Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Down Memory Lane: Niagara Falls from the American Side

January 27, 2011

When Betsy and I went to Niagara Falls back in 2002, we stayed on the Canadian side of the river.  But we did spend one day on the American side.  On that day we were able to get a closer view of the waterfalls on the American side.  We went to the base of the American and Bridal Veil Falls and got another perspective of the Canadian Falls from Goat Island.

To see larger versions of these pictures and others, click HERE.

A Visit to the Quiet Side of the Smokies

November 28, 2008
George at Greenbrier Creek, November 3, 2008.

George at Greenbrier Creek, November 3, 2008.

I’ve mentioned before that Betsy and I went to Cosby in early November to belatedly celebrate Betsy’s birthday.  I finally got a photo page put together with which to  share our memories.

We rented a cabin for three nights, and since we went in November rather than August, we practically had the place to ourselves.  The cabins on either side of ours were empty.

When we planned our trip we hoped to do some hiking and waterfalling, but although we got some hiking in, we did not see much in the way of water in waterfalls.  Our drought has been just too severe.  We found Noisy Creek Cascade, but there was almost no water in the creek.

We did find a couple of surprises, however.  For the past three years three of Betsy’s grandchildren (two from Texas and one from Florida) have spent a day in the Smokies near Greenbrier campground.  We’ve seen pictures and video of them playing in the creek and we found the spot they visited — Greenbrier Cascades.  Although there was water in that creek, both Betsy and I resisted the temptation to go swimming or tubing (it was just a little cool!!).

But the nicest surprise was at Serenity Falls.  There was a little water coming over that falls, but there were also three rental cabins on the creek.  One of the cabins was at the very base of the falls with a deck that extended over the creek.  It didn’t take us long to decide that we wanted to go back there in the early spring and spend at least one night in that cabin.

Although our  outdoor activities didn’t go exactly as planned, our stay was very relaxing and enjoyable.  To see more of our Cosby trip click HERE.

Niagara Falls

November 24, 2008
Betsy at Niagara Falls with the Rainbow Bridge in the background.

Betsy at Niagara Falls with the Rainbow Bridge in the background.

Betsy and I first went to Niagara Falls in 2002.  At that time we were on the Canadian side of the river.  We actually stayed at Fort Erie, Canada, and drove along the river each day to the falls or beyond.

We of course saw the American Falls from the Canadian side several times.  We did spend part of one day at the state park on the American side, but it was a hurried visit.

When we were in Buffalo visiting Kelly and Chuck last month we went back to the state park.  It was late in the afternoon when we got there, but we did have time to walk down to the falls and along the river.  The day had been rainy and it was still quite windy when we got to the falls.  But the power of the falls was obvious and very awe-inspiring.

To see more of our visit to Niagara Falls click HERE.

Old Fort Niagara

November 19, 2008
George along the river wall of Old Fort Niagara.  October 25, 2008.

George along the river wall of Old Fort Niagara. October 25, 2008.

In 2002, when Betsy and I went to Niagara Falls the first time, we stayed on the Canadian side of the river.  One day we drove the length of the river from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and stopped at the Fort George historical site.  From Fort George we could see Old Fort Niagara on the American side of the river.

When we visited Kelly and Chuck last month we had a chance to visit Old Fort Niagara.  Actually we learned that there are two forts sharing the same site.  Old Fort Niagara, the historic site, dates back to 1726.  During the Civil War the garrison expanded beyond the walls of the fort and became the “New” Fort Niagara.  The last army units were withdrawn from “New” Fort Niagara in 1963.

The French were the first to occupy the site of Old Fort Niagara, starting in 1679.  Their first two posts were short-lived, but in 1726 they erected a permanent fortification.  The fortification, the “French Castle”, was designed to resemble a large trading house and is the oldest structure at Fort Niagara.

The British gained control of Fort Niagara in 1759, during the French and Indian War, after a nineteen-day siege.  The British held Fort Niagara throughout the American Revolution but were forced, by treaty, to yield it to the United States in 1796.  Fort Niagara was recaptured by the British in 1813, but was ceded to the United States a second time in 1815 at the end of the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 was Fort Niagara’s last armed conflict — it served as a border post after that time.  The fort was restored between 1926 and 1934 and is now open to the public.

To see more of our visit to Old Fort Niagara click HERE.

Proof Our Vacation Was Relaxing

November 15, 2008


I’ve mentioned a couple of times how relaxing our visit to the Smokies was.  Tuesday was especially nice as we stayed at the cabin all day.

The picture above was taken about noon on Tuesday.  I’m not going to mention any names concerning the identity of the person under the blanket!  I simply offer the picture as proof of the relaxing nature of our stay in the Smokies!!!

We’ll Go Back

November 14, 2008
Serenity Falls, Cosby, Tennessee.  November 10, 2008.

Serenity Falls, Cosby, Tennessee. November 10, 2008.

As I said yesterday, Betsy and I had a wonderful time in the Smokies earlier this week.  We got some much needed rest and enjoyed exploring a part of the Smokies (the eastern side) that we’ve visited less frequently than we’ve visited the western side.

Of course we hoped to visit some waterfalls that we hadn’t seen before.  We knew that this wasn’t a good time for waterfalls — November is one of our driest months and we’ve been in a two year drought.  But we always have hopes!

We did find two waterfalls that had some water going over them.  The most impressive was Serenity Falls, which is shown above.  Serenity Falls is on private property near the Cosby Campground.  There were three cabins on the property in addition to a farm house.  While talking to the owner we discovered that the cabins were once part of a small community that practically disappeared when the road through the area was rerouted.serenitycabin01

We were told that the cabins are now rented out.  One cabin, an old grist mill, is located at the base of Serenity Falls.  As the picture on the right shows, the deck of that cabin looks right out at the falls.  Care to guess where we’re going to stay when we go back to Cosby?

Some Mountain R & R

November 13, 2008
Bunny Brook Cabin, Cosby, Tennessee.  November 11, 2008.

Bunny Brook Cabin, Cosby, Tennessee. November 11, 2008.

Betsy and I got back yesterday afternoon from her belated birthday celebration.  We spent three days on the ‘quiet side of the Smokies’ in Cosby, Tennessee.

We rented the cabin, Bunny Brook, shown above.  One nice thing about going in November rather than August was that we had almost the entire place to ourselves — the cabins on either side of us were empty.

On Monday we did get out to do some hiking, but we spent most of our time at the cabin.  Now don’t think we were being lazy — we were simply taking advantage of the amenities of the cabin.  Two of the nicer amenities were no phone and no computers!  Since the days and nights were both cool we got a lot of use out of the fireplace.  But we also enjoyed the hot tub.  Do you have any idea how relaxing a hot tub under a full moon and stars can be?

All in all we had a wonderful vacation.

Driving Through Western New York

November 12, 2008
Lake Ontario at 30 Mile Point, New York.  October 25, 2008.

Lake Ontario at 30 Mile Point, New York. October 25, 2008.

Kelly and Chuck (my daughter and her husband) have lived in the Buffalo, New York, area for a little over a year.  One of the things Kelly talked about last year was apple picking, so she planned on taking us to an orchard while we were up there.

One thing about Buffalo that impressed us was that you could quickly get into the countryside from the city.  I’ll admit that I didn’t realize there was so much agriculture just outside Buffalo.

Kelly and Chuck took us to Lynoaken Farm, an orchard that allowed you to pick your own apples.  Unfortunately, it was raining when we got there, so we picked our apples from bins rather than from trees.  But they sure taste good anyway!

We also visited an Amish store (Yoder’s Country Cupboard) and another farm, Brown’s Berry Patch.  Brown’s has been a family farm for over 200 years and was interesting to visit.  In addition to growing all kinds of fruit, Brown’s also made some delicious ice cream — which we just had to sample!!

Since Betsy likes lighthouses, we also visited Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is near Brown’s and is one of a series of lighthouse on the shore of Lake Ontario.

To see more of our drive through western New York click HERE.

Akron Falls Park

November 11, 2008
Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York.  October 24, 2008.

Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York. October 24, 2008.

A few days ago I mentioned that my daughter Kelly and her husband Chuck, took us to a city park in Akron, New York, to see a waterfall.  We enjoyed the park and the waterfall, but didn’t discover until we got back home that there are actually two waterfalls in the park.

Even though we only saw the one waterfall, we did enjoy our visit to Akron Falls Park.  The park is a 284-acre park that straddles Murder Creek.  There has to be a story behind the name of the creek, but I don’t know what it is!

Although it was close to dusk when we got to the park, we were able to enjoy the walk through the woods and the waterfall.  To see more of our visit to Akron Falls Park click HERE.

Where’s the Other Waterfall?

November 1, 2008
Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York.  October 24, 2008.

Lower Akron Falls, Akron, New York. October 24, 2008.

Kelly’s husband, Chuck, grew up in Akron, New York, near Buffalo.  When we visited them last weekend, they took us to a city park in Akron, where there was a waterfall that they had visited several times.

Akron Falls Park is a beautiful place, and there was enough autumn color left on the trees to make it truly beautiful.  The hike to the waterfall was an easy one and the waterfall was as pretty as they promised.  We thoroughly enjoyed the view

Imagine our surprise when we discovered, after we got home, that Akron Falls Park contains two waterfalls.  The falls we saw, Lower Akron Falls, is the larger of the two.  The second falls, which Kelly and Chuck didn’t know about, is about 600 feet upstream from the lower falls and is reached by a different trail.

So it looks as if we’ll need to make another trip to Akron to see that second fall.  But Lower Akron Falls is the 280th waterfall in our ‘collection’.  To see all of them, click on WATERFALLS.