning when I went out to unhook, the water was again up to the back of the van.  It had not rained in the night, so I can’t tell you where the additional water came from.  So I did what I could, then moved the van again to finish.  For this we paid $45.

We were hungry and this was our day to have breakfast out so we went in search of a restaurant on the road to the falls.  Imagine our delight when we saw a place about a mile down the road called Mom’s Restaurant, also on Niagara Falls Blvd.  Now my Mom was a great cook and so was Lucy’s Mom, so again we reasoned that it had to be a great place.  I have only one more thing to say about this restaurant. If my Mom had cooked like this, my Dad and all of us kids would have banned her from the kitchen. Nuf said?

So we drove on to the falls.  As we entered the area of the state park, we were ushered into a parking lot and paid $10 to park.  It was a $5 parking lot, but we require two spaces for the van.  Just as we were about to get out and walk to the park it began to rain.  Oh well, we have an umbrella and my jacket has a hood.  When we paid for our parking space, the young man handed us a card and told us to present it in the souvenir shop to claim our free gift and map.  We entered and saw a man behind a counter in the center of this giant shop full of t-shirts and trinkets and such.  As we approached the counter, the man, who was on his cell phone, looked at us like we were interrupting a delicate surgical procedure.  We showed him our card.  He put the phone against his chest and said ”we have tours” as he pushed a refrigerator magnet and a paper map toward us and turned away to continue his conversation.  We took our spoils, walked out the door and down the block to the state park.  It was at this point that our day began to change for the better.

The rain nearly stopped except for a few drops now and then.  The temp was cool, but not cold.  Perfect weather for a walk. Almost Oregon-esque.

Lucy made a new friend

As we neared the visitors center we began to hear the roar of the falls and our anticipation began to build.  The visitor center was a very nice building with an information counter and some pleasant ladies to answer questions.  The only question we had was, ”how do we get to the falls?” Down the elevator and out the back door, a short walk down a path as the roar grew louder.  And there it was.  Now I have seen many pictures of Niagara Falls and they are beautiful.  But they do not communicate the experience of seeing this wonder in person.  The beauty is breathtaking in itself, but when you combine that with the roar, the spray and the awesome violent power of that water as it falls to the rocks and water below, well I don’t know how else to describe it. You just have to see it.

After that we drove across the rest of New York along the south shore of Lake Erie, a bit of Pennsylvania, a larger bit of Ohio and into Michigan.  We are meeting friends in the morning for coffee before we head toward another rendezvous in Wisconsin.  A couple of busy days and then a pretty straight and quick trip back to Oregon.  

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