Niagara Falls: Liquid Thunder
We left Rock Point at 8:23. Niagara Falls wasn’t far, but there was some road work in the way, and we spent half an hour or so blundering about the far reaches of Welland trying to find our way around it. People complain about the American habit of too much road signage, but I’ll tell ya, after driving in both the UK and Canada, there are some places that could use a few more signs here and there for the benefit of the out-of-towners.
By the way, it is a bit of a faux pas to refer to the USA as “America” in Canada; after all, Canada is in North America, too. They refer to us as “the States.” Anyway, we got to Niagara Falls in good order at last and went looking for a parking spot. Then, we got out to hoof our way to the Falls themselves and the attractions the surround them.
Down the drain
The Falls are truly overwhelming. All the tacky, touristy schlock in the world cannot detract from them. They send up a cold spray that had us chilled. We bought tickets for the Journey Behind the Falls, then walked a mile down the gorge to the Hornblower Cruise stand, where we bought those tickets. I was impressed at the very efficient moving of people. Line and elevators worked well. Soon, we were wearing our pink ponchos and headed right up to the Falls themselves.
Right up to the brink
The straight poop
In both organic and electronic formats
Pink Death Cult
Headin’ for the Falls
On our way back up the gorge, we stopped at a Tim Horton’s for lunch and souvenir shopping. Then it was back to the park HQ where we did more souvenir shopping. Then we took our trip behind the Falls, this time in yellow disposable ponchos. Finally, we stopped for a snack. A fast food restaurant right at the Falls served Poutine, which we were all eager to try.
Poutine is Canadian junk food. It’s French fries topped with cheese curds (mozzarella, I think – basically string cheese) and brown gravy. Weird as it sounds (and looks), it was tasty. We were already seeing it as a possible Winter Rendezvous side dish.
Know the signs
We crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and went through the border checkpoint. We paid an exorbitant amount for parking and walked on into the NY State park, bound for the American Falls. We walked over the rapids on the Niagara River on the footbridge, but just as we reached Goat Island, the heavens opened up and we had to run back for shelter. The rain soon stopped, but we decided to can the American Falls; besides, it was getting late.
We ran down to Buffalo. It was 4:00 and the traffic was simply awful. We finally found Schoellkopf Scout Reservation, where they were expecting us. They put us in a campsite called Chippy Center, which had a log cabin shelter. So, we slept dry and didn’t have to mess with tents. It was nice. Helpful, friendly people were always there when we needed them.
The night was falling. I griped at T.C. for watching Jeff Dunham videos on his phone. Told him to let go of the electronic teat. I’ve made my peace with cell phones, mostly, but it bugs me how much time people spend on electronic amusements and Facebook and whatnot when they’re supposed to be exploring the wilderness in good company.
Little cabin in the woods
Chippy Center, Camp Schoellkopf