Niagara Falls – Nature Trumps Tackiness

I sat on the porch of the B&B sipping tea and studying the map.  Three days left to tour Canada and the rainy, misty weather had thrown a monkey wrench in my plans.  A plan that had seemed so brilliant …a masterful route visiting the best of the quaint villages along the St Lawrence Seaway on our way to a few days in Ottawa.  I just drew an imaginary line through my plan for the day; taking the ferry across to a nature preserve island.  We had already worn our foul weather gear the past two days and now the fog had rolled in with a light mist.  How to maximize our limited time in these weather conditions?
A promise is a promise.  I had promised Glen that this trip would be relaxing.  We would NOT go tearing all around the country at warp speed trying to see and do too much.  But considering the weather this new plan might now hold better sway. 
Laying out the map with a smile and refilling Glen’s tea I said,  “Did you know we are only four and a half hours from Niagara Falls?  And it is supposed to be way better on the Canadian side?  Like, doubly better according to the guide book. ”   
That is how we found ourselves barreling at warp speed on a very long daytrip ( is four and a half hours each way still in the day-trip category? )  to see Niagara Falls. 
The Canadian side had WAY more cascade.  And kitsch!
Things weren’t looking too swell as we entered the town of Niagara; a mini-Las Vegas w towering hotels and casino towers right along the Falls.  Tacky carnival looking stalls and food emporiums were further up the hill with larger than life ice cream cones and foot long hot dogs promising to smartly separate fools from their money.  This wasn’t looking so bueno as we say in Arizona.  But as we approached Horseshoe Falls on shaky legs, too cramped from the long drive, everything kitsch faded in the mist.  The roar of the cascade grew deafening.  With Niagara Falls, nature trumps tackiness, gallon after cascading gallon, day after day.  Niagara Falls is one of those tourist activities that can’t possibly live up to its reputation but somehow just manages it.
And as we stood there mesmerized by the roar I began to get it. To feel the bone-rattling power of all that cascading water up close is to understand the awesome natural wonder that is Niagara Falls. Thoroughly drenched, chilled and road cranky, Glen and I felt small and mortal, once again in Natures (with a big N) thrall.  This is perhaps the real point of visiting the Falls, to put nature and mankind in proper perspective.

Glen’s ponders our 9 hour drive for a 30 minutes Niagara Falls experience.