Sunday, September 29, 2013

At Niagara Falls, Ontario

I am trying to stay reasonably current, at least so far as my short-term memory allows, so will briefly describe our route after leaving Sault Ste. Marie.  We crossed the "Mighty Mac" on I-75 connecting us to Michigan’s lower peninsula with Lake Michigan on our right and Lake Huron, our third Great Lake, on the left.

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Mackinac Bridge, Lake Huron on the left., Lake MI rt.
Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
Exiting the interstate immediately we picked up Heritage Route 23, driving along the shore of Lake Huron, through small, very scenic little towns, to Tawas City and overnighted at the City Park Campground.
Scenic route through lots of small towns

A nice stop for lunch by Lake Huron
Roadside park for lunch
Once through Bay City we again opt for the scenic route along Lake Huron and MI Historic Highway 25. We stayed two nights at Lakeport State Park, near Port Huron, and a convenient spot to do some shopping and top off our fuel before entering Ontario, Canada. Though the park is located lakeside it's a hike through a dense forest to see the water.  There was a warm rain falling so we took this opportunity to wipe some of the grime off the motorhome.

On the other side of the forest is Lake Huron
We find that Sundays are good travel days, especially if our route takes us through heavier traffic areas that are unfamiliar to us.  Al in Bayfield was kind enough to send us the series of Ontario highway connections and what to expect in order to get to our destination near Fort Erie.  This proved to be the perfect location from which to see the Niagara Falls and have easy access to Buffalo when the journey continues.  To add to our enjoyment was the great Windmill Point RV Park, one of our half price Passport America parks.  We stayed 3 nights, got our laundry done, and had two full days to sight-see.

Our site at Windmill Point RV Park

A beautiful quarry lake was right behind us
Time to get this magnificent show on the road and I am truly excited, having never been to Niagara Falls. I should also mention the weather is equally beautiful; 70s with the greatest cloud formations, always better for photos.  The drive from our park is along the Niagara Parkway with views across the Niagara River to Buffalo and the Peace Bridge. 

Peace Bridge as seen from the Niagara Parkway
We see mist before anything else; huge plumes shooting into the air.  The windshield is already wet as we approach the beautiful city of Niagara Falls, Ontario and join the throngs of folks vying for parking spots.

Nice city & did I mention clouds!
 We walked back and forth between the Canadian Falls and the US just soaking up (literally) every view.  Best to now let a few of the photos speak for themselves.

On the edge of the Canadian Falls

The Brink!
The Canadian or Horseshoe Falls with tour boat approaching

The American Falls & Bridal Veil

Full view of American, Bridal Veil, Goat Island, Horseshoe Falls (and those clouds)
Tourist from all over the world come for this view; Buffalo across the way

Walkway down to the boats

Even Elvis was in the house
After getting the lay of the land we decided to take the Maid of the Mist boat tour to get up close and personal to the Falls and experience the roar.  We were all given blue rain slickers but warned we'd still get wet.  It's very hard to take photos in these conditions without doing bodily harm to the camera, but we managed a few.

Patiently waiting

Getting up close

Hear the roar, we're there!

And we're back!
The Niagara River runs from Lake Erie 35 miles to Lake Ontario and includes Niagara Falls along its course. There is also the Welland Canal that connects theses two Great Lakes and allows ship traffic from the Atlantic Ocean and along the St. Lawrence Seaway and through a series of locks, thus bypassing the Falls.

We drove to nearby Port Colborne at the south end of the Welland Canal on Lake Erie and spent several hours walking around this lovely little town.  Out location near Fort Erie proved to be near everything.  Lake Ontario will have to wait for the next leg of this trip.

Welland Canal at Port Colborne

Lovely, colorful town...Port Colborne

Lake Erie

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