Niagara’d and Winging it

After much hullabaloo, broken promises and severed dreams we present to you a selection of photos from the Pookaverse visit to Niagara Falls. By our eldritch clocks it read 09/14/2012.  We have engaged in a lot of  ‘tourist exposures’  which will be available to bore the leggings off you on our return . Instead we present for your crocodilian gaze a few intimate portraits as we sheltered our parts from a very wet and wild day nearly a thousand years ago.

Ha-ha Look at all those people getting soaked at the Cave of the Winds tour…What do you mean that’s our next stop? Doh!!

The ‘Full Tour’ of all the sights and sounds of the American side of Niagara Falls cost $79.00 each. We bought it at a Tourist Info stop off the I-90. Incorporating the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat-ride, ‘Cave of the Winds’ tour and a visit (as it was only one of two days that it has rained here) to the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station. We were guided through the ‘tourist rapids’ by another one of the lost souls we have encountered on our trip, Rickie. Take’s one to know one.

A local water sprite is known to ‘offer you out’ as payment for entry to her swirling and misbegotten domain.

So for the day, where twenty-five should have been on the minibus, there was just Ricky, Alison and Rohan. Rickie knew everybody and even managed to shrug off a photograph. It could have been awkward. Instead Ricky in his early 50’s sporting his iconic brown leather traveller’s hat – proved more of a companion than a guide. Pookaverse liked it when he reversed into a tree at the beginning of the tour in his haste to drop us off at the ‘Maid of the Mist’ queue.

It is so loud, you cannot hear yourself roar your t*ts off.

We wandered into the Visitor Centre of the Robert Moses and were decanted like bored children into a small auditorium  to watch’the video’ which successfully communicated the drive and scale (much not visible above ground) of this gargantuan project as the torrential rain battered down outside. This was an unusual storm by all accounts as Ricky reassured us.

A good person to have around. Niagara Falls, NY and as we were assured by Ricky, Niagara Falls, Ontario across the border are both heavily commercialised and uncomfortable places to visit. You are not visiting. More being ‘processed’.

For those amongst you who still practice the lost art of systems thinking. Attempt to draw the following Transformation Diagram: Insert Tourist in one end – extract dollars – squirt them back into their over-priced hotel room.

Everyone seems tired. Everything seems tired. Tired and tacky. Ricky spared us some of this disenfranchisement at the various entrances to ‘our experience’.  He took us to Goat Island – the entrance to the Cave of the Winds Tour.  With a melancholic monument of Nikola Tesla slumping towards the entrance as various bored teenagers and adults slumped by their booths in homage. Flipping through unsocial media sites while handing Pookaverse courtesy flip-flops and our yellow plastic rain cagoules.

Everything seems tired. Tired and tacky.  Everything but the main attraction – the American Falls (US) and the Horseshoe Falls (Canada). Though smaller than this place amps itself up to be, the sheer raw power literally takes your breath away. Just make sure that you forget that a group of US Army Engineers ‘switched off’ the American Falls in 1969 to make repairs.  Kind of takes a little away if you can switch off this kind of power – like a plastic water feature in a deranged elderly relatives garden. Next to the plastic gnome and Tripsy-Woo-Woos ‘spillings’.

Don’t be dissuaded.  You have to see it. Just be prepared. God Bless you Ricky. Hope it all works out.

Downtown Buffalo. 8:15 on a Friday Night…not what Robert Smith was singling about…

We also learnt from Ricky where the original, if not the best Buffalo Wings, where the first Buffalo Wings were invented – The Anchor Bar, Buffalo, NY. We did another wrong ‘un. We walked there. 7 blocks from downtown in the gathering gloom to the site. Buffalo, NY seemed to be the first city we entered with an ‘atmosphere’ – spider-sense was tingling for the mile there and back.  Is that a junkie visiting the needle depository at the local health centre?

Wow, first a group of well-dressed theatre-goers having a cheeky interval fag on the main drag in downtown. And now several closed and boarded shops. And now a wasteland? In the middle of a city?!!

Lady luck gone banged her arse blue on the door when she walked out of Buffalo, NY 10 years ago.  It’s recession time here in the US. Some cities made good – others turned a little brown at the edges. Buffalo, NY appears to be one such case.

Wind beneath her wings…Alison gets stuck into a pile of 20 genuine Buffalo hot wings, celery and blue cheese dressing…the best. Shame on you Tesco – d’ems not chicken wings…

Of course, it was getting late. We were tired. Situations seem more threatening. Faces seem threatening. It takes the perfectly ordinary and wrests it into a phantasmagoria. Doesn’t it?

Nah. Always trust your spider-sense lovelies wherever you are. Remember, you are always right.

Pinging this post to ya’  from the city of Bing – It went straight down the middle *.

* Both still a little addled on ‘Firebox IPA’. So sitting this morning out from our visit to the Steam Plant Square, Spokane WA

Travel Info: (03/10/2012) Spokane, WA to Grand Coulee, WA

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Dailies – with love from Pookaverse page. New pics from Yellowstone and beyond have just been uploaded.

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