Last week I spoke at a The Ontario Fermentors Guild AGM on the use of social media for small business. The hotel that I was staying at was around 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls and the I needed to check off another todo on my life list of things to do. Item number 54 “Ride on the Maid of the Mist”. I packed my things into the bright white PT Cruiser [That’s another story of rental car roulette I’ll post at a later date.] and made tracks via the GPS to the mighty Niagara falls. I did not have much time to pull this off because of my afternoon flight home out of Hamilton.
The GPS chirped “Left, right, left, right” past the cheesy motels on the outskirts of town. As I hastily made my way through the world famous honeymoon hell on this very wet and rainy day I heard the woman on the GPS announce “You have reached your destination!” I sure had. What lay before me was the mighty Niagara Falls and it was huge. Tons of mist rising up out of the canyon. It was awesome in scale and beauty and the massive casinos and hotels that wrung it’s perimeter no longer mattered. There are few places on earth that do that to a person. The Grand Canyon, the desert in Almeria Spain, and the Rocky Mountains all have left me with the same feelings upon first glance.
I parked the car and whisked down the rain swept hill past the arcades and 1970’s haunted house amusements to the entrance of the attraction. Only $14 bucks to ride into the falls. A deal I thought to myself. I paid the ticket and went down the elevator to the waiting lady of the mist.
She was a beauty of a boat and just as I had imagined her. The sharp smell of burning diesel fuel, from the Maid, washed over me and into my nostrils. Yes we were going on a boat ride into the falls and it was going to take the power and torque of the mighty engine below the decks to do it.
We pushed off and I wrapped myself in the bright blue disposable poncho that was to protect me and my camera gear from the harsh punishment of the mighty mist that was about to deluge the fair maid and myself. I was excited and giggled as I madly snapped self portraits with my iPhone to prove that I indeed did take the ride on the river.
I am not sure why I was so tickled to be on the Maid of the Mist but I was. As we steamed past the first set of falls the rain and mist began to pound the passengers and boat. My camera gear was taking a punishing from the less than gentle mist. I cleaned the lens and snapped up shots as I could. When we finally edged the bow of the boat into the leading edge of the falls the water that was pouring over the top deck and bow had most of the tourists all in a flap. We sat there nose to nose with the falls in a strange show down. Finally as the détente eased the boat slowly began to turn as she did so many times before. The falls would win this again today and we would limp back to the waiting dock where a new set of passengers would ride to the wet edge of the river.
Yes I had ridden the Maid of the Mist and checked off another of my life’s todo’s. It was fun and now I look to the list for the next crazy adventure that waits to be crossed off.
- Apple iPhone
- Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
- TiltShift – iPhone App
- Lo-Mob – iPhone App
- Flickr for iPhone
- GPS Latitude: 49 deg 17′ 32.07″ N
- GPS Longitude: 123 deg 8′ 38.74″ W