Roots-Reconnecting with Our Past travel blog

Horseshoe Falls

Anita on Hurricane Deck of American Falls-winds 80mph

Bill&Anita on deck of Maid of the Mist boat

Skylon Tower-glass elevator on right side

9/16/2014. Tuesday. Where In Niagara is Bill?

It rained all night but this morning the sun came out and the weather warmed up nicely. The tour mini-bus picked us up at 11:15am but the driver had to pick up more peeps so we really didn't start our Niagara Falls tour until 12:30pm.

We criss-crossed the Canadian border twice so we had to go through Canadian customs twice and the U.S. Customs twice during the day with passports in hand. Our first stop was the ride on the Maid of The Mist boat that took us on the Niagara River and right up to the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. To board the boat we had to walk on a very high walkway to an elevator that took us down to river level and I thought driving over tall bridges was a problem and now I'm walking the PLANK 155' in the thin air; The Pucker Factor maxed out the scale!

The boys at the dock handed us a flimsy plastic poncho to ward off the spray from the falls. The closer we got to the falls the windier it became and the cold water drenched us but Anita was wrapped around a railing to maintain her balance and whipped out her waterproof camera and took multitudes of photos. Being next to these powerful falls really made you appreciate Nature and it power. What a great experience. Anita was in her element risking life and limb to get THE PICTURE.

After the boat docked, our tour guide said we would take the elevator back up to the PLANK and this time walk to the very end of the PLANK and view the falls from a platform jutting out over the river. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill was rapidly scurrying in the opposite direction toward terra firma.

Back on the bus, the guide drove us over to another wonderful attraction : The Cave of the Winds. This tour required you to change into non-slip sandals because to get to the cave you had to negotiate a number of wooden steps soaking wet from the falls spray spiraling down and then up right next to the falls and then you could walk out onto the Hurricane Deck to observe the falls up close and personal. They call it the Hurricane Deck because the winds from the falls reach 70mph. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill walked a short distance and then sat on a rock and waited for Anita to navigate the treacherous stairways and brave the wild winds to get THE PICTURE.

The next stop on the deadly tour was to the Three Sisters Islands. For this trial, you must walk out onto a walkway that connects 3 small islands in the midst of raging river rapids just up from the falls. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill stayed on the bus and shot the breeze with the tour guide while Anita once again braved the elements to get The Picture. They are called the Three Sister Islands because some dude who lived near them in the late 1800's let his 3 daughters walk across the ice bridge that formed in the winter to play on the islands.

Finally, we get to ride the bus for some period of time before the driver decides it was time once again time to dazzle the tourees. He stopped on the Canadian side along a walkway that overlooked some class 7 and 8 rapids that were waaaaaaay down the cliff. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill is viewing the rapids with his butt cheeks firmly pressed against the bus while Anita walked out onto a deck the jutted out over the cliff so she could get THE PICTURE.

Our next stop was to a botanical garden to view the second most favorite tourist destination, the Floral Clock. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill is standing safely next to Anita while she takes pictures of this beautiful clock made from flowers. The hands of the clock are shaped like crutches because the money tourists throw into the mote surrounding the clock is donated to help handicapped children. I loved this stop!

The last stop on this 8 hr tour was to the Skylon Tower on the Canadian side. The name should give you a hint as to what was to come: there is a glass elevator that takes you up 575' in less than a minute on the outside of the building to the observation tower overlooking the falls. Where in Niagara is Bill? Bill is at the Starbucks drinking hot English Breakfast Tea in the lobby waiting for Anita to return from the stratosphere getting THE PICTURE. The tea, by the way, was excellent, eh!

This was a fantastic tour and the guide gave us a lot of information about the early settlers, the Indians that lived here, the War of 1812 in this area and all about the power plants along the river. This was another great day and that makes 2 in a row.

Wednesday we are heading to Coopers Town, NY to see the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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