Niagara Falls

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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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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8 Responses to Niagara Falls

  1. DM says:

    Nice description of Niagra Falls. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to see.

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  2. Barb Estinson says:

    Enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls through your eyes, David. I have not been there since our childhood trip. Backing up the motor home sounds like a fun venture!

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  3. Hartford says:

    I haven’t been to the falls in over 20 years but hubby and I have been talking at length about planning a trip. We live in NB, Canada and so it’s about a 15 hour drive…and so worth it!
    Love RVing and camping – best memories ever!
    Sounds like a fabulous trip and Jillian’s right, the mix up at the border only makes it that much more memorable…LOL…

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Natalie. Hope you do go. BTW, I found good stuff in NB also, such as the Hartland Bridge and Hopewell Rocks. Wish we’d hung around Moncton to see the tide come in. That must be fantastic.

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  4. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    Love the RV story. Stuff like that just makes a trip more memorable! We went to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when I was in high school. My dad drove our conversion van for about 2 days straight because he didn’t want to spend money on a hotel before we got there!
    Niagara falls was amazing. You’re right, there’s so much water, it’s almost hard to process. We also went back and saw it at night. So incredibly beautiful. Definitely one of those places you need to see in your lifetime.
    We stayed in Toronto when we were there and they have really good shopping too 🙂

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