Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Road Trip: The Biggest Small Bike Ride Ever

I never imagined I'd ride a bicycle from one country to another, but I did. Sounds really cool and outdoorsy, right? Nevermind that it was the shortest two minute ride across a nice bridge from the Canadian Niagara Falls to the U.S. Falls; it sounds better to say I rode from one country to another, so I am sticking with that.

I felt like I was in a movie as the wind whipped my hair and we rode across undisturbed by cars or even other people. It was just me, my bike, my friend, and a bridge in limbo between two countries.

The customs officer asked so few questions as we reached the other side, that I worried he wasn't doing his job properly. I resolved that if I ever needed to engage in some illegal border crossing, this would be the place.

We rode around and headed to Cave of the Winds (which I would soon discover would be more aptly named 'Cave of the Extreme Soak-Down') for a more intimate interaction with the impressive Falls. Choosing a weekday to visit Niagara was brilliant as the lines were short and the people sparse. We walked right in, received our yellow ponchos and some hideously nerdy sandals intended to prevent slipping. I wondered if wearing these sandals might actually be worse than the slipping itself. But since the man of my dreams was probably not lurking somewhere behind the falls, I donned the unflattering gear, and headed for excitement.

We climbed down and met the water plummeting down right before us. It was incredible; I was looking up right into the face of Niagara Falls and feeling the water sprinkle my face. And as if this weren't already a pretty perfect moment, a rainbow suddenly appeared. Had this been a musical, someone would have promptly burst into song. The water looked so fresh and clean that I cupped my hand under it and decided to have a taste; I like to live on the edge. It was pure, clean, and delicious just as I had imagined. We continued to follow the stair path, getting closer and closer to the top of Bridal Veil Falls. We got so close it felt as though we'd been caught in a torrential downpour with someone simultaneously dumping buckets of water over our heads. It was a blast! My jeans were soaked up to my knees, blouse wet, and hair damp. The yellow poncho pretty much served no purpose whatsoever. (Disclaimer: If you do not intend to stand directly underneath the plunging water like a child playing in a sprinkler, then you are likely to stay dry, and your poncho will come in handy).

Continuing our bike ride in wet jeans was far from ideal, but what's a girl to do? We rode along the park path and discovered a spot where you could walk down to the water's edge. Well, you could walk to the edge after climbing over a short wall that probably wasn't meant to be climbed over, but no one was looking and I knew we would be careful.

There was a certain level of craziness in what we were doing; we were just a few feet away from getting caught in the current and swept right over the edge. I am sure where we were standing was probably illegal and would most definitely have given my mother a small heart-attack, but I was living on the edge more literally than ever before. I dipped my toes in the icy water and practiced skipping rocks as I watched the water turn from peaceful to powerful before sliding into the pool below.

We rode back to Canada just as the sun was going down and my jeans had finally dried. It is funny how you can spend an entire day watching lots of water fall over an edge, but somehow it is pretty amazing.


Ms. Chan said...

Wow, I love the picture of Niagara falls!

Anonymous said...

So pretty...I need a vacay, ASAP!

Ms. Chan said...

I awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. See my blog post for details:

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