Friday, September 23, 2011

Niagara Falls! No Barrel Required!

 "Hi, I'm Liz, and I'll be your guide today, here at Niagara. If you'll follow me, we'll take a magical journey behind the falls and to their base, where the roaring rush of water will leave you in breathless awe. Please put on your stylish, yellow ponchos, and watch your step as we travel through the underground tunnels. It's slippery!"

"I know, I know, it's not the most flattering look for a girl, but trust me, you really need the poncho."

"Here we are behind the falls! Isn't it exciting...and wet? I bet you're glad for that poncho now, aren't you? We'd get closer, but there's a couple up there taking upwards of 20 or 30 photos of themselves, eating into everyone's time, so this is as close as we're getting. But, as you can see, it's a continual wall of white, and believe me, the scenery doesn't change much from this vantage point anyway."

"Ah, back on the outside and at the base of the falls! Be careful not to let your camera get too wet. It's extremely misty down here!"

"Here we are, surrounded by great towers of rock, rushing curtains of white water, and spiraling clouds of mist! I hope you can all hear me over the roar. It really is a marvelous sound, isn't it? That sound is caused by the 750,000 gallons of water that spill over the falls every second! That's the combined total for both the American and Canadian falls of course. Though, the Horseshoe falls does claim the lion's share."

"Looking downstream, past the edge of the Horseshoe falls, you can see the American falls, and Bridal Veil falls, the small fall barely separated by Luna Island. The American side of the Rainbow Bridge is also visible. Speaking of rainbows, we've got them! Double rainbows! So beautiful! What does it mean? Well, we don't know, but hey, 'it's a double rainbow, all the way! Whoa, that's so intense'!"

"Thanks for taking the behind the falls tour! We'll take a few moments for photo opportunities before we head back up to the top. Yes, miss, I'll take a screaming photo with you! How fun! There's still a lot more Niagara to see!"

"Poncho, don't fail me now!"

"Isn't this exciting!? I sure think so! Alright, let's head topside!"

"Do you see all the seagulls on that little rock formation, out in the river? Isn't that picturesque? I think so, especially surrounded by all that rushing water!"

"Ooooh! Misty!"

"The entire panorama of Niagara is impressive! I hope you're all taking full advantage of your camera's various settings!"

"Oh, and be sure not to miss the stranded scow in the middle of the river, just upstream of the falls. It's been there for 93 years now, just rusting away a little more day by day..."

At about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Tuesday August 6th 1918, a steel copper bottomed sand scow (barge) was engaged in dredging operation in the fast currents on the American side of the Niagara River opposite Port Day at the entrance of the Niagara Falls Power Company hydraulic canal.

The scow was being towed by the tug boat - "Hassayampa" being operated by Captain John Wallace. The scow had two deck hands aboard. They were Gustave Loftberg, age 51 and Frank Harris, age 53. The tug and scow were owned and operated by the Great Lakes Dredge and Docks Company. During the operation, the tug suddenly struck a sandbar approximately a ½ mile upriver from the Falls. The taunt rope that held the barge to the tug snapped "like a thin string".

"I'd tell you the rest of the tale, but we'd be here all day! Read the rest of the thrilling story at Niagara Frontier!"

"Ma'am, if you'll stand right there, I'll take a picture for you. There's a beautiful rainbow right behind you. Alright, great shot! I hope you've been enjoying the tour."

 "Would you mind taking a picture for me as well? This is my first day as a Niagara guide, and I'd like to document the occasion. Thanks!"

"Yes ma'am, those are seagulls, and no, they're not really scared of humans. However, they're probably getting mad at the fact that you're not offering them food. I would slowly step away now if I were you."

"Yes, the Daffodils are much more docile than the birds. That's a lovely shot. I think it'd make a nice profile picture for the Facebook or the Google+. You certainly are a fun loving person, aren't you? Well, I hope you've enjoyed your tour of Niagara Falls! There's a gift shop to your right, and the restrooms are located on the side of the main building. The bus will be leaving shortly, so please make your purchases and meet us back on board soon! Thanks again from everyone at Niagara!"

"Am I really a tour guide for Niagara Falls? No... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Enjoy this parting shot! Gorgeous falls, deep blue sky, double rainbow! So beautiful!"

Next up, Jenny and I visit Niagara Wine College. Ice Wine? Yes, please!

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