50 States Day 131, Niagara Falls. 28 Miles
"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand -- and melting like a snow flake."
The Gold Wing sat for a large portion of the day, banished to second place by Niagara Falls.
Our first big stop, after a few light walking tours, was to immerse ourselves in the Cave of the Wind. Interesting name as the original cave...um, caved in. Now there's nothing to the cave but a name.
However, after donning ponchos and flip flops supplied by the park, we anticipated some water. But instead we got a hurricane of water. The wooden walking decks and stairs get so close to the thundering water that one can feel it. And the spray is-well, immersional is a good term. The falls crash down from the precipice above and sprays in every direction.
Small falls shouldn't be ignored either, some cascading below the decks. Water, water everywhere. Keeping the lens clear on the camera proved to be a daunting task.
Not learning from the boat ride yesterday, my sleeves got soaked to the elbow. All I needed to do was slide them up my arm, but apparently from yesterday to today was a long time to remember. And the pant legs got soaked too, particularly at the Hurricane deck, where the wind blew the water sideways, soaking anything exposed. Who cares? It was crazy fun.
We rode the trolley to Sisters Island and walked around it, enjoying more views of the river.
Finally the IMAX movie, telling takes of the falls. It documented some survivors of the falls, including Annie, who went over in a barrel on her sixty-third birthday. A seven year old boy went over after a boating accident and survived, wearing a life jacket. Bystanders rescued his sister just a few feet before she would have plunged over the falls, and Dad's body was never recovered. 16 people have gone over the falls, and nine have survived. The guy on a Jet Ski with a parachute wasn't one of the fortunate ones.
We toured the city on the bike and rode through quite a few sketchy areas. Apparently all the money doesn't get more than a few blocks from the falls.
Heading home QG spotted the Pepper Mill, where they served us a delicious meal, a taco salad for QG and chicken with sausage pasta for me. Delicious. We got to listen to people at the bar nearby discuss politics. They could fix anything.
A bit of rain as we headed back to the (PP!) KOA, but a light squall, with the clouds evaporating. Tomorrow we'll leave this fine place and take a boat ride up a set of locks, something I've never done before. We're poring over maps and brochures, trying to jam every ounce of fun into NY, a daunting task, and many great experiences will be relegated to 'maybe next time.'
The adventure continues.