Falling Water.....

Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 13, 2012

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The morning at Watkins Glen State Park dawned dry, but overcast.  We were snug in our bed in Blue while the rain poured down during the night.  Most of our campground neighbors were in tents and I felt a bit of sympathy watching them trying to dry out from the rain.  But, in this case the rain was a very good thing for Barb and I.  

The only thing on this morning's agenda is a hike through Watkins Glen.  A glen is a canyon or ravine carved in the earth's crust by a river or stream.  Watkins Glen drops 400 feet in elevation in just two miles with 19 waterfalls.  The rain from the previous night provided plenty of water for the stream.  It was spectacular!  The walkway itself is impressive, having been built by the CCC in the thirties.  Tunnels, bridges and parapets wander over, under and around the stream and its falls. The cliffs rise 200 feet on either side with plants and trees clinging to their walls.  The mist from the rushing water dampens everything and everyone.   Puddles on the path create obstacles to passage, people either tiptoed around the edges or splashed right through, depending upon their footware (my tevas put me in the latter category).  Barb and I were among the first to enter the Glen, there were only a dozen or so folks walking along with us. Traveling back down was a different story as hundreds of tourists had arrived and started up the path, makes me glad that we are both early risers.

Getting to the bottom of the Glen, we decide to walk into the town before heading out.  We spotted a sign for pistachio ice cream at a local Inn, so much for our walk.  The ice cream store featured a glass enclosed bee hive that was constructed with an ingenious plexiglass tube which passed through the wall to the outside.  The bees were free roaming!  "Busy as a bee" aptly described the activity in the hive.  But I digress, the ice cream was delicious and the shop had a porch with comfortable seating from which to watch the world pass by.  A very relaxing start to our afternoon.

Leaving Watkins Glen we headed north in the Finger Lakes region on small country roads.  Acres and acres of farmland and vineyards fill the landscape.  Every now and then we pass an Amish carriage utilizing the shoulder of the road.  Barb tries her luck at snapping photos at fifty miles per hour...lets see, if Blue is heading north at 50 mph and the Amish wagon is heading south at 5 mph...fugedaboudit!

It only takes us a few hours to reach Niagara Falls.  We head immediately out of town to reserve a site at Four Mile Creek State Park.  The park is located right on Lake Erie near historic Fort Niagara.  It is clear enough to see the city of Toronto across the lake, the water is flat and calm.  As it is till early in the afternoon, we decide to drive back to Niagara Falls.

Parking Blue on the street we make our way along the surging river to side of the Falls.  Again, it was a beautiful day with clear blue skies....lucky, lucky.  Continuing on down the waterfront we came to the "Maid of the Mist" boat tours on the American side of the falls.  Small crowds and no waiting to board the tour boat are a good thing, as the Canadian side looks packed with people.  What a fun deal!  They give you cheap plastic rain slickers to wear, for a good reason!  They drive these boats right up to the edge of the torrent coming over the falls, it feels like you are in a shower.  I was glad that my camera was waterproof and took a lot of shots, but the pictures don't capture the awesome power of the falls.  I would do this again and again and again, totally unique experience.

We walked across the bridge to the "Cave of the Winds", where they not only gave us rain slickers, but also shower sandals to wear.  Going down an elevator to the foot of the falls, you exit onto a wooden walkway which is torn down every fall and reconstructed every spring.  The walkways takes you up onto the Falls, you literally walk over the water flowing down the cliff face.  Once again, I am thankful for a waterproof camera....unfortunately a picture can't capture the sound and feel of the wind blasting you with torrents of water...go if you have the opportunity.  Barb and I loved it!

Finishing our tour with wet hair and buoyant spirits, we headed back to Four Mile Creek Campground for the sunset.  We decided to pass on the laser light show offered nightly at the Falls, didn't seem attractive to us.   
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