No tour of the Great Lakes would be complete without seeing Niagara Falls, especially for someone (say, Doug) who’s never been there before. Neither words nor photos can convey the beauty and power of a waterfall that drops 750,000 gallons of water per second. We’ll try anyway…
We totally appreciate the international tour facilitated by our hosts and guides – friends Marilyn and Stuart. We started on the Canadian side where the ‘horseshoe’ falls drop dramatically into a giant burst of cool mist spraying the visitor center and all of its visitors – quite welcome on a very hot day! We watched little white tour boats filled with tourists clad in red garbage-bag-looking-ponchos from Canada and blue ones from the US (to match the flags?) that provide their passengers with a near fish’s-eye view of the falls. The continuous shifting rainbows, mist, and soaring birds all added to the natural beauty that makes Niagara Falls awesome.
We crossed the bridge to visit the US side, too often unfairly considered the less interesting of the two. Despite the straighter, shorter edge, the US side offers a number of fun and interesting features, including hiking trails, a boardwalk (not taken), a bridge to Goat Island and walking bridge to Luna Island where you feel (and are…) surrounded by Niagara Falls. Totally exhausted, hungry and thirsty after our exploration, the 4 of us retreated to a fabulous outdoor dinner at Pano’s of Buffalo.
And Marilyn wasn’t done with us… She wanted to be the first to show us the next lake – Great Lake Erie – near her home. She informed us that we had to stop for soft-serve at a Buffalo institution – Fran-Ceil. And she guided us on a hike in Chestnut Ridge County Park in search of the Eternal Flame where gas naturally escapes from a rock fissure in a waterfall. Thanks Marilyn for another great visit of greater Buffalo!