Saturday, September 28, 2013

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
   I have wanted to see Niagara Falls for as long as I can remember. When we were on our way back to the US from Canada, we stopped to see it from the Canadian side. We'd left London in a torrential downpour that morning, and gray skies followed us as we traveled. Shortly before reaching Niagara, the sun broke through, and the afternoon was warm and balmy. Pulling our trailer through the streets, we figured we might have a hard time finding a place to park. The lots near the falls wanted $18 just for a car, and we would certainly have had to pay twice that. Instead, we found free parking a mile away and walked. It was well worth it, and the Falls didn't disappoint! 

We parked about a mile south of the falls, and so we got to walk along and see the rapids.  There is an old rusted barge out in the river, where it came to rest nearly 100 years ago. The story is that it was engaged in a dredging project about a mile upriver when it broke loose from its tug line. With two men aboard, it raced downstream. At this place, the roar of the falls can be heard clearly and the mist from them rises dramatically as the river widens and plunges 170 feet down. Some stories say the two men opened the bottom doors on the barge, causing it to get stuck on the rocks, and other versions say it caught on its own. Either way, I'm sure the men were relieved and anxious as they waited, not knowing whether or not it would hold. Because of its close proximity to the falls, sending out a rescue boat was out of the question. It was 17 hours before the US Coast Guard arrived with a grappling gun, with which they shot a line over to the barge and rescued the men using a breeches buoy. 
This is a corner of the Toronto Power House, constructed in 1906. It was the first Canadian owned power generation project on the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It is a beautiful building, and was intended to compliment the surroundings.
The enormous size and horseshoe shape of the falls makes it difficult to view it all from one place. The Canadian falls are 2,200 feet wide and curved, and the American falls across the canyon are 850 feet wide.  
I almost felt dizzy standing above with such an immense volume of water flowing right beside me.
The sun came out, and we got to see the famous rainbow in the mist. It was truly spectacular! I would love to have had more time to explore and soak in its beauty, but we had to keep moving on. I'm so thankful to have gotten to see it! 

1 comment:

  1. I've never been to Niagara Falls, and your pictures make me want visit! Also, I will file away the tip on parking - it would really detract from the experience to have to pay an extra $18 unnecessarily.


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