Friday, July 10, 2009

Erie Canal and the American side of Niagara Falls

Pictures L to R: Henry playing with the NY wildlife; Erie Canal at Hostoric Lock 35 in Lockport, NY; Dave and Peggy on the Maid of the Mist; The Falls
8 July 2009 Hamilton, NY to Farmington, NY 115 miles

The day started out much like the last few…foggy and rainy…but the farther west we went, the clearer it became. Supposedly, they were having record lows…go figure! We stopped periodically to take in the views, stretch our legs, or just walk around, but this was limited because of the weather.

Dave was convinced that the rain was over, so we ultimately made our way to the only campground in the area—a KOA. These are usually nice, but very busy, and very commercial. We set up camp, did a bit of exploring before heading off to bed. Surprisingly, we both slept very well, and Dave was right…no rain. We were able to get our laundry done though, and we met a nice couple from the Netherlands. As we were taking down the tent, we did discover that these NY woods do have some good sized slugs in them…slugs that like to crawl up the tent sides, under the ground cloth, and I’m sure other places if we had left anything out!

9 July 2009 Farmington, NY to Niagara Falls, NY 122 Miles

Since we had come up a bit north off the 20, we decided to head further north to Hwy 31 and go to Niagara Falls on our way to our cousin’s home. With all the rain we’ve been having, and forced hotel stays along the way, we’ve earned enough points to get a free room. Bruce Marshall and Cookie Smith from Massachusetts and a few of their Model A club members were heading this way, and we will try and meet up with them.

We woke to sunny skies for the first time in a week. Henry fell in love today…We spent a few hours this morning browsing through the Ontario Antique Mall in Farmington, NY. At one point, we had to drag Henry away from a cute she-bear…Henry was upset with us for most of the day because we told him she couldn’t travel with us that he quit talking for awhile…her mom said she was too young to date…
Anyway.. This is one of the nicest malls we’ve seen, and they have a great selection of high-quality antiques. We were also told that they are the largest in NY. They have a huge number of dealers who have Model A era jewelry and purses (some are a bit pricey, but very nice!). If you are in the area, this is a must stop if you are into antiquing.

The drive today was simply beautiful with no rain. It entailed more city driving at quite a few points, especially getting around Rochester, NY. Dave and I did have a bit of a discussion over the “highway” we were on…and the definition of “highway” and “freeway.” I don’t quite understand what he meant when he said I was “radiating my displeasure” about the route today...Hmmmm....

A surprise for us was that we ended up going almost to the shore of Lake Ontario—and we traveled along the Erie Canal for a good portion of the drive. We both realized that we’re not too up on the history of NY when we couldn’t remember details of the Erie Canal and the way it traversed this part of NY. Something we’ll need to remedy.

We made it into Niagara Falls and checked into the Comfort Inn at The Point. We are literally across the street from the Niagara Falls State Park—walking distance to any viewing, the Maid of the Mist, the park lands, and the Canadian border. After dinner, we decided to head out and see what we could from the park. We ended up taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride, at about 7:30, on a boat that was virtually empty. What an awe-inspiring ride. The falls are incredible…the quantity and power of the water, the view, the rainbows rising in the mist, and the sheer magnificence and splendor feeling the spray and the boat being pushed by the moving water…it’s indescribable.

Tomorrow we are going to meet the Massachusetts group over on the Canadian side for breakfast, and explore the falls from there…something we’ve been told we shouldn’t miss.

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