Sunday, August 15, 2010

Niagara Falls, ON

So I took 98 pictures today. 77 were basically of the same thing…




Niagara Falls!!!



Cities are great and all. I enjoy how each has its own identity and vibe. But I’ll tell you a secret… I’m really on this trip for the natural and man-made wonders that North America has to offer! And towards the top of that list, Niagara Falls.



We got up early and took off about 7ish as planned. Got across the border without any trouble, although the guy did think it a little strange that we had just been in Canada a couple days ago… Anyway, took the short scenic drive down Lake Erie til we came upon the RV parking lot, which apparently didn’t open until 9am. I guess they don’t plan on tourists getting up before 10am. But the gates were up and we weren’t just going to sit there so we headed in and found a spot. After getting the bikes ready and packing our day packs, we went over and asked the guy now stationed at the gate what we needed to do. He said, “You guys are already parked in there? You’re all set.” Um sweet! 10 bucks saved!



So def a great start to the day. The weather could have been better, but at least it wasn’t raining… And, in high spirits, we started off on the day’s adventure!



Riding our bikes in along the river was great because we got to take pictures at each point along the way as we got closer. At first, the river was flat but you could see wisps of mist rising on the horizon…





Then the river changed from flat to moderate rapids…





We came upon the Canadian Niagara Power Project, which only added to the beauty of the scene…




And we saw the barge that broke free of its moorings in the early 1900s and has been stuck in the rapids ever since...



Then we got even closer and could begin to hear the roar of the falls, as well as see the beginning of the edge…





Then before we knew it we were around the corner and face to face with 200 feet of falling water!!





One of the 4000 Maid in the Mist boats was there too…



And we found the visitor center there as well…



We decided to do the “Journey Behind the Falls” tour, taking an elevator down and tunnel out to near the base of Horseshoe Falls, the Canadian Falls. And we donned our $14 plastic ponchos…


 
Mine was quite defective...



But that couldn’t stop me from marveling at the view!!!



We got a bit damp, but totally worth it…



And the tunnel had a bunch of interesting information including a history of the falls geologically, the story of the only person to accidently go over the falls and live, the change in elevation from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, etc.



Back above ground, we started moving along the gorge away from Horseshoe Falls. Periodically getting a nice little mist shower…



Soon after, the American Falls came into full view. They are pretty spectacular in their own right! Look at all the debris eroded away by the powerful water…



And then further down, both together…



Then we took a little bit of a ride down the gorge until we got to the Whirlpool. It is a sharp bend in the gorge, resulting in the river carving out a circular pool where the water seemed to always be spinning until it found its way out the other end. A pretty sweet view for lunch…



Then back we went to the falls, this time though there were fellow tourists everywhere!! We were definitely glad we got there early. But still took a few more shots on the way by as well…







Man the falls are so cool. Of course, I took geology and astronomy in college because I thought it was actually interesting rather than easy… But regardless, definitely one of the great natural wonders of the world! Not the largest or tallest. But the combination of height and extensive water flow creates an amazing scene. A week into the trip and now things are really getting going!



Getting back to the RV by early afternoon, we relaxed for a bit, but our thoughts turned to the plan for the next couple days. Our rough plan called for a morning in Toronto and then the rest of the day driving to halfway around Lake Huron to Sudbury, Ontario. But from looking in the books about Toronto, we realized that there really was much that we wanted to see… So instead, we decided to do a drive by of Toronto and push on through to Sudbury. And creating a whole other day for ourselves in the process! Sweetness. I’m liking this semi-play-it-by-ear thing we have going here…



We drove through downtown Toronto and did a little circle around the city. It was pretty cool actually because all the skyscrapers have the same shade of windows, making for a really nice effect. With all the tall buildings, not sure what it would be like walking around the city, but from the raised thruway it looked pretty nice. The other thing we noticed was the Toronto is huge! Massive city. Especially compared to the other Canadian cities we have visiting. It was a Sunday and there were people driving everywhere!







So tonight we are in Sudbury, Ontario after a 4 hour or so drive from Toronto. Route 400/69 basically goes right up the shore of Lake Huron, but just inland enough so that you never actually see the lake… Or even go through a town for that matter. It was a really beautiful drive though, especially at sunset. The landscape was a mix of forest, small lakes and ponds, and exposed rock. Actually reminded us of Maine a lot.



Tomorrow we will travel the rest of the way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! USA here we come again! The next few days are going to be packed because there seems to be a ton of things to do and see in the Great Lakes area of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. If you have any suggestions for us, definitely leave a comment!



But for now, we are enjoying the wilderness of Canada and Lake Huron!

1 comment:

  1. Niagra looks amazing. I am so jealous - I definitely want to go one day! You look silly in your rain jacket. Toronto also looks like a nice city! Have fun in Michigan... woooo Michigan.

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