Niagara Falls - June 2008

In June we went to Niagara Falls with Kristina and two of her college friends. I was in the midst of a lot of trouble due to my WDDD paper, so I hadn't had much sleep the night before. Kristina was worried about rain, but happily it cleared up just as we got there.

Here is a view of Horseshoe Falls from the American side:
Horseshoe Falls

Nearby is a statue of Electrical Engineering hero Nikola Tesla. For some reason his statue is quite popular and I had to wait a while to get a picture that didn't have families posing in front of it.
Nikola Tesla Statue

Here is the American falls:
American Falls

We always like visiting Goat Island, and from there you can go out into the Niagara River on the Three Sisters Islands. Here's a view from there looking upstream:
Niagara River

After eating a picnic lunch, we went across to Canada. Marie didn't have enough ID so we got yelled at by Canadian customs. Then we had to find parking, which was a bit of an adventure, and expensive due to the current lousy exchange rate.

Here's a view of a barge that got stuck in the river not far above the falls:
stuck barge

You have to watch our for that unusual ice.
Unusual Ice

Here's a front-view of the American Falls. Down below you'll see a Maid of the Mist boat which we'll be on shortly:
American Falls

We met up with a Canadian friend of Marie's and then hiked down to the Maid of the Mist terminal. It was an actual hike, as the elevators were broken. Here's a view of the Canadian Falls from the boat (it was really misty that day, so I apologize for the lack of good Canadian Falls pictures. Also, imagine us all wearing bright blue ponchos during this all).
Canadian Falls from the Bottom

Here's a GPS map of us walking around, and also our boat trip to the base of the falls:
Niagara Falls GPS

After this we walked back to our car, and stopped in at the greenhouse in Queen Victoria Park. We said goodbye to Marie's friend, and then drove North along the river (well, the gorge). We stopped to overlook the Whirlpool, which if you are brave you can cross on the Spanish Aero-cars. We did not, but we'll be back on the other side the next day.

The drop in the Niagara River is used for power generation. Here's the dam on the Canadian side, across the river is the American dam.
Dam Niagara River

We crossed back into the US, and Marie got yelled at again, this time by the American customs people. We camped at the Four Mile Creek State Park campground, which is on Lake Ontario. The site saw action during the French and Indian War. It was a really nice campground. Here is our campsite, we had a direct line of sight to Lake Ontario:
Four Mile Creek Campground

We cooked supper over a driftwood campfire, and later watched the sun set over Lake Ontario:
Sunset over Ontario

Here's a GPS map of where we stayed and of some walking around I did:
GPS four mile creek

The next day we were up early, ate breakfast, and packed everything into the car. We went to church at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine near Lewiston, NY. The dome is shaped like a globe and inside you can see the outline of the continents. Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

You can climb to the top to see the 20-ton statue of Mary, and have a nice view of the surrounding countryside. You can see Brock's Monument in Canada (though you can't see it in this picture). Top of Shrine

After church we went to Whirlpool State park to hike along the Gorge (this is one of Kristina's favorite places). We hiked down a massive amount of steps, and then walked along the old railroad right-of-way that impressively hugs the cliffs. Here is the Whirlpool:

We walked a ways, being impressed by the rapids. Here I am, with the Whirlpool Bridge in the background:
Vince Whirlpool Bridge

It's hard to capture on film (well, on CCD) how impressive the rapids are along this stretch of river:
Niagara Rapids

Here's an approximate map of our hike, as always the GPS has trouble in gorges:
Whirlpool GPS

Then it was time to leave, because our guests had far to travel that day. We did stop in to see where Marie's brother is going to college this year, at Daemen College. And then we stopped by Charlie the Butcher's for some Beef on Weck (plus a birch beer float...):
Beef on Weck

And then our Niagara adventure was over, for now...
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