Niagara Falls

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We’re camping about 15 minutes up the road from the Niagara Falls this week. We got there on a somewhat overcast day.

I took the Maid of the Mist trip and got these panoramas below. You come out of that experience pretty drenched, but it’s worth it to see these falls up close. Warning – Not for those who are not ok with being 20 yards away from a thunderous torrent of water.

Panorama mode on the cellphone really helped out in getting these shots. Click on the images to see a bigger shot.

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The “Cave of the Winds” hike felt like a religious pilgrimage.

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The people on the Canadian boats wore red plastic ponchos, and the people on the US boats wore yellow and blue ponchos.

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K stayed with Jesse while I got the pictures from below the falls. Lets just say you get a little drenched down there (understatement).

Geneva on the Lake

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Geneva on The Lake is a small tourist community right on Lake Erie. A festive sort of place for people to relax, filled with small rides, arcades, food, a nice hotel, a beach with mini-lighthouse, boat harbour, bike trails, tourist shops, and a live performance theatre.

We stayed in the state campground just down the road.

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Funny sign on a biketrail.

 

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Night on the town. Dinner at the hotel. A wedding had just taken place earlier in the evening.

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Musicians playing Moondance in the early evening, right below a little waterslide park. Link to Moodance song below.

Link to Moondance by Van Morrison

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Biketrail over the river mouth.

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Yep, that’s grass out here. It grows 10 feet tall!

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Pano with Jesse on Lake Erie.

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A light rain came through that morning so Jesse had the primo beach all to herself.

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Lighthouse on the boat harbour.

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The kids in the camp next door were quite good artists.

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Ducks in formation.

These ducks were really well organized. They’d get together and head from the meadow down to the beach front. Hang out there for awhile, then head back to their shack in the meadow grasses.

 

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Just a nice shot.

Pokagon State Park, Indiana – Best campsite ever!

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The Wetlands

Pokagon is a great place with tons of well maintained hiking trails, thousands of acres of trees, a really nice inn to grab a meal at, well maintained camping areas, bike trails, a nature center, horses, a natural spring, a nice lake to go swimming at, a refrigerated toboggan (more on that later), fireflies at night, the wetlands restoration project, and the bugs aren’t too bad.

All-in-all this is the best campsite I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen plenty of them).

Above you see the view from the Wetlands.

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These berries look way too good to be true.

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Freshly cut hedges mark the trail.

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View overlooking the Wetlands.

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Pano of the Wetlands

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The Wetlands actually used to be farmland, but they gave up on the farming idea and let the area return to its original state.

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Birdie just out for a stroll on the trail 🙂 He tried his best to pretend that the bird-loving Jesse-dawg wasn’t there.

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Jesse out for a swim on Lake James.

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The working dog

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Dawgie on ball duty.

And now for something completely different: Refrigerated Toboggan. This thing must stretch for at least half a mile.

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The ending line.

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The middle stretch

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50 foot starting drop.

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There’s a url there if you’d like to checkout more.

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Note – “Failure to follow these rules may result in EJECTION!!!” I don’t think they mean ejection like getting removed from the line, but more like the flying through the air uncontrollably kind of ejection.

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Pano of start section

 

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And now to the grand finale – the Spring Shelter.

I was sceptical about getting water from a spring, but several people raved about the water here, and we were completely empty, so we filled up. We’re still drinking the water and it really is that good.

A ranger said that they actually have it tested every year, and it just might be the best water in the state.

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Got the luggage carts out to haul about 100 lbs of water back to camp. The hose and the funnel saved me getting soaked lugging water containers over to the spring.

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This is what I pulled out of a leveling block. Risked my thumb here so that you can get a feel for how big that beetle is.