Adventure Along The Niagara River

“According to google maps, Niagara Falls is only 4.9 miles from here. It looks like there is a pathway along the river,” I say looking up from my phone and out our hotel window towards the Niagara river. The river looks so peaceful.

“Should we walk?” I ask as I take a long slow sip of my dark roast Starbucks coffee. Dante¬†chimes in “yeah dad, that would be so fun! Remember that one time we walked 10-miles just to get breakfast in Portland (Oregon)?

“Yeah dad, remember?” I quipped with a cheesy grin on my face. Somehow Dante must have forgotten that he whined, complained and begged to be carried every single one of those 10 miles. I selfishly choose not to remind him.

Joslin and Eddie team up with their vote of driving, Dante and I continue to try and convince them how much fun it might be. We finally settle on trekking along the trail with the promise that we will take a taxi if we need to. With backpacks full of supplies we playfully bounce out of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel we are staying at.

Ten minutes into our walk I can feel the midday sun start to tingle on my fair German/Irish skin. I start to realize Niagara Falls’ 80-degrees weather is quite different than Phoenix’s 80-degrees weather. We are all sweating and we haven’t even made it to the riverside pathway yet. Regret is creeping in, but I don’t want to give up, or admit this was a bad idea. We continue walking and I keep my thoughts to myself.

The views are awesome, however, far from anything we normally see. We stop at the river’s edge and notice the water is clear, and almost still. I am fascinated with the stillness, I can’t shake the idea that the iconic Niagara Falls are a mere four miles ahead, how can the water be so calm?

Dark green vines crawl across wooden bridges. Trees overlap the pathway from time to time. Sweet little wildflowers are peppered along the way. The difference in scenery from our usual shades of brown in the Sonoran Desert keeps everyone occupied for the first 30 minutes.

One hour in and we have all given in to moaning and groaning. “It’s so hot,” “why does it feel so far,” “i’m hungry,” “I need to sit,” “are we there yet?” and all the other complaints that accompany our family. Even the Dog has discovered reprieve in the shade.

After Several Pep-talks, pit stops, construction zones, and a few piggy back rides we finally arrive to the edge of Niagara Falls State Park. FOUR STICKY AND STINKY HOURS LATER!!!

The beauty of the river has intensified. The water is several shades of blue, green,and white. It is roaring, splashing and rushing by so fast I feel afraid even though I am a good ten feet away on the designated pathway. The sound emitted from this natural beast is so fierce I can’t hear my family talking right next to me. It is a strange feeling to be in close proximity to so many people, and all I am able hear is the rolling river and my quickened heart beat.

I am filled with excitement and sweaty exhaustion. We are so close to that I can see where the water drops over the edge and I am able to feel the extra humidity in the air from the mist bursting upward.

So this is what victory tastes like.

Let the trail begin. Studying the surprisingly calm water. The LENGTHY pathway along Niagara River. One of many pit stops. Much appreciated shade from the tree canopy. Even though we are feeling exhausted and ready to chill, we can’t pull ourselves from this beautiful view.

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