Monday, July 3, 2017

I Tumble For You

Niagara Falls is one of my favorite stops any time we are in Western New York, and since Heidi's family is here in Buffalo, I have been to the falls many times. And yet, with a nod to Heraclitus, it really never is the same place twice. Depending on the season, who else is along on the trip, and where we end up parking, the experience is not only different, but new every time.

Ten years ago, you would find us in line with four little boys clad in yellow plastic ponchos and disposable sandals, waiting to take the elevator 185 feet down to the Cave of the Winds and the craggy path that leads to the decks on the edge of the falls.

Four summers ago we parked in town and made our way through an early Canada Day festival to the well manicured park just north of Bridal Veil Falls. From there our group of 2 seniors, 2 adults, a 12-year-old boy, and our dog walked over the foot bridge and on to the Horseshoe Falls overlook.

A couple of Christmases ago, Heidi, her mom and brother, took advantage of a warm December day and wandered the nearly empty park. All the concession were closed for the season, giving the place an air of abandonment, and letting us have the falls almost to ourselves.

That summer, we visited the Canadian side with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece, marveling at how, well, Canadian,everything seemed even though we were within view of the U.S. the entirety of our excursion.

And today the sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing, and from we parked we walked over another bridge and into a section of the park I've never seen before. A trail ran right along the rapids and made detours over raging tributaries to get out to the Three Sisters Islands. Then we followed it down the river toward the rainbows and mist rising dramatically ahead until at last we were at the top of the Horseshoe. From there it was around to the visitors center, which, to my disappointment, was under construction, meaning the statue of Tesla was in storage.

No doubt he'll be back soon. And so will I.

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