Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Niagara Falls

 We headed to Niagara Falls today.  We had a wonderful day.  The first stop was the whirlpool that is below the falls.  They have created a state park all along the river to protect this area.

the rapids cat. 6

The whirlpool

The river exiting the whirlpool.

The Niagara Whirlpool is a natural whirlpool along the Niagara River. The whirlpool is located in the Niagara Gorge, downstream from Niagara Falls. The whirlpool's greatest depth is 125 feet.

It is estimated that the whirlpool formed approximately 4,200 years ago by the upstream erosion of the Niagara Escarpment by the Niagara River. Niagara Falls is located along the boundary of the Niagara Escarpment and has been "retreating" upstream since its formation. During this normally slow process, the retreating falls intersected with an ancient pre-glacial river bed inside Saint David's Buried Gorge. During the retreat of ice from the glaciation of the last glacial period, the gorge was filled with loose sediment and rock. When the falls intersected with this buried gorge, the river quickly washed away the filled-in silt and rocks. The ancient buried gorge was nearly perpendicular to the Niagara River. This sharp and sudden change in direction of water flow, coupled with the rapid flow of water exiting the Niagara Gorge (speeds as high as 30 feet per second), resulted in turbulent swirling of the river. Further erosion of the harder rock has resulted in a rounded basin that extends just to the side of the actual river's course.

The whirlpool naturally spins in a counterclockwise motion during normal flow. When more water from the river is diverted to the surrounding hydroelectric power plants, however, the flow often reverses.
Interesting stuff.

We then headed to Goat Island and took these pixI could have put in hundreds more.  So beautiful.


Goat Island is a small island in the Niagara River, located in the middle of Niagara Falls between the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The island is at the southwest corner of the City of Niagara Falls.
Goat Island has no residents, but is a popular destination for tourists visiting the falls on the U.S. side; it offers some of the most spectacular views available there. Goat Island is connected to the U.S. mainland by two bridges.

Now it was time to go to Cave of the Winds.  We go onto a deck and get in an elevator to descend to the edge of the river and near the American and Bridle Veil Falls.  

 Rog really looks great in his special yellow waterfall gear.  We got these when we went in the Cave of Wind.

We got yellow rain gear and special sandals to wear on the slippery walkways along the way. 

I could wear mine too, so now my shoes will not get all wet and I will not slip too.  They are pretty nice and comes with the price of the ticket nice.  So they are mine.

this is Rog trying to stand in the wind gusts and the water falling on him.

He is at hurricane point. 
It is so beautiful and powerful. 


The Cave of the Winds was a natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls at the Niagara Falls.
The cave was some 130 feet high, 100 feet  wide and 30 feet in depth. It was discovered in 1834, and originally dubbed Aeolus' Cave, after the Greek god of winds. Guided tours began officially in 1841, and continued until a rock fall in 1920 made it clear the passage was no longer safe. The tour officially reopened in 1924, now bringing visitors to the front of the Bridal Veil instead of behind it, on a series of decks and walkways.  Tropical storm-like conditions can be experienced, as winds can reach up to 68 mph underneath the falls.
The cave was obliterated in a massive 1954 rockfall and subsequent dynamiting of a dangerous overhang.
Today, the "Cave of the Winds" is the name of a tourist attraction near the same site. An elevator takes people from the area between the American and Canadian Falls down to the level of the Niagara River at the base of the American Falls. A series of redwood decks and platforms allow sightseers to walk right up to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls with water crashing down right on them and flowing beneath the decking.
The decking is removed each fall due to the potential damage caused by ice buildup at the falls and re-installed each spring by park officials for sightseers to enjoy the experience. The decking is not secured to the rocks below by bolts or other construction materials; the wood beam supports are simply wedged into the rock crevices.

After the Cave of the Winds we took a walk around Goat Island to see all of the falls from the top down and feel and hear their power. 

Then we headed to the tower for the Maid of the Mist boat ride.  Here we got another view of all the falls. 
This is Rainbow bridge.  Canada on the left and the USA on the right side. 

Looking down on the platform for the boat ride.  Let's go this has got to be fun. 

On this trip we got pretty blue waterfall gear. 
We are on the boat looking at the tower we were on and went down the elevator to get on the boat ride.  We are in the boat for this pic.

Horseshoe Falls.

We tried to get pix while in the middle of the horseshoe, but the mist was just too much for the camera. 

We got so wet and laughed so much.  It has to be on your bucket list. 

Facts to know:

From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.  The Horseshoe Falls lie on the Canadian side and the American Falls on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.
Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.

 Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age, and water from the newly formed  Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet  of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet  on average.

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