Nov 23, 2011

The Steel City to Niagra Falls...kitty kats, tim hortons, haircuts and all

aggh....the busiest section of the trip for thousands of k' felt horrible and I wanted a flying machine...

 On the way to the Steel City I had a pretty good drive. There was some cool things to see, things that you'd never see anywhere else outside of the great lakes. Out here is Canada's greenbelt and there is winery after winery. Even Wayne Gretzky's winery is out here. was busy man...the highway towards Hamilton was probably the busiest I had been on since passing through Olympia, Washington. My GPS, when I requested no tolls took me on some crazy mad route that took me through some seriously dense traffic before reaching the city of Niagra. 

entrance to a marina on the backside of a hotel

I saw this poking out of some tree's and decided to track it down

feet's on da beach

I love swans...this one was honking and moving with some serious speed towards another swan who I assume was not welcome in the area. Wings are in battle mode

Where else but on the great lakes can you find a boat this big abandoned. It must have been quite a sight back in the day when fishers dragged nets like ocean trawlers


Dripping antifreeze and looking good...11000km's down...more than that to go

 In Hamilton while waiting to meet up with the cat man I decided to grab a quick trim at jenny's salon. For some reason I've been having a Vietnamese lady cut my hair for the last few years, it's not by design, just that they seem to be around when I need a cut. After the cheap trim ($15) and some good conversation I finally headed out the door after assuring her that I am not sleeping on the street as she thought I was.

 I met up with the old friend from my cooking days at Billy McIntyres. The restaurant under the control of my good friend...but back then he wasn't my friend...he was a savage but passionate drill sergeant and it was a seriously crazy place to work. He worked us to the bone and at the end of the day you either loved it or hated it. On hindsight I loved it, after working there, when I put my will into it, I can work at any level in any capacity. Thinking on your feet, working with a purpose and a sense of urgency, on hindsight I loved it...others didn't but to each their own. Cheetah was there in the beginning of Billy and from my memory made the meanest Yorkshire puddings you've ever had as well as having many other talents. Now Cheetah works for Tim Hortons and has been there for a considerable length of time. He informed me that Hamilton is the capital of Tim's having over 80 locations compared to calgary's 30 something. It's on every corner...everywhere and there is a 20yr waiting list for him if he ever wanted to own one.

 It was great to catch up for a few hours, had some laughs, shared some memories and then I headed on my way towards to falls...catching up feels good and I was very happy I could see him after such a long time.

Now I've never been to Niagra before, didn't know what to experience but as I started into the city my heart sank from all the signs talking about no street parking. I get it, in a tourist trap lie this they want to milk the hell out of everything but parking for 4 hrs was $12 so after driving by the funhouses, fast food joints, the needle, the wheel and all the super tourist stuff I found myself by something that looked like a flower house with a big closed sign on it's parking lot and I  thought...perfect :)
 So after parking I took a walk back towards the falls. As far as what I experienced I can only describe it as pure wonder. It really was epic and I love every moment of it. I did a few seasons of whitewater kayaking and I love the rush of water. Niagra Falls pushes millions of cubic liters of water over it's lip every second and it's been slowly eroding the lips of the falls back for millions of years. Eventually the underground passages that have been built under the canadian side will be filled with torrents of water.

I'm getting so mad at this crap on my camera lens

It was epic

you could almost see the complete ring...if my camera was waterproof and I was a better photographer I could have caught it

4 million cubic litres of water per the winter

Hey it's me!!

Up close and personal

the buffalo side of the falls

from the portals

  I met a fabulous woman named rose from Kenya, after working at BVC for as many years as i did I can say that there are so many Rose's from Africa it's unreal.'s a fitting name for most of them as they are fabulous ladies. Rose was a graduate from the Three Hills Bible Academy outside of Calgary and then moved to Maryland. She was there with her three kids two of whom wanted to go home where it's warm and one little punk that was screaming out that he wanted to live in the falls. It was really great, I snapped a photo of them as quick as possible in order to minimize the camera's exposure to the mist and wished them a good trip.

 After walking down to see the Buffalo side of the falls I decided that I would spend a bit..a  lot more than I normally would and had dinner at the Elements restaurant, right beside the falls.

 Dinner...was just ok. Steak was under cooked, timing was poor...shit I hate even looking at that stuff but I'm thrifty and when I spend $50 on a celebratory dinner and there is only 1 or two other tables in the place because it's only 5:00...I really do expect it to be great not just good.

12oz of New York with crumbled blue cheese and button was blue rare instead of rare but tasty none the less
  So ce la vie...I headed back towards to van in order to figure out where to spend the night in this vampirish city. Oh yeah I also paid the dollars to "Journey Under the Falls" was very cool but being a thrifty bastard I would only do it again if it was the spring run and the falls were at peak potential.

 So I headed out of Niagra after looking for a place to sleep and not finding one I found myself pulling into a Flying J down the line as I headed towards Detroit. \

 Detroit...why Detroit someone might ask....well while in Collingwood I had a Skype conversation with Bam's sister. We laughed so much in the short time we were on that I thought...what the hell...let's go have a BeeBet experience in Detroit.

 So I'm on my way....

too many damn people in ontario ...really...

1 comment:

  1. Hey nice reading your blog, seeing your pictures, and hearing you this time around....all the best my friend........miss you


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