Note: It’s been almost a month since this day but things have been crazy the last couple weeks and I’ve just gotten around to transcribing my journal from this trip.
Niagara Falls Day 2
Today wasn’t as an early start as yesterday As I sit on a café terrace in the hotel in the cool summer air I ache from the adventures of today.
After a good nights sleep and filling breakfast we headed to the white water walk where we first take an elevator underground to the Niagara river bank. The moment you step out of the chilly tunnel you hear the rush of the class six rapids. This is one of the most intense and dangerous rapids in the world. It’s top speeds are 100 km/hr and it is often declared to dangerous to run. Although I’d like to white water raft once in my life I’d prefer something a little intense. On the observation deck my boots get soaked from the crashing waves which hit us every minute or so. Eventually a park guide comes down and declares it to dangerous for us and we head back to the elevator.
While we wait for our bus I find some kind of Buddhist Monastery. The statues of Fu-Dogs and traditional Chinese monastic architecture are out of place near the gorge of the river.
After seeing where the water from the falls ends up we head back north to the source via The Hornblower. We are given bright red ponchos that make us stand out in the aqua colored water and we take a place at the stern of the boat next to a Canadian flag.
The waters are surprisingly calm for the power they deliver further south. There’s some bobbing of the boat as we get closer to the falls but the waves never seem to get to intense.
Giant rocks prevent us from getting too close to the first falls. I take a picture with my phone and find I’m close enough to Buffalo, New York to get service. I suppose I can technically count this as being to the city.
From there we get closer to the horse shoe falls and are bombarded with the mist from water falling 58 meters. I shelter my camera and phone with my poncho and wait for the boat to turn us around before taking my shots. Meanwhile my glasses have become covered in drops.
With soaking we shoes we return to land and enjoy a local beer as I take off my boots and let my socks dry in the sun. It’s to no avail as the inserts of my boots retain the water and when I put them back on I feel them squish and cool water leaks between my toes.
I see a park ranger with a falcon nearby but she’s gone as soon as I get my camera out.
Still wet and reeling from the falls we catch the bus to Table Rock where there’s time before we see Niagara’s Fury so we get some surprisingly good sushi from a stand before heading into the movie. I’m a bit surprised when they hand us ponchos, but after watching the short film with animated beavers, owls, polar bears who say “eh?” and hockey playing woolly mammoths we enter a 360-degree theater with grated floors and water all around. As another movie plays we’re hit with thunder, lightening, rain, and snow.
Finally the last adventure of the day is to walk behind the falls. We once more get a poncho after descending the surface through a dark we tunnel. Walking behind the falls wasn’t exactly what I expected, a small hole with water dripping in. But when we get to the observation deck on the side of the falls we’re met with the power once more. It’s breath taking.
After completing the adventures, we head back to the room and I peel off my still soaking socks. My parents and I agree that a good steak dinner sounds good so we head to a steak house in our hotel.
The bill, after tip, is over $500. It is amazing but holy shit. The server in me envies her 20% tip that could make good payments on my credit cards or help me with books for grad school. Regardless, it’s a dinner we won’t forget.