A Photo Journal of Our Expedition

Oh, boy! Lots to show and tell. It started with a beautiful drive from Houston, PA to New York State Parks History office in Lewiston (Just down stream from the Falls) to meet Carol Rogers in person. She was instrumental in researching the Schoellkopf Power Plant. After a 200 ft elevator ride to the Gorge level, our young but capable guide Justin filled us full of history and lore about the plant. I got some cool reference photos that will surely show up in the book!

Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins

Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins

 

Yours Truly with Justin and Carol Rogers at the base of the elevator

Yours Truly with Justin and Carol Rogers at the base of the elevator

 

Burrell might have survived, had the power plant turned off the water flow shooting out the openings in the wall to the right. But the current carried him further out into the middle.

Schoellkopf ruins

Schoellkopf ruins

 

Then onto Niagara on the Lake to join our good friends Rose (a wonderful artist/illustrator) and Jim Gauss and settled in at the Eagle’s Nest B&B (which I highly recommend!) Our gracious hosts made us feel at home and fed us well! There were gorgeous gardens surrounding a lovely gazebo, where we spent our mornings chilling.

Our hosts at the Eagle's Nest

Our hosts at the Eagle’s Nest

 

That evening, we were entertained by Patrick Sirianni at the Falls, listening to one amazing story after another about people who either went over the Falls, rescued someone or were rescued from the Falls, or who purposely risked their lives doing stunts around the Falls. We got soaked in the mist even way up at Falls’ View,  waiting for fireworks that apparently got cancelled, but the stories were far more interesting.

American Falls at night

View from Fall’s View

 

We finished the night’s adventures with a peaceful horse drawn carriage through Niagara On the Lake, out to the shore of Lake Ontario, in the moonlight.

Our beast of burden

Our beast of burden

 

Saturday was mainly spent touring the Falls area with Patrick Sirianni. He’s a walking history book! We checked out the Aero Car and the whirlpool, then down another awesome elevator to the Gorge banks and the Rapids Boardwalk. You can’t imagine the size of these waves in the rapids. Picture yourself trying to breaststroke your way down these monsters… that’s exactly what Burrell Hecock had to try. It gave me chills.

These are Level 6 rapids. Very few have gone down and lived to talk about it.

These are Level 6 rapids. Very few have gone down and lived to talk about it.

 

Our “tour guide” took us out onto a now-defunct bridge that had replaced the Cantilever bridge, which is the spot that Kelly and some firemen tried to rescue Burrell. It’s a loooonngg way down, folks! You can see the beginning of the rapids just below the Lower Steel Arch bridge (or whirlpool bridge) right next to us.

Patrick Sirianni on the bridge that was once the Cantilever Bridge.

Patrick Sirianni on the bridge that was once the Cantilever Bridge.

 

We caught some interesting views of both Falls from the Observation deck where the original 1913 memorial to Burrell is now displayed.

Both Falls

Both Falls

 

I then had the honor and privilege of meeting Dan Hill in person. What a great guy! And an incredibly interesting family. He invited us back when we have more time, to rummage through newspaper clippings about his Granddad, Red Hill, and all his adventures and rescues on the river. I’m playing with an off-shoot comic strip called “Being Red”, illustrating his adventures.

With Dan Hill and Patrick Sirianni, just hanging out on Chippewa Crick.

With Dan Hill and Patrick Sirianni, just hanging out on Chippewa Crick.

 

The rest of the weekend went like this: a beautiful sunset on Lake Ontario, a few wine tastings at local vineyards, and of course the Grand Canadian Steam Punk Expo! Sunday finished with a Super Moon Eclipse, of which we could not see due to clouds. If any one has photos, I’d love to see them!

Sunset on Lake Ontario

Sunset on Lake Ontario

 

Jay and I, punked

Jay and I, punked

 

 

The four travelers

The four travelers

 

A typical participant of the Illustrious Expo

A typical participant of the Illustrious Expo

 

IMG_4071

Had to have a Snark Hunt! Vile little creature that it is.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply