Star date 07272006
Broken springs and Niagara Falls
In our minds, the two will always be linked. When we arrived in Lockport, NY this day, we commented to Tony that his rig was leaning to the right going down the road. Believing that this was not a problem associated with being Catholic or political belief, Larry and Don climbed under the rig and discovered that the Fontana's right front leaf spring was broken. I am not really sure what this is, but the guys said it was necessary and had to be fixed.
Since it was after 6 in the evening, Tony had to wait till the next morning to find someone who could fix it. The next morning, he was lucky enough to find a local mechanic who could do the job if they could bring the rig downtown. So, off we went and left the rig in their capable hands and the 8 of us took off for Niagara Falls.
After Driving about 20 miles or so, we finally arrived at the city of Niagara Falls. Carefully following the little waterfall signs, we arrived at a parking lot which we believed to be close. Tony's handicapped sticker helped the Evans's park right up next to the welcome center while the other car containing the Fine's and Pellegrini's had a little farther to walk. Parking fees in each case were $ 10.00.
It was decided to purchase a passport to Niagara Falls for $ 24.00. This entitled us to most of the tourist things at a somewhat reduced price. After purchasing the passports, we wandered outside down a paved path to the closest viewing area and were rewarded with our first view of Niagara Falls. Having viewed the falls many times on TV, we were amazed at the height, sounds, and intensity of the falls. An eternal mist rises from the base of both the American and Canadian or Horseshoe Falls that is both cool and very refreshing. The noise made by the falling water is unbelievable.
After spending a few minutes taking pictures, trying to take it all in, it was off to the observation tower where we could get even a better view. The Tower is quite high so Gail stayed pretty much in the middle where she could, but was spotted near the edges later on. We did some more ooohing an ahhhing and picture taking before riding the elevators down to river level to board the Maid of the Mist for our up close and personal tour. Everyone donned blue plastic raincoats before boarding and we were off. Thinking that the Falls couldn't be more spectacular than what we had already seen from above proved to be wrong. The sight and sounds of thousands of gallons of water cascading down from almost 200 feet above us was unbelievable. This coupled with all of the mist that was constantly drenching us, and the bobbing of the boat almost left us with sensory overload. While hard to take pictures with so much mist, a few good shots were made.
After our ride on the Maid of the Mist, we walked up a walkway toward the American Falls which again let you get up close and personal with the water. It was fun and cool.
After getting together with everyone, we boarded one of the trolleys that runs around throughout the park and rode to Goat Island and the Top of the Falls Restaurant where we had a very late lunch, or early dinner. We got to watch a thunderstorm develop complete with a couple of very close lighting strikes and very loud thunder. Then it was back on the trolley and back to the parking lot. Found our way back to Lockport and dropped Tony off at the repair place to retrieve his fifth wheel. Back at the park about 5:30. Happy hour was late. Had a little rain in the evening, but it was a fun day, one we are all certain to remember.