Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cave of the Winds - Niagara Falls, NY

One Note: All these pictures were taken with a disposable waterproof camera. Definitely a necessity on this hike. And by the way, the sky really was that blue -- I don't artificially enhance any of my photos.

The best attraction in Niagara Falls on either side of the border is without a doubt the Cave of the Winds.

OK, so there is no more 'cave' to explore, but that's hardly an issue. The exhilaration of being directly below the Falls as they pound the rocks at your feet is something everyone should experience. The deafening roar of the water, the constant spray (it's more like a full-on garden hose soaking at certain points) of the water hitting your face and body is a BLAST!

My family and I go at least once a summer. For the past two years I've had my cousins from out West come up for a visit, so I was able to introduce them to this great place. So the pictures you will see are from two different summers - this year and last year.

After donning this useless plastic bag of a coat and the special sandals that are part of your $11.00 admission price, you head down the elevator through the rock gorge and end up along a paved walked way. The roar of the Falls is deafening.
The pavement ends and the wooden platform begins your journey through spectacular little falls cascading over moss-covered rocks with a view of the Falls that is breathtaking. A little misty at this point in the walk, but don't let that fool you. I love to just hang out here are take it all in. There are gulls of all different species calling and soaring around. Its a whole different world from being up on the ledge of the gorge and its amazing.Rainbows are everywhere! Parts of the walkway are like walking through a fast moving creek. Here's a picture looking at my foot under the rushing water.

Once you make your way onto the Hurricane Deck which is the closest point to the base of the Falls, the true fury of the Falls is evident. And this is just the smaller Bridal Veil Falls that you get up close and personal with. But it doesn't matter-its powerful force is mesmerizing.
Trying to take pictures at this point is pretty hard - wipe the lens, click, wipe the lens, click. A constant never ending soaking. LOVE IT!Here we are at the end of the walk. Wet but happy.

We went back up there this past weekend with all intentions of doing it again. One look at the 100s of people in line and we decided to stay up top. Here's a short video of the view from the edge.

One interesting fact -- these walkways are taken down every winter and rebuilt in the Spring.

My second favorite Niagara Falls attraction is the Whirlpool Jet Boats which run out of Lewiston, New York, just a short 15 minute ride north down river from the Falls. Stay tuned for more details on that!

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