Niagara Falls, Day 3

July 10, 2015

We woke up again before the 7 AM alarm to a beautiful sunshiny day. However, the thermometer outside registered a cool 50 degrees. No wonder I needed to use that extra blanket last night. We turned on the fireplace for a little while to take the chill out of the air, but in no time things warmed up. We had breakfast, gave Auggie his morning walk, and were ready to leave by 9:00. Traffic was light into town and the crowds were thin. We parked in the Niagara Falls State Park parking lot for $10 all day and got a close spot to the Visitor’s Center and Maid of the Mist boat tour. (The Discovery Pass that we bought online which included 4 attractions, the movie, and unlimited trolley rides for a day was SO worth the money and the time it saved from standing in line or waiting to buy individual tickets for each attraction. It was so much cheaper to buy the pass than to pay for each individual attraction we wanted to see.) We entered the Maid of the Mist area and proceeded out onto the Observation Tower where we could get a great view of the American, Bridal Veil, and Horseshoe Falls. But that would have to wait until after our boat ride. If we hurried, we could make the next trip which was leaving right away.

 
 
We had to ride an elevator down to the water’s edge below. From there, we walked down a ramp where they were handing out blue rain ponchos.

 
 
We quickly put on our ponchos and walked aboard the boat.

 
 
We climbed the stairs to the upper deck for the best view. The boat pulled away from the dock and headed over to the American Falls first. Once on top, I took a couple of pictures and turned to talk to Bob, but where was he? It was a “sea of blue”. I couldn’t tell him apart from all the other “blue” people on the upper deck. Everyone looked the same with their ponchos on. Finally, he turned to face me and then I could find him.

 
 
The boat took us right up to the base of the American Falls. There was so much mist coming off of the water that it was hard to see the falls up close.

 
 
Luckily, I had thought to bring my underwater camera with me which would be waterproof near the falls.

 
 
Of course, there’s always one guy who wants to be different and not wear a poncho. Needless to say, he got totally soaked!

 
 
From the American Falls the boat moved over to Bridal Veil Falls, the smallest of the three (the falls on the right).

 
 
 
 
The third stop was Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three.

 
 
The roar of the water falling over the cliff was deafening–750,000 gallons per second!!!! Unbelievable! So awesome!

 
 
The captain held the boat so close to the falls that we were all getting wet from the spray and the mist in the air. We stayed there for about 10 minutes and were able to get a good view of the falls, the Canadian side, and all the visiting tourists over there.

 
 
It’s been our observation here in Niagara Falls, that it seems the whole country of India has emptied out and is visiting here as tourists. Bob asked a couple of different people if there was some reason that so many Indians were here. They all said that it

is something that they really wanted to see and Niagara Falls got heralded as a great place to visit. I guess their advertising paid off. Interesting! After we got back to the landing, we hiked up a path that took us near the top of American Falls. It was awesome to be that close!!

 
 
The mist in the air caused rainbows to form near the water. They were everywhere!

 
 
We caught the elevator which took us back up to the Observation Deck where we made sure to take in the spectacular views of all three falls from the top. In the second picture, you can see the path we took to get close to the falls. That’s us in blue!

 
 
 
 
 
 
By now our ponchos were dry so we took them off and saved them for another rainy day when we might need them (and as a souvenir). Since we were able to park so close, we dropped off our ponchos, my fleece (the day had warmed up nicely), and traded out my waterproof camera for the other one in the truck. We made the short walk back to the trolley stand where we traded our trolley tickets for a wristband to ride the trolley all day. We caught the first trolley that would take us to our next attraction, Cave of the Winds.

 
 
At the Cave of the Winds, we turned in our tickets for a special pair of sandals everyone was required to wear. Very fashionable!

 
 
They even gave you a plastic bag to carry around your shoes in. They think of everything! Once we put our sandals on, we took the elevator down to the ground below where we would have to walk through a tunnel that was dug through solid rock.

 
 
The tunnel came out at the entrance to the Cave of the Winds where they handed you a yellow poncho.

 
 
From there, we walked down a paved path to the area by the falls.

 
 
We navigated our way along the wooden stairs built over the rocks—first down to the observation area below us.

 
 
Once we made our descent to the first platform, we could look up at the American Falls. We stayed pretty dry there.

 
 
 
 
We walked up a little higher, to a platform where the water came rushing down behind us.

 
 
From there, we walked up towards the famous Hurricane Deck which is very close to the falls. I had Bob go ahead of me so I could take his picture on the Hurricane Deck while the water pounded down around him.

 
 
Once I joined him, we walked nearer to the American Falls, surrounded by the thundering power of water cascading down from hundreds of feet above.

 
 
We climbed higher and closer to the falls. I gave the camera to Bob, turned my back to the falls, and stood right under it as it splashed all over me. It was so thrilling! I got some pictures of other people standing in the same area, but not us. I couldn’t keep my camera dry. (I should have used the waterproof camera here too, but all my batteries were dead.) Looking up at the falls from that close got my heart to pounding. It was quite the rush!

 
 
From there, we walked back up through the rock tunnel to the elevator that would take us up to the top.

 
 
When we reached the top, my heart was still pounding from the excitement. We returned our yellow ponchos to be recycled and walked across to Luna Island which lies between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. That’s the observation deck on Luna Island.

 
 
From there we had a closer view of both falls. We learned that over the years, the government has tried to manipulate or improve the falls. They even shut off the water once, to see if they needed to remove the rocks at the bottom. Why can’t the government just leave things alone? Over time, Niagara Falls has receded almost 8 miles up the river due to erosion. Will the government try and stop the natural course of things too? From the observation deck on Luna Island we could see the people at the Cave of the Winds below us. That person nearest the falls could have been me!

 
 
We got a good view of the Observation Tower from Luna Island and it was full of tourists by this time of day. A lady was kind enough to snap our picture together.

 
 
 
 
We left Luna Island and ran over to the trolley stand where the trolley was waiting to take us to the Top of the Falls Restaurant, which overlooks Horseshoe Falls. 

 
 
We sat at the bar and shared some BBQ wings and a cold brew from Buffalo, NY, called Aviator Red.

 
 
It was very tasty and similar to Yuengling, our favorite. After lunch, we walked out to Terrapin Point, where we could get a better look at Horseshoe Falls.

 
 
The shape of the falls gives it its name and it is breathtaking! From our vantage point we got a great look at the falls and felt the mist on our faces.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The mist also brought more rainbows into view!

 
 
We could see the tour boats below through the mist. Looking back in the other direction from Terrapin Point, we got a great view of American Falls, the Canadian side, the Observation Tower, and Rainbow Bridge that spans the Niagara River from Canada to the U.S.

 
 
We caught the trolley and had a nice ride back from Terrapin Point and the Top of the Falls Restaurant. It took us back through the state park and Goat Island. We crossed the Niagara River and stopped at the Visitor’s Center where we departed and got off and walked the short distance to our truck.

 
 
We got back to the campground around 2:00. Auggie was glad to see us and went right outside to lay in the sun and get his solar panel recharged. He was so content!

 
 
 
 
I sat outside with Auggie and enjoyed the quiet while everyone was gone for the day in the campground. Bob did some Co-op business inside the trailer and then came out to join us.

 
 
He wanted to do a few minor repairs on the trailer and wash parts of the trailer and truck. It turned out to be a beautiful day after all. We ate dinner and relaxed a little. I took Auggie for his evening walk and returned to work on my blog. Around 9:15, we left the campground and headed downtown to catch the fireworks that they have on Friday and Sunday nights in the summer over the falls. I drove us into town to give Bob a break from the driving. We found a close place to park and took the short walk into Niagara Falls State Park to view the fireworks. While we waited for the fireworks to begin at 10:00, we enjoyed seeing the colored lights change on the falls.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Our view of the colored lights on the falls wasn’t the best from the U.S. side. It would have been better from the Canadian side, but we enjoyed it just the same. The Canadian skyline was lit up with lights from many of the buildings. It was beautiful!

 
 
 
 
Some of the buildings changed the colored lights and went through the whole color spectrum. It was such a beautiful night to be outside. The fireworks were done from the Canadian side, starting promptly at 10 PM and lasted about 15 minutes. I love fireworks!

 
 
 
 
With all the people that were downtown, the parking was easy and the traffic getting home was light. We drove back to the campground and were sound asleep in bed by 11:00. Tomorrow would be our last day in Niagara Falls and we have a few more things to do.

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