As we walked out of the motel this morning, we saw heavy, dark clouds filling the sky, and as we neared the teardrop, the first raindrops fell. We quickly hooked up the trailer and started driving toward the falls. The closer we got, the more quickly the drops fell.
We tried parking where we did yesterday, but were told that no RVs were allowed there. As we left the state park lot we noticed people standing on the street corners waving flags and pointing toward a commercial lot around a large building adjacent to the state park lot. We drove in and they decided we could stay, trailer and all for the same $5.00 fee. That was half the cost of the state park lot!
As we locked up the car, the rain intensified, but Diana had a raincoat and I had an umbrella.
We had purchased a special pack of tickets to the most popular attractions, and three of them were indoors so we set off in what we thought was the direction of the aquarium and discovery center. Walking, raining, walking, wind — and we realized we didn’t really know where we were going. We asked a couple of locals and they told us it was a long indirect walk. We realized we had a one-day pass on the state shuttle and it would stop at all the locations we wanted so we retraced our steps. As we got close to where we parked, the wind and rain really picked up, so we dodged inside the building to wait out the downpour. Turned out the ground floor of the building was filled with tourist kitsch along with a food court.
After 30 minutes or so the rain slacked off a bit and we took off for the visitor’s center and watched an IMax movie which presented a short history of the falls with dramatized depictions of the legend of the “Maid of the Mist,” as well as the first person to go over the falls in a barrel (a 63-year-old woman) and a 7-year-old boy who was in a 1957 boating accident upriver and went over the falls wearing just a life jacket. He survived with just some scratches!
After the movie we took the trolley to the Discovery Center and aquarium which were surprisingly enjoyable. As the rain continued to threaten, we also rode the trolley to Goat Island, expecting to eat a late lunch at the restaurant there and were dissapointed to find it had closed at 2:00 for a private wedding.
Slightly soggy we slunk back to town and salved ourselves with sundry selections from the slavishly stylish Hard Rock Cafe. (The preceding alliteration was presented without commercial interruption by the letter “S”.)
Discouraged, but still enjoying the falls and the atmosphere tremendously, we decided to head over the Rainbow Bridge and into Canada where we had booked another Quality Hotel at a really good rate. We arrived and were pleased with the location. They even let us park right in front of the main desk so everything would be safe. Then we opened the door to our sixth-floor room and were very favorably impressed with the decor and absolutely stunned when we opened the curtains to discover an amazing view of the American Falls! We even had a balcony on the street side which also looks out on the splashy spectacle (sorry, couldn’t resist!). This room adds to our collection of Steve’s proofs. He has always said that there is no place so beautiful you can’t see it from a hotel room window. We have been collecting pictures to try to prove it since early in our marriage.