It rained hard last night and it was still coming down when we woke up this morning. Around nine, there was a pause and it looked like the rain was heading off towards our destination for the day, Niagara Falls. Lakeside is a nice little spot with lots of seasonal campers who have formed a tight knit community. We got squared away and had a conversation with the owner before heading down the highway towards Buffalo. The shuffalo to Buffalo.
We stopped at a Walmart about halfway and restocked the pantry and bought a few hardware items for the van. Put it all away while the dogs wandered the grass outside with PJ. It was a short drive today and soon we were driving through Buffalo. Traffic was moderate and the going was good.
We arrived at the Goat Island parking area for Niagara Falls at around 1:30. We ate a quick sandwich and gave the dogs a walk around the park then shut them in and walked down the path to Terrapin Point and Horseshoe Falls. It was cold and raining off and on. We donned long sleeve shirts and raincoats and braved the elements.
The falls are amazing. The massive amount of water pouring over the precipice is incredible. The mist coming off them is like rain. There were quite a few other tourists from all over the world roaming the cliffs and snapping pictures.
We walked off of the island to the main Visitor Center and watched a little film on the history of the falls. The gift shop and information area was packed. Not only with movie goers and shoppers, but also people escaping the rain outside that had begun to come down even harder. Most of the people who had done the Maid of the Mist boat tour were still wearing their blue plastic poncho to keep themselves dry.
The Maid of the Mist was our next stop, so we walked across the park and bought our tickets. We have pretty good rain coats, but the added plastic ponchos go down to the knees. We just missed the boat and had to wait for the next one which was okay because we got positions right on the bow of the upper deck.
The boat goes right up to the waterfalls to the point where the lake surface is all roiled up and jostling us around. The mist is so heavy it is like being in the rain. Everyone on board was animated and frankly, awed by the spectacle of the falls. The outing wasn’t long, maybe 25 minutes, but it was really memorable.
After disembarking, we climbed the stairs to a viewpoint for the waterfall nearest the dock. A herd of people in blue plastic outerwear. Then it was back up to the observatory platform on a crowded elevator and then after a few more photos, we hiked back across the river to the parking lot and let the dogs out for a break.
An easy 9 mile drive landed us at Branches of Niagara campground where we checked into site 114 and got hooked up then had a rest in the quiet wooded area. Soon, the spots around us filled and things got a little more animated. Lots of kids here and lots of planned activities to keep them occupied. Canoeing, zip lines, fishing, swimming, crafts, you name it.
We leashed up the canines and took a walk around the small man made lake that is the center of the campground. We stopped and tossed a couple of horseshoes along the way. We took a seat on a bench and enjoyed the afternoon sun as it snuck out from behind the clouds. It was a standout day, beautiful from start to finish. Ate salads and rested in the coach as the sun finally set around 8:30. Time to figure out our next move.