We’ve all been to wonderful places that bring memories flooding back to us. Places of awesome beauty like the Canadian Rockies. Places of great excitement like the Grand Ole Opry. Even a quiet spot under a tree at Grandma’s house. Here’s one of the places I remember from my own past.
Okay, so everybody’s already been to Niagara Falls. That’s all right. You can share your experiences next time.
We arrived at the RV park just after noon, hooked up to utilities and unhooked the car. Driving through town to the falls, we were reminded once again how much cleaner our neighbors to the north keep their country. No papers blowing around, no litter adjacent to the road. Apparently Canadians have trash cans and know how to use them. What a shame Americans don’t.
We drove around for a few minutes before selecting a parking lot a couple of blocks away from Falls Avenue. While our friends back in Texas baked in the July sun, we enjoyed walking to the falls in 70 degree weather.
Being on the Canadian side, we had a full view of the American and Bridal Veil Falls as we walked along the sidewalk toward the Horseshoe Falls.
No matter how many times I go there, I’m always awed by the magnitude of the falls—the sheer volume of water. Approximately six million cubic feet of water go over the Horseshoe Falls every minute. That’s about a million bathtubs full per minute. It boggles the imagination.
If you’ve never been there, standing and staring at a bunch of water moving by at 35 miles per hour may sound a bit dull, but I promise you it’s not. I could watch it for hours.
Or until my wife got tired of it and demanded that we walk around a bit. That was fine, too. There must have been a hundred thousand people walking up and down the sidewalk overlooking the falls and the river below—about the same number of people I normally find in front of me on a freeway in Fort Worth, but that’s another story.
Once we tired of walking up and down the sidewalk, we looked around for a restaurant for supper, settling for an outdoor table. As we sat there, we heard a murmur of excitement, and our waiter told us a man was about to walk a tightwire between two highrise buildings.
We looked up in time to see him take his first steps away from his starting point and out over nothing but air. No nets like at the circus. This guy was probably 200 feet or more above the ground with no protection—nothing to stand on except a thin wire. Well, I don’t know how thin it was—didn’t get that close.
We forgot about our food as we watched this daring young man. The told us he did this every evening about this time. That was six years ago, so I don’t know if he still does this or not—or even whether or not he’s survived all this time—but it was an amazing feat. We sat with our mouths open as we watched. He made it to the other building, and we went back to our meal, but neither of us has ever forgotten it.
After supper, we walked around some more, wandering into a building where we watch a demonstration of glass-blowing and another building where they had a display of artifacts of the history of the falls. We watched a movie about all the
fools daredevils who had gone over the falls. A few survived the experience, but most didn’t.
The next day we wanted to get through Buffalo before traffic got too bad, so we left the RV park about 4:30 or 5:00. Even at that hour there was a pretty good flow of vehicles headed for the border. As is my custom, I sought the shortest line to get through customs. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize not all the booths were wide enough for a motorhome.
When it became my turn to pull into the booth, I realized my error. The customs guy stepped out of his station and told me I’d have to back up. Yeah, right! Ever try to back a motorhome towing a car? Basically, you don’t.
I told the man my wife would have to go back and steer the car so I could back straight and he would have to play traffic cop while we did it. By the time we got out of that lane and into the wide lane, there were several thousand Canadians either shaking their fists at our interruption of their day or shaking the heads at our stupidity. Guess we deserved it, but one bad experience couldn’t dim the pleasure of our visit to the falls.
Ø What are some of the places you remember from childhood—or maybe from last year?
Ø Think about what those places mean to you.
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