I changed my plan of taking a day off in Niagara Falls. I only had about 9 miles to get to the Falls. I thought I would have plenty of time to do what I wanted, then continue on. It being Friday, I may have had trouble getting a room anyway (plus quite expensive, I'm sure).
As I was riding toward Niagara Falls, it started to rain. So far, it has never rained hard enough or long enough for me to pull out my rain jacket. Well, today I did. Although, it didn't really rain that long, it did come down pretty hard. By the time I got to Niagara, it had stopped.
I've been looking forward to Niagara Falls since I started planning this trip. It's like when I rode over the Golden Gate Bridge on my Coast trip--a definite highlight. The Niagara Recreation Trail took me right to the Falls. Since it was kind of early, there weren't too many people to start with. I still had to jockey for position to get some photos, but not too bad.
|There they are!!! Okay, not really--but pretty though|
|Oh yeah, serious water falling!|
|I was there!|
|Pano of both Falls|
|Happy Birthday, Canada!|
The Falls are, as you can imagine, spectacular! The volume of water is incredible. Apparently, the Falls used to be 12 miles downstream (this was ages ago). The shear force of the water was eroding the Falls at a rate of a meter a year. Once man took over, and limited the amount of water flow (through hydroelectric wizardry), the rate of erosion has slowed considerably. How do I know this little tidbit of information? I know this because I did a boat cruise!
|Heading to the boat!|
There are many many adventures one can have in Niagara Falls, but one MUST do the boat. On the Canadian side, it's called the Hornblower (Maid of the Mist on the US side). For $25 Canadian, you can take the boat cruise up to the base of both American Falls and Horseshoe Falls. They give you a "Mist Protector", which is really just a red bag with a hood (that doesn't stay up) and holes for your arms. It did keep me drier than if I'd not had it. Funny thing, the Canadian ponchos are red, and the US ones are blue.
|So stylin' am I!|
After descending to the river level via elevator, I walked right on the boat (good timing). I met a couple from Indiana. They let me squeeze in next to them along the rail of the upper deck. Flat Will got to come along too. Once the horn blew, we pulled away from the dock and headed into the mist. The whole cruise is about 20 minutes, but that's good enough. The boats alternate, with two boats from each side doing their run up to the base of the Falls (while one boat is going, the other boat is loading). There is always only one boat at the Falls as a time. It's well orchestrated.
|Flat Will on the boat!|
|The other Hornblower|
|Horseshoe Falls--it's a little damp!|
I got back on shore and returned to where I had locked up Tilmann. I had already done the gift shopping thing, so I was ready to head out. Like I said, there are many adventures to be had. A person could easily spend a couple hundred dollars doing just a handful--zip lining, going behind the Falls, helicopter ride, ropes course, botanical gardens, aviary (I was tempted to do that one), and even more. I was satisfied with the boat ride and the photos I'd taken from the viewing areas.
Now I was headed toward the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge to return to New York. I was still riding on the Niagara Recreational Trail.
This time, going across the bridge, I had to ride in the lane with the traffic. There is no sidewalk on this bridge (there are other bridges--the Rainbow Bridge, and Whirlpool Bridge--my route didn't go over those. I know the Rainbow Bridge had a pedestrian walkway). When I got to the long line of cars, I just squiggled my way to the front of the line again. Getting through Customs was quite simple.
|Crossing the bridge|
Back in the US, I was getting hungry. I came to a convenience/deli store that wasn't on the map. It was called "Mrs. Thank You". I wondered if there was a "Mr. You're Welcome", but I didn't see one. I had a sandwich and some watermelon and cantaloupe. While I was sitting at a table in the store, eating my lunch, there was a big screen TV. Now I know everything there is to know about Traegar Grills!
My destination for today was a campground outside of Lockport. Coming into Lockport, I sought out the library, and tried to upload yesterday's post. Again, I had to switch to my phone hotspot.
The directions to get to Niagara County Camp and Resort seemed straight forward, but I had trouble. I had Google get me here. But, now I know the way to go to get back to the route a shorter way.
The next thing I've been looking forward to on this tour is riding along the Erie Canal. Finished in 1825, it runs from New York City to Buffalo. I will be doing 90 miles of it. I did a couple miles today. It's mostly gravel, but there are some paved bits and some dirt parts. It is nothing Tilmann can't handle. Here's a few photos from Lockport where I got on the towpath.
|Towpath on the left|
Since I didn't stay in Niagara today, I will not have such a long day tomorrow. Depending on how it goes, there is a chance I could combine two days, but I don't want to rush my time on the Canal (it will be flat though).
Cool thing about this campground, the gal charges cyclists half the usual rate. $16.50, the showers are free, and there is wifi!