Thursday, October 4, 2007

Niagara Falls - WOW says it all!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007
Brennan Beach to Niagara Falls, NY

199.4 miles

Partly sunny to rain

The day began nicely with sunny skies and a gentle breeze. That didn’t last long, as the wind kicked up and the skies opened up. Oh well, like so many other areas, the locals are saying they really need the rain!

Even though the days are in the high 70s and low 80s, almost record setting according to the news, everyone is seriously getting ready for winter! Big pickup trucks are adding snow plow blades, wood piles are getting bigger and bigger, highway maintenance facilities are filling up with sand and salt. There are way too many of these snow-mobile signs! And people are already putting up their Christmas lights, among the Halloween decorations! Time to be getting out of this area – I do NOT need to be caught in an early snow storm!!

In saying that, I didn’t think I had made it this far south yet!

Mexico Point? In Texas? In New York??
Nope, I’m still in the rich farmlands and scenic back roads of New York – getting as close to Lake Ontario as I can today. You may note a couple detours on my map – construction of many of the roads in this part of America is a little older than I’m used to, and hence many of the overpasses are a little too low for my big box to get under! I had to find my way around three that would have taken the roof off my coach, and finally gave up and headed for a slightly more traveled road.

Much of the day, I was on the Seaway Trail, New York’s National Scenic Byway – “Traveling the Trail takes you to sophisticated cities, quaint villages, laid back fishing ports, dozens of family attractions, restaurants, accommodations and shops. The War of 1812 is a significant theme throughout the Seaway Trail Region. Many battles were fought between 1812-1814.”

Rain or shine, this was a delightful drive (except for the bloody low bridges) – the old homes built of the local stone are magnificent – saw several beautiful golf courses, for the first time since leaving the West, and driving ranges – passed another 20 or so old cemeteries – and miles and miles and miles of apples of many varieties and colors, with pears and peaches interspersed here and there!

Interesting to me – I’ve lived on an island in the middle of a huge ocean – all that water makes sense – but to sit on the edge of one of these Great Lakes, I realize I had no concept of how truly ‘great’ they are. It’s just like sitting on the beach at ocean’s edge – the water goes on forever. This Lake Ontario, which isn’t the biggest by any means, is huge. Now I can understand the stories I’ve heard about the horrific storms and tragic shipping disasters taking place on a ‘lake’! !

Nearing Rochester, I passed by the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (with the ‘g’ pronounced as in ‘give’) sitting at the Lake’s edge. This power plant is located in the midst of some gorgeous homes in a very upscale neighborhood. Even though there was a radioactive leak back in the 80s, these people obviously aren’t too concerned to be living that close to a nuclear plant. Not sure I’d be so nonchalant.

Approaching Niagara Falls, I cruised by a huge power plant – surprise!! And lots of train tracks! And as seems to happen more than 50% of the time, there is at least one train passing very close the RV park where I’m staying! Good thing I enjoy the sound of trains!!

Yesterday, I took the Maid of the Mist boat tour of Niagara Falls! Oh my gawd, it is truly an awesome display – showing Mama Nature at her absolute finest! The day was overcast, and it was windy as hell. I got soaked, even in the rain gear provided, and it was glorious!

I learned that 90% of the water pours over the Canadian side of the falls, and only 10% over the American side. Sadly, because of my brush with the Canadian law, I had to stick to the American side, but it was so incredible that it really didn’t matter!

Pictures can’t convey the magnificence of the Falls – as the guide said, you have to hear it, taste it, feel it, be surrounded by the power, to really ‘see’ it, but photos are the best I can do here!

 This is cheating a bit - I took a photo of a photo!

Niagara Falls Campground & Lodging
2405 Niagara Falls Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14304

The Animal Rescue Site
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