Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Written by: DJ Doran
TAKE NOTE: This post was written while DJ & Joey were on their RV roadtrip across America. Sadly, their trip ended before it really got started. No worries, Shelly & Lucia are taking the Connextions Out n About Roadtrip to new heights, exploring one RV park at a time!
Joey and I awoke later than we had planned - or wanted to - after having a quiet evening onboard Priscilla. We were planning to go to Niagara Falls today but it was raining lightly outside and the humidity was uncomfortable. I thought to myself, “we sure picked a great day to tour the falls”! We were getting a late start and the weather sucks - as some of you know how I am about being late... I hate it. As a matter of fact, I drag Joey to the movie theater 45 minutes early so that we have plenty of time to get the popcorn (which I always ask if it’s fresh) and the other necessary items needed for the complete movie enjoying experience, but that’s another story.
After a few grumbles and comments to the effect of, “we might as well skip it because the day is ruined” by me, we crank up the engine and Priscilla is once again on the move. As soon as we arrive at Niagara State Park we realize that parking is going to be an issue. Joey sticks his head out the passenger side window and asks the guy waving people on, where we can park an RV. He replies that there are a “couple of places around the block”, so after a few minutes of waiting, we maneuver our way through the throngs of clueless tourists walking to the park toward the direction of parking. As we approach the designated parking area we suddenly realize that we are only 4-5 blocks away from the casino where we have been over-nighting and parking for free! Duh! We drive Priscilla back to her nest and grab the camera, wallets and our shades because by this point the sun is coming out and all the worry and fussing about the weather clears away like the clouds and rain of this morning. As usual Joey and I have different ideas of which path to take toward the park, His choice is along the sidewalk and through the Casino, mine, cutting through the fence around the back of the Casino and passing the employees entrance. After some debate I decide to follow his lead and we walk into the Casino. As we approach the guard at the entry of the gambling floor he politely asks “what’s in the case”? Dutifully, we tell him that it’s a camera to which he again very politely replied “sorry no cameras allowed”. We thanked him and told him we’d be back to gamble later that night and walked back the way we came and stood by the outer entry doors trying to decide which way to go. Joey again, recommended that we follow the sidewalk along the driveway that we came drove down with Priscilla to the main street and then walk down to the park. I, on the other hand had a different plan. We were going to walk the short distance toward the back of the Casino and then hang a right and walk toward the park… No zigs, no zags the most direct route to our destination. After some, “It’s fenced in, we can’t get through there” comments from someone who shall remain nameless, we proceed to walk around the back of the Casino. As we turn right and its revealed that I was in fact correct, once again, all is right with the world.
Buffalo has beautiful architecture, especially the churches and Joey has given his best effort to photograph as many of them as he can. Halfway down behind the Casino is a beautiful Catholic Church and we stop in the vacant lot to take a photo. As we make our way to the Park Joey suddenly blurts out, “We forgot our Passports”! We can’t walk over the Rainbow Bridge to Canada without those eh? After the short walk back to Priscilla, Passports safely tucked away, we head to Niagara Park and the falls.
Walking into the park the first thing that I noticed was the roaring sound of the Niagara River and what I later figured out was also the sound of 75,000 gallons or 3,160 tons of water going over the falls per second. Yes, you read that correctly, PER SECOND!
We walked along the paved pathways to various monuments and sculptures detailing the exploits of those who discovered the falls, created the park and those who were crazy enough to go over the falls in a barrel or whatever construct they chose. As we casually walked down the path we heard snippets of conversations in Japanese, German, French and a host of other languages that we couldn’t identify and did the touristy thing of posing and taking photos, but we were both anxious to see the Star of the Show, the Falls! We took the path toward the “Cave of the Winds” attraction which is torn down and rebuilt every year for fairly obvious reasons and our journey took us across a couple of walking bridges. As we stepped across the first bridge, the water rushing by under our feet, you cannot help but acknowledge the power and majesty of Mother Nature. As we crossed the bridge to Goat Island it’s easy to forget that you are in the middle of the Niagara River and only feet away from the falls but fear not, you are quickly reminded of where you are as you walk to the edge of the island and to the observation areas and then there you are! Standing on a precipice of rock literally 10 feet away from one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in the world. It is both awe inspiring and frightening at the same time and I couldn’t help but reflect on the idiots that put their bags of flesh and bones (Their bodies) into wooden barrels with nothing but pitch and metal straps holding them together and proceeded to float down the Niagara River and plunge over the falls to either attempt suicide or for some twisted goal of obtaining a footnote in history as one of the few idiots who survived, such as 63 year old Annie Edison Taylor. She has the dubious distinction of being the first person to survive a trip over the falls in her barrel named “Queen of the Mist”.
Joey and I continued walking down the steps to the observation areas and joined the rest of the tourists snapping photos. We posed and smiled for that perfect photo of us standing as close to the rail as we dared. The views were spectacular, especially from the observation tower that gives you a birds eye view of the American, Bridal and Horseshoe Falls at the same time. The NY side of the falls is more of a park setting than what we had heard about the Canadian side and as we walked along each path, enjoying the vibrant colors of the fall foliage and chatting about how happy we felt with our lives right then, all of the worries about mechanical failure, parking overnight, hot water and sewage faded away into the surrounding beauty of the park and now sunny day.
As we decided which direction to go next I spied an ice cream stand. As many of you know, I like ice cream. With a little cajoling from me I convinced Joey, who does not share the sweet tooth that I do, to stop for ice cream. We both ordered a small cone of Niagara Delight. The cones arrived and almost $8.00 later we were on our way slowly enjoying a cool treat of salted caramel, chocolate cover peanuts and a whole bunch of other delicious stuff walking next to the love of my life, what a great day it had turned out to be!