June 17th, 2017
Today was a bittersweet day. After six weeks of camp hosting (we will have to come back one day) we left Elk Neck State Park.
We spent the day driving from Elk Neck State Park in on the upper Chesapeake Bay in Maryland all the way up north to Four Mile Creek State Park in New York.
Along the way through Pennsylvania we stopped for a roadside lunch. One of the many benefits of an RV! Easy to save money, our very own drive-thru. Making lunch on our own in some of the most beautiful spots!
We passed through a really cool named town in beautiful northern Pennsylvania! Eventually making our way into the state of New York!
After much research, we choose this state park because it was near Niagara Falls and it was available for the dates we needed it. The reviews seemed great and an added bonus was that it sits right on Lake Ontario. Sounded beautiful.
Puling into the park I opened the RV driver side window to check-in with the ranger at the park entrance, immediately a strange odor overtook the RV. We didn’t think much of it other than it was strange, pulling alongside our assigned space it looked crowded. Tight spaces, fire pits for one space dangerously close to the backside of the next RV, neighbors on all sides – very open concept camping. Dogs everywhere. Not just a dog but 3, 4 and 5 dogs per site. Some tethered buy long leashes others corralled in large portable pens. We had seen nothing like this in any previous park. Cortney exited the door to help me back in and that same odor again. We literally were camping at a dog park and all the smells that go with it. Thankfully, we did not plan to be there long, just a safe (but smelly) place to park and sleep. Needless to say, this park did not make it on our top 10 list.
One redeeming quality is that at the north end of the park was Lake Ontario. We could just see Toronto across the water.
June 18th, 2017
Today is Father’s Day. I can not imagine a better way to spend it this year than with Cortney and the kids at a such an iconic place as Niagara Falls. First is was Father’s Day breakfast and gifts!
After breakfast we wasted no time leaving the dog park, i.e. campground and drove to the falls on the New York or what is referred to as the U.S. side. My plan was to catch the Maid of the Mist and see the falls up close and personal down stream. It was wet! And it was awesome! The sheer power of the falls is amazing.
Oh man and the noise! The falls are very, very loud!
Following the boat ride we climbed the set of stairs located just next to the falls. It’s called the Mist Trail for good reason. Even with our ponchos we were absolutely soaked following the trek up and back. You can’t hardly see the spray is so violent. It was an experience and as we fought our way through the mist we found we laughed our way through. You could hardly hear each other and you couldn’t see anything but your feet and the mist.
After that we headed up to the ‘main level’ of the falls, above them. There is a park where we dried off and ate our picnic lunch.
We then got in the Civic and took her into Canada. We crossed over the bridge and made our way through customs. Crossing was easy overall. Yes we were asked many questions as to our purposes for entering Canada, but the falls make for a very valid purpose.
We found parking a few blocks from the bluff and walked down to catch the view from the Canadian side of the falls. And they are spectacular. We walked along the edge of the cliffs viewing the falls and the boats on the river. Highly recommend the Canadian side, so much cleaner and incredible views.
A little bit of rain began to fall, so we began to search for food options. It’s what you do on vacation you know. Comedian Jim Gaffigan says it best, “We eat because we want to have a good time. Really that’s all a vacation is, just us eating in a place we’ve never been.”
We discovered in our search that the local Sheraton hotel had a dinner buffet on the 14th floor with amazing views of the falls. We also learned that before a certain time that evening the kids ate for free with a paid adult. We were decided!
The views, the buffet and the price did not disappoint! (In addition the conversion rate from Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars was very favorable!) We really took our time eating – Hadley had no problem with this – to really soak in the experience we figured was close to once in a lifetime. (Upon returning to Denver, Nolan constantly talks about going back to that buffet. Hadley and I went on a Father Daughter camping trip when she turned 8. Nolan is already planning his return to that buffet when he turns 8! So great!)
After stuffing ourselves like true American’s, we strolled back along the cliffs and took in the views of the falls as the sun set and they illuminated the falls with color. The Canadian side of the falls was quite impressive, so glad we made the trip across!
Back across the border into the U.S. Greeted by friendly border agent from Colorado.
This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!