N is for Niagara Falls

JEOPARDY! answers. All but the first from a Niagara Falls category introduced by host Alex Trebek, who said: “The honeymoon’s not over with one of North America’s most scenic attractions.”

Niagara Falls gets is enormous power because the Niagara River’s water is rushing between these 2 Great Lakes, which are only 36 miles apart but have a 300-foot difference in elevation.

In 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Taylor became the first person to go over the falls in one of these; she made it, but I’m gonna pass.

There’s plenty of water going over the falls right now, but would you believe that in March 1848 for about 30 hours the Falls actually stopped flowing due to a massive upstream accumulation of this stuff.

The tradition of honeymooning here at the falls began way back in 1801, when the daughter of this then-U.S. vice president came here with her new husband; three years later, dad fought a famous duel.

Ferries with this dewy feminine name have been plying the waters below the falls since 1846; some of the most famous guests: Edward VIII, Teddy Roosevelt & Marilyn Monroe.

The falls are divided into two sections–the straight-line American falls over here, & over here on the Canadian side, this cataract, named for its distinctive shape. I have been to Niagara Falls at least thrice, with my family planning a trip there this year. Let me tell you about my previous visits.

When I was 10, give or take a year, my parents, sisters and I went to Niagara Falls. Oddly, I have a stronger recollection of the floral clock on the Canadian side than I remember the falls themselves. I do recall that the kids were all asleep when we came back through to the US side, and that I was disappointed by that.

In 1998, our SBDC annual meeting was in Niagara Falls. By this time, the Canadian side had a bunch of casinos, and we were all given some casino money – from a sponsor, not the program – with which to start gambling. Since I had never gone before, I gave it a shot. But I found/find casinos annoying loud and rather boring. Worse, I was actually winning, which you might think would be exciting, but which I found actually worrisome. So I changed machines, promptly lost my money, and just wandered around the area outside. My strongest recollection, though, was crossing the borders, in each direction, on foot. I waved my US passport and about a half dozen of us went across; ah, the days before 9/11.

In 2002, the State Data Center had their semiannual meeting there. It was in May, and my wife had just finished her school year; she was a grad student. Even better, it was our third wedding anniversary. So we drove out, had a hotel room for three nights, and ate out every night, and all was reimbursed except for her meals. She explored all day while I had my meetings. It was great. We walked across the border, me with the passport, my wife with her standard driver’s license.

So now we’re planning a trip to Ontario. We all have passports, including the Daughter. One doesn’t NEED a passport; one could get an enhanced driver’s license or non-driver’s ID, or similar products. BUT the things are only good for traveling by land or sea, not by air, and though we’re traveling by car THIS time, we might want to fly to Vancouver, BC or Calgary sometime in the future. Oh, those pictures: they’re supposedly Niagara Falls in 1911. Are they really Niagara Falls? Apparently so. Are they from 1911? Almost certainly not. It’s one of those legends that are partly truth and partly fiction. The e-mail from which I received the photos even came with this narrative:

Margaret writes: Her mother had a cousin living in Niagara Falls that year. She told the family that she and her neighbours woke up in the night feeling something was wrong. It took a while but they finally realized that it was the lack of noise. They had all become so used to the roar of the falls that the silence was unusual enough to alert their senses. Of course at that time nearly all the houses were near the falls. Can you imagine walking on Niagara Falls? JEOPARDY! questions:

What are Lakes Erie and Ontario?
What was a barrel?
What was ice? (See the falls DO freeze!)
Who was Aaron Burr?
What are the Maids of the Mist?
What is Horseshoe Falls?


ABC Wednesday – Round 8

0 thoughts on “N is for Niagara Falls”

  1. My grandmother went to Niagara Falls for her honeymoon, but I have yet to see them. Of course, living on the West coast means a trip of thousands of kilometers! lol You probably live closer to the falls than I do…lucky you to have seen them so many times. Ah, but one day…

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  2. I remember visiting with my family and some friends who were visiting from France. It was summer and even then it was formidable! These winter photos are awesome in the truest sense of the word!

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  3. Niagara Falls is a bit of a joke in our home;when we first arrived in Canada 21 yrs ago we went to the Falls at least once per month (with my aunt and uncle who loved the falls). We would go the American side and have a picnic because the Falls are much more spectacular looking from U.S. to Canada. For the next few years, every time guests from the U.K. stayed with us they asked to go to the Falls. ‘Oh no, not the Falls AGAIN’! You really can have too much of a good thing!
    Jane x
    One trip I would recommend is the trip behind the falls, literally into the caves behind the water. You get wet but it is fabulous!

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  4. Wonderful Niagara info, Roger. I love that it was Jeopardy-style, and I tried out the questions on my husband, who knows this sort of thing very well, even though he doesn’t know how to close a door or a drawer in a kitchen.
    As for passports, do have them handy, because you never know when you’re going to want to fly to Vancouver or Calgary.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  5. Good heavens! I lived in St Catherines, just a few miles from Niagara, for three years and used to go pubbing there rather often. But I’ve never even heard of the Falls freezing over! Interesting post, Roger.

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  6. The snow scenes are just AWESOME! I was there over 20 years ago with my husband and then baby daughter. Never went there for a honeymoon or romantic get-away… When we were there it was winter, but obviously a mild one as none of my pictures look like the ones above. Truly awesome. Thanks.

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  7. Awesome pictures, I was just talking to someone about Niagara Falls the other day. We went as a family on the way to an Uncles wedding in North Bay 37 years ago. Nice post.

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  8. It looks like Narnia. People really walking in there, that’s really scary and exciting at the same time. Glad a photo of that (when Niagara Stood Still) was taken for all of us to see.

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  9. I never knew that it got cold enough to freeze those mighty falls! I always thought that the volume of water exceeded any drop in temperature. That’ll show me!! Great images and storytelling, m’friend!

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  10. Brilliant post Roger, I have never been there. I only know “Foz do Iguaçu – Iguaçu Falls”, that is in Paraná State (I’m from there ), in South Brazil.
    I hope to have the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls some day!Very impressive post!
    Hugs
    Léia

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  11. I’ve never seen photos of a frozen Niagara Falls. Now, I want to see it in person. Frozen or not. Probably not, since I don’t like being that cold! I enjoyed learning about Niagara Falls. Thank you.

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  12. Amazing photos, people must have arrived in huge numbers to see the phenomena. I’ve seen an old postcard of the frozen falls on a blog, wonder what date it was.

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  13. Wow if this happen again ( don’t know if it’s good or bad) I wanted to be there. Then if they allow people to walk around the falls that would be the time I could say ” I conquer Niagara Falls” Was there 3 years ago and I love that place. We were not able to go to the flora clock which I really wanted to do but don’t have time already. And yes after 9/11 everything change we have to show them our passport. ^_^

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  14. I love Niagara Falls – have been many times on the Canadian side – only once across the border!!
    If you come to Ontario you should visit Stratford – a lovely town. Maybe take in a Shakespeare play!

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  15. It is not impossible for me to see that place in the future because I have a brother in Toronto, Canada. He has lots of pictures on that place.

    The frozen falls is gorgeous. Thanks for the visit Roger.

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  16. Those are amazing photos of the frozen Falls. I’ve been once, when I was an unappreciative teenager. All I remember is the rain coat that I had to wear that was 5 sizes too big.

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  17. It never had occurred to me that these falls would freeze cause of all of the powerful force of the water pouring over…I learn something new all of the time here.

    There be no way I would ever take a ride on anything over these falls plus any other kind of falls either unless they were small enough for me to stand in one such as knee high. lol

    “Thank you for correcting my link for me!

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