About an hour west of Buffalo is Letchworth State Park. It runs for about 20 miles along
the Genesee River which forms a suprisingly deep gorge through the otherwise rolling
farmland in the area. The park contains three major waterfalls, this is the 'upper falls'
with an impressively high train bridge crossing the gorge just upstream of it.
Just downstream is the largest of the three, the middle falls. This is the view from above
the 107 ft (33m) drop. Also not too far from here we discovered groundhog heaven. There
were at least 30 of them in a series of fields busily doing whatever it is groundhogs do,
mostly chewing things, and occasionally running away from us.
This is a downstream view of the falls. While we were watching, several large pieces of
a tree crashed over into the whirlpool below with the finale being the main tree trunk
itself. It did a nice slow end over end tumble before hitting a rock halfway down and
splintering into hundreds of pieces.
After Letchworth we stopped at Six Flags Darien Lake for a few hours. The park has a nice
selection of coasters although by far the most impressive is Superman - Ride of Steel (shown
here at sunset).
Our second favorite was the hanging steel coaster 'Mindbender'.
Afterwards we went back to Buffalo for some local cuisine (wings and beef on weck)
The next morning we went to Niagara Falls.
This is horseshoe falls from the US end of the horseshoe.
This is Melanie with the Rainbow Bridge connecting the US and Canada in the background.
The partial bridge on the right was the forerunner to the Rainbow Bridge. On the right
is also American Falls. After this photo we took the Cave of the Winds tour to the base of
American Falls where the hardy (myself, Melanie and one other guy on our trip) can brave
the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls on the Hurricane Deck.
Here are the series of walkways on the Cave of the Winds tour that wind around the base
of the falls. The hurricane deck (optional on the tour) is at the very bottom of the
picture and is hard to see completely from above. You'll have to pardon the annoying date
stamp, I was still learning how to use the new camera. Those poor lemmings in the yellow
raincoats are people on the tour. I've done pretty much everything there is to do on both
sides of the falls in my various trips here, and the Cave of the Winds is hands down the
best experience. Even if you don't want the world's most powerful back massage, the views
from below are spectacular.