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caution: surface may be wet

August 27, 2009

cave of the winds We started our summer vacation in New York City and we’re wrapping it up in Niagara Falls. I am in Western New York with the boys this week. Dave’s family lives just outside the city of Niagara Falls, and we spent the afternoon there. Dave stayed in Albany. Something called “work.”

I love The Falls. The energy there is amazing. The air buzzes — and it’s not just water droplets and roaring.

We walked the “Cave of the Winds,” a sequence of staircases and decks at the base of the American Falls. This was my first time on this tour. We got drenched. The picture here is near the start of the walk. The deck at the top of the walk is called “The Hurricane Deck” — the water was too intense to take out the camera and the wind was too powerful to let go of the two boys I was responsible for. (Dave’s brother hung onto the third.)

The swirling wind pulls the breath right out of your chest. Standing there is like taking a shower. The raincoats — which are yellow for Cave of the Winds — don’t help. Soaked down to bra and underwear! (Thankfully they live close and a change of clothes was 10 minutes away.)

Right before we “showered” in the American Falls on the Cave of the Winds tour, we showered in the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls from the top deck of the Maid of the Mist, a tour boat that travels to the bottom of the falls and sits there for five or 10 minutes while the Falls rain down on you. I rode the Maid of the Mist for the first time four years ago when Dave and I went to the Canadian side for a few nights to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Today, which was the boys’ first time, we launched from the American side.

They loved both adventures. There were some shocked and overwhelmed faces from time-to-time (it’s powerful!), but for the most part, they were thrilled. The picture here is Davin trying to wipe his face while on the Maid of the Mist maid of the mist_davin (where the raincoats are blue). It was hard to have your eyes open some of the time.

I’m hoping there’s a poem (or two) inspired by the afternoon. I jotted down a title and a couple lines on the back of a ticket. I took lots more pictures of the boys and The Falls. We have a bazillion Niagara Falls pictures. Dave started bringing me here in 1991.

Something it is — The Falls — is all-consuming. It captures you and holds you. You get the sense, walking along the paths and observation areas at the top, that all the world rushes past and tumbles over. Everything. And from the bottom that all of it’s coming down on your head.

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3 Comments
  1. August 28, 2009 1:58 am

    Simply amazing. A site I’ve never seen & have wondered about.

  2. August 30, 2009 6:39 pm

    Oh my goodness, I was JUST there two weeks ago! I love Niagara and all the little side attractions that come with it. The view is definitely prettier on the Canadian side, but we didn’t get anywhere near drenched in any of the attractions we went to. We launched from the Canadian side on the Maid of the Mist and it was still loads of fun. “It was hard to have your eyes open some of the time.” — Yes! I was trying to see the falls from up close but you just couldn’t, it was like being under a sprinkler or a shower. :)

    Did you guys get to see the fireworks over the falls? How was it? We missed it. :(

  3. August 30, 2009 6:40 pm

    And next time you visit, book one of the jet-boat tours. They’re absolutely amazing and so much fun, and you get completely sopping wet — even if you’ve got a poncho on, you just get soaked down to your underwear. You’ll end up wanting to go again.

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