left Marguerite's house in Melville and headed across Queens and
the Bronx toward Niagara Falls. This segment would take
several days due to the distances involved and our late departure
time from Melville. We did finishing touches on the bathroom
right to the bitter end. The exit from New York City was not
too bad, but as always, there was plenty of traffic.
The photos below are what we saw.
we headed west from Melville toward the city, we got a view of the
old World's Fair site which conjured up only one thought: "Men In
Black". The structures do look like flying saucers.
turned north toward the Bronx and passed this field full of soccer
players. Note the apartment buildings in the background of
the photo above.
the elevated roadway we could see the industrial section of
town. The barge on the river brings in aggregate for the
concrete plant. Also, the owner of the plant has a private
docking facility for his speed boat just to the left of the
trucks. To quote Mel Brooks from "History of the World: Part
I": It's good to be the king.
NYC area has no shortage of infrastructure, particularly
bridges. The photo above is the approach to the
Bronx-Whitestone Bridge which uses E-ZPass. Kathleen worked
on this project when she was at TransCore.
the crest of the bridge, we could see the Throgs Neck bridge to
our east. We did not take that bridge due to repairs being
conducted. Note the 4 story shack at the bottom right of the
left the NYC area to the north and crossed the Hudson River via
the Tappan Zee bridge.
Tappan Zee bridge is big and it is interesting to note that it has
a differing number of lanes going into the city than outbound.
waterfront areas, barges hold construction equipment. Above,
3 barges are chained together to create the work platform.
The crawler crane is moved onto the carrying barge and the locking
poles are elevated using the crane. A tug moves the barge
and when it is in the proper position, the poles are lowered into
the river bottom thus providing an anchor point.
path toward Niagara Falls took us past many rivers and
streams. The fellow in the photo above has a pretty nice
Hwy 17 we encountered many sections that were under
construction. Hwy 17 is being converted into I-86 and in so
doing required some upgrades to meet interstate specifications
(grade, curvature). Above, equipment gnaws away at a cliff
that is in the way.
as we passed, the trac-hoe above dropped that huge boulder.
We were surprised that it could actually move it due to its size.
interesting things pass you on the road. This odd object is
a rear stabilizer for a large aircraft and despite the custom
mounting fixture, it still takes a lane and a half. Note the
overhang on the right side of the trailer.
found a nice camping area just north of Corning, NY (same as the
glassware). Our site had the only stream view.
the long hike over hill and dale to get to the restroom, this was
one of the better places that we have camped. Concrete pads
are somewhat rare.
to the west from our camp, there were nice groomed grounds for
group camping. Happily, these were vacant when we were
morning, we headed northwest again. From the road we could
see wind power generation towers on the hilltops.
path took us through some beautiful country.
down the road we encountered a truck with a windmill tower.
The tower was huge and transport of the tower component required
several police cars and a number of pilot vehicles. Later in
the day, after chores in Buffalo, NY, we stopped at the Niagara
Falls Campground for the night.
morning, we attempted to get a tour bus to take us to Niagara
Falls. But the tour guy was MIA so we decided to ride our
bikes the 8 miles from the campground to the falls. In
theory, this would give us more options and better mobility while
avoiding the parking issues. In this case, practice did not
correspond with theory. Along the way, I picked up some
debris which caused my tire to leak. As we proceeded, the
leak got worse causing us to stop ever 1/4 mile or so to refill
the tire. Just as we got to the falls, the whole assembly
failed. So, we locked the bikes to a tree and set off on
foot. Above, Kathleen stand next to one strand of the
Niagara River before it heads over the American Falls. The
guard rail and 2 steps is all that separates her from her maker.
the background, the Canadian side is visible (which is much bigger
and nicer than the American side). Also visible are the
American Falls and the bigger Horseshoe Falls in the distance.
the spot in the bottom center of the photo. This could be a
bird or a fish; I could not tell from the source photo.
attempted a fix on the tire and failed. We located a
reasonably close bike shop and made plans for a visit on our exit
from the falls.
was overcast and sprinkling so the lighting was sub-optimal for
good photos. But, despite the hindrance, the photo above
gives a pretty good feeling about the scale of Horseshoe
Falls. Mist created by the falling water obscures a majority
of the structure of the falls.
ate lunch at the Top of the Falls Restaurant and were treated to
an over-priced, mediocre lunch. The weather cleared briefly
and it allowed a clear photo of the power plant that is upstream
of Horseshoe on the Canadian side. This plant is
to the perspective of the view point, the water in the river just
seems to fall into a hole and disappear.
the ridge above the view point, Horseshoe Falls is hidden in its
own mist. This is as good as it was going to get with
respect to visibility.
Canadian side had much more development than the American
side. There is a restaurant at the top of the tower that
rotates as you eat. We did not go to the Canadian side due
to the unreasonable hassles provided by a border crossing in two
directions. We had our passports with us, but due to time
constraints, we declined.
noise from the falls was awesome.
icon of Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist tour. There
are several boats that provide tours that take folks right to the
base of the falls. Note the blue slickers that are provided
for the tourists. You WILL get wet, there is no way to avoid
boats are fast and powerful. They have to be powerful to
fight the current in the river downstream of the falls.
About a minute later than the previous photo, the photo above
shows the upper limit of the tour. The boat can just barely
hold its own against the current and visibility is impaired due to
the large amount of spray in the water. The boats hold there
position for several minutes and then drift backwards in the
current and return to the dock.
Bridge that spans the gorge. The observation deck on the
American side is visible at the right of the bridge.
American Falls is to the far right.
stated above, the Canadian side has much more tourist
amenities. The American side, to coin a phrase used by my
next door neighbor who is from this area, is "economically
depressed". Depressed indeed; on our departure from the area
we saw hookers in doorways and what appeared to be a drug deal
going down on the sidewalk.
parting view of American Falls and Rainbow Bridge.
Given that it
was getting late in the day and given that I had a flat tire on my
bike and given that it was an 8 mile walk if the tire was not
fixed, we left around 4pm and headed to the bike shop. Two
miles of "power walking" later, we arrived at the shop with
minimal time to spare. The owner replaced the tire and tube
and we rode back to the RV park.
Niagara Falls is
worth seeing, if only once. We were impressed, but it is not
the most impressive waterfall we have seen. That honor goes
to Palouse Falls in Washington state.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.