Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 43 – Niagara Falls, NY

Today: No cycling. It was our final rest day.
Cumulative: 3140 miles, 101570 feet of climb
Remaining: Approx. 564 miles, 20410 feet of climb in 7 days.

A beautiful summer evening watching fireworks over the falls

Today was a rest day in Niagara Falls. We resume our ride to the Atlantic Ocean tomorrow morning.

When I think of Niagara Falls, I think of The Three Stooges:

And here is the Abbott & Costello routine for good measure:

Last night was a late night. We went down to the American Falls and watched the fireworks at 10:00PM. Both falls were lit and very pretty at night. The views seemed completely different from the daytime. We got back to the hotel after 11PM, and it was about 1AM before I got yesterday’s blog done and went to bed.

On the left, the Rainbow Bridge. On the right, the American Falls in the foreground with the Canadian Falls in the background

Here is a sample of the fireworks last night:

Eileen, Alex, Jeff, LBJ, NJ Mark, and Dereka at the bottom of the Canadian Falls today

Jeff and Joe at the Canadian Falls on the American side

Today I got an 8AM wake up call from Jeff. Thanks, Jeff! After breakfast at Denny’s we walked over the Rainbow Bridge into Canada and went to the Canadian Falls. We also went on the tour behind the falls. By “we” I mean Jeff, Katie, Gerard, Eileen, Alex, John (LBJ), and myself. During the day New Jersey Mark, Dereka, Steve, and others also joined us. The last time I was here was in 1980 when a young auditor with Hertz during an audit in Toronto. The Canadian side has been significantly built up during the last 30 years. Many more tall buildings, several casinos, and a gazillion tourists are here from all over the world. Culture shock, after all of the small towns we’ve been visiting the last 43 days.

Here, we are at the bottom of the Canadian Falls:

We had lunch here

During the day, among the thousands upon thousands of tourists on both sides of the falls, I think we ran into all 50 cyclists and all 6 ABB staff at some point. After visiting the Canadian Falls, we came back to the USA side for a nice lunch at an Indian restaurant. Then, we went to Goat Island for a visit to the Canadian Falls from the American side. Goat Island is the island between the Canadian and American Falls.

USA or Canada?

Prior to today, everyone was under the impression that the tours and views were better on the Canadian side. By end of day, the majority of us concluded the experience was better on the American side. The views of the falls from the American side were less touristy and in a much more park like and natural setting.

Who are those cyclists going through customs?

The day concluded with a well deserved two hour afternoon nap, several calls to family members, and a good hamburger at the casino on the American side with Jeff. It was a relaxing day and I’m ready to get back on the bike again. The tour now boils down to a 5 day ride across New York with an added day each in Vermont and New Hampshire. Last year, Gary, Harold, and I were considering the Erie Canal ride instead of BRAG 2009. The Erie Canal ride never came off for us because of logistics, so this ride will take its place, as it covers some of the same ground. Who knows, perhaps we’ll still do that ride in the future. Gary, what say you? Is it the Erie Canal, AMBA, or BRAG in 2011? In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing the upstate NY countryside this week.

Back to the hotel at 7:30PM tonight. And the Braves are on TV at home playing the Mets on SNY. I haven't seen any baseball since Sioux Falls. Final score: Braves 4, Mets 1. A good ending to a great day.

Last night in the hotel lobby. My first Braves T shirt sighting since the airport on June 19

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