September 14-16, 2003 - Lockport/Niagara, NY

September 14th we drove 139 miles to Niagara County Camping in Lockport, NY.  This would be our base to see Niagara Falls and the area while handling the last paperwork on our house sale.  The campground had too many trees for internet access, luckily everything we were doing was via the phone:

You can see Evita in the windshield on the driver's side.

We had a couple windy and wet days, but the 16th was supposed to be a nice day so we booked a full day tour on that day.

Otherwise we drove around and looked at what we could see for free.  We found Niagara Falls, NY was fairly rundown.  We saw lots of peaches for sale in farm stands but still had lots of raspberries to eat so we didn't try them. 

The tour van picked us up early on the 16th and we toured all day.  About the first thing we did was cross into Niagara Falls, ON, which is a much nicer place than across the border.  Very pretty with lots of flowers and very well kept. 

We went up to the top of a hotel tower for a view and took a couple pictures before we found out we had to come back later due to a wedding.  You can just see one of the Maid in a Mist boats going up to the falls:

So we headed for our trip on the Maid in the Mist, the boat that takes you right up to the falls and supplies a cheap blue rain coat for the journey:

We didn't keep our raincoats, though some did.  The rain coat was basically made of plastic wrap.  There was too much water for Bill to dare pull out the camera and take pictures, we wish we had taken an underwater disposable with us.  The sound right up next to the falls was incredible and very loud.  Definitely something to do once.

After our boat trip we went back to the tower and had the run of the place:

A rainbow in the falls:

Then we drove north a bit and saw the chair lift that takes you over the maelstrom up river:

You cannot use the chair to cross between the U.S. and Canada, it stops just before the other side.  This is where the water from the bottom turns around and rushes back.

We viewed the Niagara Park clock made of flowers and very well kept.

Then we went back to the U.S. side and went walking to see the falls from that side.

Here is a statue of Nikola Tesla on the U.S. side:

In a couple of the pictures you can see the Canadian Maid in the Mist boats by the dock:

It was nice to see the falls from both sides of the border.  Here is one of the nicer pictures we took from the Canadian tower:

We knew Niagara Falls was a tourist attraction, but expected it to be more cheesy.  It was higher class than we expected and the falls were quite nice.  Next time we would probably stay on the Canadian side since we saw multiple nice campgrounds.

We didn't get a chance to see more of the Lockport area, with all the Erie Canal history.  But we did get to handle the closing documents on our house through Express Mail.  They Express Mailed the documents to us, we went to a bank and had them notarized (free!) and then Express Mailed them back. 

We thought about hanging around Lockport longer but Hurricane Isabel was coming.  It was expected to be down to a tropical storm and come right through this area, so we made plans to go far enough for it to miss us.

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