When I lived in Ontario, I used to live not too far from Niagara Falls. Close enough that I remember going on a couple of dates there during high school, close enough that it was where we took all our visitors whenever they came to stay.
It was no different when I went back to Canada for a visit with my now-husband. We had a few days in my old hometown before heading to Vancouver, so I took him (and his brother) to see the Falls.
Because they are pretty impressive. Despite all the tackiness that has sprung up around them, the Horseshoe Falls are truly a wonder of nature. We were there in winter, as you can see, and the ice was thick on the river, hanging in icicles from the viewing area below. We also went in the tunnels behind the Falls. I still pause when I think about it. You see, the tunnels simply open out to the Falls. Literally, the water is falling at the open end of the tunnel. And the only thing there (or at least at the time we went) to stop you or anyone from just stepping out, is a wooden bar fixed about half way along the tunnel, waist height from the floor. So, not really a deterrent at all. I think I screamed when I saw it, the noise and proximity quite overwhelming.
And that’s the other thing about the Falls. They are very open. You can drive a little way along the Parkway and just… step into the river. Literally park, walk a few metres, and step in. No wonder so many people have tried the barrel stunt over the years. And the railing at the edge of the Falls itself is, as you can see, about waist height.
And of course this is how it should be. This is nature, unfettered. To fence it and put up high nets and keep people away from it would destroy the experience. It’s up to us to be careful. To not lean over the railing or go beyond the wooden bar in the tunnels. And it’s part of the thrill, too.
Thank you for coming along on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time 🙂