After we left Lakeside Park, we drove to Niagara Falls. Traffic was pretty horrible, what with it being Canada Day and all. Seems like half of Ontario was on their way there.

We eventually managed to park the car and walk around a bit. Our mission was to take Beth on The Maid of the Mist. Beth kept asking us, “What’s so great about Niagara Falls?” and I kept telling her “Just wait. You’ll see.” Niagara is truly one of the most awesome geological features in this country. I understand that only about 10% of the water from the river still goes over the falls. The rest goes through electric turbines. I cannot imagine what it must have been like before the flow was diverted.

Here it is, with one of the Maid of the Mist loading up with passengers.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls


Of course everybody there had a camera in hand. I expect that this is one of the most photographed sights in North America.

We got in line, paid the admission fee, and donned the rain coats issued to us:
"Souvenier" Rain Coats

Then we waited for our ship to arrive:

Maid of the Mist VI

Maid of the Mist VI


This is the one we boarded. I guess each of these boats would hold 200-300 people, and I could see four of them in operation. Each tour lasted about 30 minutes, including embarking and disembarking. So they were running up to 2400 people per hour through their well-oiled machine. At $15 per person, I would imagine it is a profitable venture!

After we got on board, we moved to the front of the ship. As we waited for everyone else to get on, I saw some birds in the water just ahead of the boat. This one was diving – and I mean deep. He’d come up some 30 yards away. I’m not sure what species (or gender) it is, but I think I should be able to figure it out from this photo:
Water bird
Maybe it’s a cormorant?

I like the Maid tour because they take you right into the spray from the falls. It’s pretty awesome. Here are some of the best shots I got.

American Falls

American Falls


Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

American Falls

American Falls