Saturday, November 2, 2013

Through New York to Niagara

Time constraints dictated that I get back to Toronto in only two days, so the Friday was very boring driving much too far on I-90 (which I hadn't been on since Montana, Wyoming & South Dakota two years ago).  The west of Massachusetts was much more heavily wooded & hilly than I was expecting.  Still, state highways would have been preferred.

I stayed with a very lovely almost-retired airbnb couple in northern Rochester for the night.  Just to stretch the legs I took the short walk down to Lake Ontario.  I wasn't expecting to see deer roaming the suburbs.
 There were still plenty of red trees around in the fading daylight.
I got down to the lake & this storm rolled in, so I retreated back to the house & had a big Skype chat with Mum - which after a week of meeting strangers was nice.

Once again, I managed to get fed not just breakfast (a delicious [goes without saying] bacon & egg roll from a food-van decades in business at the local Farmers Market), but dinner too from my hosts.  But hoping to get to Toronto mid-afternoon via the Falls, I left pretty early & took the gentle drive around the lake to Niagara on a miserable-weather morning.

I managed to view the Falls pretty well from both the American & Canadian side - you definitely get the best wide-angle view from Ontario.  On this particular day, the American side was good for feeling the Falls blowing in your face.  Not much to say really as they're so well know - there's a lot of water falling a fair way & it's all very spectacular.  I opted out of the Maid of the Mist boat trip for time reasons, plus I was getting plenty wet standing above plummeting water.

Looking down at all those that are about to get soaked through their matching ponchos.

The sideshow American & Bridal Veil Falls.

I swapped photos with a couple of other tourists - it's a rubbish one of the falls & only slightly better of me. But oh well, I was there.

The Horseshoe Falls

Watching a fair current of water plummet into much peril.

There I am again - perhaps I'm trying to smile, it's a little hard to tell.

The drive to Toronto started out in dire conditions & was much shorter than I thought.  By the time I arrived the sun was out & I was back where I had been nine days before picking up Jane.  What a completely enjoyable trip, I do so enjoy travelling in North America; although after the last two big trips (Moab & Kenya) had been MTBing focused, it was a little odd to have a less strenuous trip.  At least I managed a fair bit of city-biking & walking - that helped to counter all the fantastic food, I suppose.

One last dinner out, this time in the old Distillery district - which Cat was keen to visit for the first time & with the largest collection of Victorian industrial buildings in North America, I was hardly about to say no.  There was too much choice as far as cafes & restaurants went; we briefly contemplating skipping dinner altogether and just camping in the divinely-smelling chocolate shop.  But we did find a very good brew-pub & an even-better-than-the-last pumpkin ale. I dropped Cat off at work and packed before spending a sleepless night lying on the lounge floor (I was determined to not have carried my sleeping bag & thermarest all the way for no reason) listening to the traffic outside.

I snuck out at awful-o'clock, returned the car & started the trip home - crossing pretty much the last thing off my food-to-eat-once-for-old-times'-sake list by grabbing some timbits for the flight home.  They proved invaluable when I discovered them in my hand-luggage before setting off on the nasty storm strewn drive home from Heathrow.

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