Day 16, Aug 7, Vacation day 2, Niagara Falls NY
Today was a day that started with a late rising of 8:00 AM,
breakfast again at Denny's (we like it there) and then a bus tour
of many of Niagara Falls best attractions, 10:30 to 4 PM.
The tour started with a trip behind the Horseshoe Falls and a view of the water from 2 portals. You can't see anything but water so the pics are rather uninteresting. But if you are there, you do get a different perspective of the raw power of the water.
More interesting are the photos I took from the observation deck that was almost down to the level of the gorge water level, especially the one of the "Maid of The Mist" as it approached the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The view of the "cliff" is the Canadian side of the lower Niagara River taken from the observation deck. The Horseshoe Falls are behind me. The falls carved out this rock.
The next stop was the Skylon Observation Tower where I took 7 breathtaking pictures. What an awesome view!
About a mile downstream there is a 90 degree turn in the river.
A giant whirlpool exists here and the direction of the rotation
can be changed by redirecting the water flow in the river. If
you click on the Niagara River rapids picture (center) to enlarge
it, look just to the left of center and you can see a man down
next to the waters edge. It is illegal to do this. If he is caught
by the police he risks being arrested, and a $5,000 fine. The
reason for this is that too many people have lost their lives
playing daredevil with the rapids and besides the loss of life,
it is very expensive to "pull off" a rescue effort.
I took a picture of the Robert Moses Power Plant. It is on the American side of the Niagara River and provides 1/7 of the electric power used in the United States. This is now a very highly sensitive area. There is a gorgeous flowerbed clock in the park too, with a wishing well around it. If you enlarge the lily pad picture, you can see money on the lily pads. Directly to the right of the turtles head you can see a dime that I threw in.
The Horseshoe Falls are 170 feet high and the depth of the
water below is 180 feet.. A cross-sectional view of the rock under
the Falls would reveal a hard top layer of dolmite limestone and
then several layers of shale and sandstone. The tumbling waters
cut away the shale and sandstone layers until the undermined top
layer collapses, thus maintaining the vertical face of the Falls.
About 12,000 years ago, the Horseshoe Falls were 7 miles downstream
from its present location. Until the 1950's the Falls eroded at
the average rate of 3 feet per year. Since then major water diversions,
such as the power plant and generating stations have been implemented
to spread the flow of water more evenly and reduce the rate of
erosion. The current erosion is about 1 foot every 10 years. These
are some of the great pictures I was able to take, from the "Maid
of the Mist":
My ride this year was again filled with adventure, good and bad weather and great opportunities to meet many wonderful people that work for and volunteer for the Alzheimer's Association. I also enjoyed the company of all the cyclists and the America By Bicycle staff. I would eagerly encourage any cyclist to consider a ride such as the ones that I do. It is a wonderful way to see our great country in a close up sort of way. Finishing my ride at Niagara Falls and having Donna meet me there for a second honeymoon, was the "frosting on the cake".