Saturday, July 23, 2011

Niagara Falls

On Tuesday, we continued our adventure in Niagara Falls. None of the kids had ever seen the falls and since we were reasonably close we planned to take a day there. It was so hot we spent ourselves on the American side and didn't view the falls from Canada. I was only disappointed that I didn't get to flex my enhanced NY driver's license on the way back through customs. Ah well... We did take a ride on the Maid of the Mist which was lots of fun. I kept asking Dan how much for the wedding package!

View from the platform above the Maid of the Mist dock on the American side of the falls.

This is probably the best view of the American Falls from the US. Check out the mist from the Horseshoe Falls in the background can see that when you cross the Niagara further up river just as you are approaching the city of Niagara Falls.

Approaching the Canadian Falls from the Maid of the Mist

Passing the American Falls on the way back to the dock- on the way up to the Canadian Falls you see these closer up and I could have stood there all day to feel the mist on my face.

The whirlpool- you can just see the cable car you can take over the river from the Canadian side.
It was so dreadfully hot that day that we almost just left after our Maid of the Mist experience, but we managed to pull ourselves together for a drive (on the American side) down to the whirlpool. The whirlpool is where the Niagara river takes a sharp turn and all the water tumbling from the falls can't make the turn so well and goes around before exiting and continuing down the river toward Lake Ontario. E12 took a look at it and was disappointed. He felt the whirlpool was not dramatic enough. Somehow he thought it would be this amazing swirling vortex of water sucking anything down in its path. This thought reminded Dan of something he'd read. Now if you knew Dan in person, you'd know that this is a thing with him. He remembers everything he reads and is able to call it up in conversation at will. It's his super power. Really.

The story was about a lake in Louisiana which drained like a bath tub and emptied completely in a very short amount of time- the whirlpool sucked down fully loaded barges and caused the canal and the connecting Gulf of Mexico to flow north into the hole! Sure enough, Dan found the video of it and shared it with the kids. I just viewed it again to share here with you and I made a wild discovery. The earth science professor they interview is from SUNY Brockport (a State University of NY campus very near where we were camping) and in the background is a portrait of William Pryor Letchworth for whom the state park was named! My point? That just brought all of this together very tidily! Now, watch this video and stand in awe of a remarkable engineering failure which caused a huge whirlpool-yes, it's worth the time! Warning: ignore the typed comments that go with the video! 

Now that was a swirling vortex with some crazy power.

Our trip to Niagara Falls was a success despite the heat- was even hot so close to Canada! I only wish we could have lingered on the Maid of the Mist that afternoon.


Erin said...

Looks like a great trip to Niagara!! We haven't been there in years.

That video at the end is crazy! I can't believe such a small mistake could cause such massive destruction. Amazing that no one was hurt.

Kisha said...

Cool! I remember seeing Niagara Falls as a kid. Always breathtaking--even in pictures.

musicalmary said...

We were at Niagara Falls this time last year -- our trip sounds just like yours! We also took a day and did a cruise on the Erie Canal - we were just at the point in our American history studies so it was AMAZING!! My sister lives in Rochester so we got the grand tour.

I will never forget the Maid of the Mist and the power you feel from the falls. It was so wonderful!

CINDY said...

Great pictures of the falls, and the video about Jefferson Is. was fascinating! I can't wait to show it to ds. Glad you all had a wonderful trip!