Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Trip To Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (French: les Chutes du Niagara) is a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is comprised of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, mostly on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the United States side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m) of water fall over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

The falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 1800s. The original Niagara Falls were near the sites of present-day Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat several miles southward. Just upstream from the Falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Although engineering has slowed erosion and recession in this century, the falls will eventually recede far enough to drain most of Lake Erie, the bottom of which is higher than the bottom of the falls. Engineers are working to reduce the rate of erosion to postpone this event as long as possible.

I got a chance to see this majestic sight in 2004, during a cross-country trip over America and Canada by bus. I made the wise decision to stay in Niagara Falls, ON. Canada, which by far offers the best view. I arrived from Ontario one warm afternoon in late June and bedded down at the International Youth Hostel there, which is just down the street from the bus station towards the Niagara River and the railroad bridge that goes over it. The hostel was spartan but clean and very convenient for the 30-40 minute walk upriver on the road to the falls. You feel the power of the water falling over the cliffs long before you actually get to the lookout/tourist center. You see the green river that flows on out to Lake Ontario down in the gorge too. I have seen many amazing sites in this world including the Pyramids of Giza and Franz Josep Glacier in New Zealand but nothing compares to this. The two falls are truly breathtaking! Find out more at: http://www.city.niagarafalls.om.ca/

Reserch info gathered from: www.wikipedia.org

Now, here's some poems you can use as barrels over the falls:

Disregard All The Above

sizing-up the skulls & orchids
or back would be nice
hanging-thereof on a swing
until the rain comes again
or a train appears in the tunnel
stuck on today's assignment
in opaque plastic or a pill
meant for the privileged class
basking in subtle October light
or simply build a bigger bellow
with bright nose rings that glint
or skip English 101 completely
& answer in the door instead
wearing yesterday's boxer shorts
with no means of real transportation
try the restroom opposite Chem lab
or ask for the customer's key at
the filling station down the street

A Collection Of Nose-Rings

mostly crumpled at first but then flattened out for closer
inspection the colorful streamers & party hats shining
like a chastened sun is viewed from a window above
the square where refugees of passing populations
somehow get side-tracked after reading
yesterday's newspaper story about
some remote Montana farm
that host sheep-herding
contests & promises
to change their
lives on
camel-back into
heaven or across a
desert of shifting sand
with fax machines blathering
& a resulting flow of art that resembles
a waste product sometimes mistaken for speech

Poems first published online at: http://www.fullmoonmag.bravehost.com/
Visit my ezine: http://www.concelebratory.blogspot.com/
and music blog; http://www.medleymakersant.blogspot.com/

No comments: