The Roaring Niagara (08/24/03)
Last updated 9/01/03
The blog so
far shall contain one word: WOW!
Now I will expand... Niagara Falls
is indeed a natural miracle, and
nothing, including my story and pictures below, can prepare you for
this marvellous sight. We spent a whole day at the falls, on the
American side (didn't have passports to cross over to Canada) and saw
the waterfalls from multiple locations: you get a view from above when
standing at the observation tower, a side view from a catwalk along the
falls, an extreme closeup from the Hurricane Deck where you stand about
20 feet away from the crashing wall of water at the base of Bridalveil
Falls, and a full frontal view from the boat "Maid of the Mist" that
goes out into the basin of Niagara River at the base of American Falls
(if you can keep your eyes open under the assault of the mist a.k.a.
rain a.k.a raging water stream right in your face). Whichever way you
look at them, Niagara Falls are an unforgettable experience.
When you visit, notice that for
the walk to the Cave of the Winds and
the boat ride you get a plastic raincoat. Do not disdain this item! Be
sure to put it on and carefully tie the strings of the hood (even if
you intend not to wear the hood), otherwise you will get drenched
throughout, underwear and all. When they called the boat "Maid of the
Mist", they did not mean morning mist, or heavy fog, or even drizzling
rain; when the boat goes out to the base of the falls, it's like being
caught in a torrentious pouring rain. Half of the time I couldn't even
look at the falls in front of me because of the power of water beating
my face! No worries, the journey is perfectly safe except for the
getting wet and catching pneumonia part, and leaves a deep impression.
The walk to the Cave of the Winds is easier on the senses but still
very impressive. There used to be a cave behind the waterfalls from
which you could get a backstage view; there isn't any more, it
collapsed, so instead you go on a catwalk at the side of the falls and
arrive at the Hurricane Deck located so close to the falling body of
water that you get the feeling it's rushing right at you. The Hurricane
Deck displays a "No smoking" sign which we found hilarious because the
mist/rain from the waterfall preclude any possibility of lighting a
lighter, much less a cigarette, at the deck.
We visited the falls in good
company of the Kadle family, old family
friends who live in Buffalo, NY, a short drive from Niagara Falls.
Lucky them, they can enjoy the falls any time they feel like it!
Ranjana, Prasad and their daughters Rohini and Trisha made our stay in
Buffallo extremely pleasant and interesting, while their dog Comet
greatly added to the fun. Comet is of Havanese breed, which I had never
heard of before but now believe to be the crowning achievement of dog
breeding industry in the world. Havanese are small, agile, friendly
dogs with two features that make them perfect house pets. First, they
don't shed hair because they actually possess human-like hair, silky
soft to touch and deeply rooted, and not your usual dog fur that ends
up all over the house. People who are allergic to dogs will normally
not react to a Havanese for this reason. Secondly, this breed lacks the
standard dog smell; Comet even has fresh breath! In addition to these
convenient qualities, he is just so damn cute, playful and loveable
that one could not wish for a nicer dog. When we come back to
California after our world tour, I intend to seriously consider the
matter of getting a couple of such dogs (yes, two, because they would
have fun together and not be bored when people are away). We just need
to figure out the details and convince our wonderful landlord Rene of
the advantages of having Havanese dogs in the house. Rene -- look at
the pictures below, isn't Comet just lovely?
Views of Niagara Falls
Brave explorers getting wet
WET = FUN
Kind members of Kadle family