Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
42Trip End Oct 13, 2012
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
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
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.