September 22, 2012

Niagara Falls, NY

After Detroit we were headed for the Niagara Falls. We had two options on how to get there: through Canada or by going south of Lake Erie on the American side. Since we still had the issue of having too much liquor on hand to cross the border (as well as our pneumatic pellet gun), we decided not to risk it and went the American route. We crossed into Ohio, our 20th state on this trip, under pouring rain.

Crossing the Interstate 280 bridge in Toledo, Ohio
Passing Toledo in Ohio
Another 5 hours of driving and crossed into our 21st state, Pennsylvania. There we parked for the night at a Wal-Mart in Erie. We took the pups for a walk on the Lake Erie waterfront that evening.

View of Lake Erie from Erie, Pennsylvania
Sailboat on Lake Erie
View of Lake Erie from Erie, Pennsylvania
Walking along Lake Erie in Erie, PA
A lighthouse on Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania
Lighthouse in Erie, PA
The next morning we drove 3 more hours and finally arrived at our destination. We got off to a rocky start when after deciding to go ahead and pay for parking (instead of looking for free street parking), we pulled into the nearest parking lot and were told that that lot could not accommodate RVs. OK, no problem, we'll just circle around and move to the other parking lot. Oh wait, the reason this lot can't accommodate RVs is because its too small to begin with. So there we were, going back and forth, trying to inch our way out of the  tight parking lot exit. Thank goodness Skyler is a magnificent driver! We had to pull the truck completely onto the adjacent sidewalk in order to keep the trailer from jumping the curb. Several park agents gathered around to give us advice on how to go about getting ourselves unstuck. It was awesome. I shudder to think of what happens when RVs that are less nimble than us accidentally pull into the same parking lot? (In case you're wondering, or planning a trip to Niagara Falls with your RV, park only on Goat Island, don't park near the Rainbow Bridge).

Thirty minutes later, we finally found a parking spot on Goat Island and set off on our bikes to explore the Falls. Interesting fact: the Niagara Falls State Park is the first state park for the state of New York. The Falls can be viewed from the American side and also the Canadian side. We viewed the Falls from the American side and then got caught under a quick outburst of heavy rain. We ran into a park cafe to get out of the rain and paid over $7 for a crummy tiny sandwich and $3 for cafeteria coffee. After the rain cleared up, we jumped back on our bikes and made our way to the Rainbow Bridge, the bridge that spans over Niagara River, between America and Canada.

A view of the American Falls from Niagara Falls State Park in America
The view of the Falls from the American side
When we arrived on the Canadian side we were third in line to cross into the country. The guys ahead of us were from the Czech Republic, and when it was their turn to go up to the window they told the border patrol agent that they were there to immigrate into Canada. (?!?) The border patrol agent raised his eyebrows at them, and asked them if they meant they wanted to VISIT Canada, to which they answered no, they wanted to immigrate. That was when the border patrol agent pulled out his walkie talkie and asked for two security escorts to come to the pedestrian crossing. Ouch. When it was our turn, we considered joking around that we wanted to immigrate too, but decided that the agent was obviously in a bad mood and opted to save that joke for another time.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge from America to Canada with our bikes while visiting the Niagara Falls
Crossing the Rainbow Bridge into Canada
View of American Falls and Rainbow Bridge from Queen Victoria Park in Canada
American Falls and the Rainbow Bridge
The Canadian side of the Niagara Falls is part of the Queen Victoria Park, and is well manicured and very attractive. In my opinion, you get some of the best views from the Canadian side because from there you see American Falls straight on across the Niagara Gorge, and you get a full 180 degree view of the Horseshoe Falls. You can see all of the Falls in one full sweep from the Canadian side, while from the American side you can only see one or the other at any given time, and you only see sideways views of them.

Biking on the Canadian side in Queen Victoria Park while visiting the Niagara Falls
Biking along the Canadian side of the Falls
Skyler and I with a view of the American Falls from the Queen Victoria Park in Canada
Sky and I in front of the American Falls
A view of the Niagara Falls from the Queen Victoria Park in Canada
The  Niagara Falls!
A Maid of the Mist heading under Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls
A Maid of the Mist heading under the Horseshoe Falls
We biked along the falls on the Canadian side, explored the visitor center and then crossed back in the United States with no problems. It was a bit awkward though because on our way into Canada we got to ride our bikes on the pedestrian sidewalk, but on the way back into America we were told to bike on the auto portion of the bridge with incoming traffic. So there were were, lined up to cross the border with the rest of the automobiles, but on our bikes.

The door to the USA on the Rainbow Bridge on the Canadian side
What's behind door number one?
The funny thing is that while we were on the American side, it was pouring rain. Then when we crossed to Canada, the sun came out and it was nice and warm. As soon as we crossed back into America, the sun disappeared and rain started back up again. Is this a sign that we should immigrate to Canada? :o)

A warning sign at the Niagara Falls
Don't swim in the Niagara Falls!
To see more pictures of the Niagara Falls, click here.

Happy Falls Viewing,


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1 comment:

  1. Nice journey Skyler and Maria, I am also a travel lover. Visited Niagara falls last year, Maid of the Mist boat ride and Journey behind the falls was really adventurous experience for us.