Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sunday in the Gorge With George

Because of an unforeseen sequence of events, I did not end up at Zoar Valley today with my friend Barbara as I had thought I would, to conclude our Western New York Hiking challenge.

Instead I ended up at Artpark, walking the gorge trail along the Niagara River!

My friend Barbara ended up going with her husband to Eighteen Mile Creek, an undeveloped -- that dreaded word! -- park in Hamburg. And I went with my brother George to Artpark.

Neither of us went to Zoar. Which is probably just as well, Zoar having the dangerous reputation that it does.

Artpark is also pretty impressive, I have to say that.

Here is my brother George setting off on the trail. 

That is the beautiful Lewiston-Queenston bridge in the distance!

I asked George to go with me because I thought he knew his way around the terrain. He did not! My dad had taken him walking to see the remnants of the old Great Gorge Route where the streetcars used to go, however that had been 30 years ago or more.

So we explored it together. We could not get over that these trails were there. We have been to Artpark hundreds of times, many of them together. However we never went near these trails. As I just said to someone, all I have ever done at Artpark is listen to music and drink wine. And write concert reviews. I did a million Artpark reviews for The Buffalo News.

Remember the one where St. Christopher saved me on the way home? 

Next to that adventure, this one was a cakewalk!

As these hikes go, this one was easy to follow. You were just supposed to walk this trail. You did not have to turn right or left or look for anything, aside from the waterfall that I was supposed to get my picture taken with.

There were three waterfalls. Here I am with one of them.

 I did not need that bulky pink coat today! However this trip was very spontaneous and I did not have time to turn the house upside down and my closets inside out.

This is really a magnificent part of the world. There is a color called Niagara that is the deep green of the river, and the river today was really that Niagara color.

I like that building visible in the first and last pictures -- an old power station apparently, on the Canadian side.

I also loved looking up at the American and Canadian flags over the Lewiston-Queenston bridge. My parents loved this part of the country. They loved Canada too. My father would always tell us that the Canadians were great gardeners and he would point out that Canada was cleaner than the U.S. This old power station has such an elegant old British Commonwealth look. It makes me think of the Edwardian era.

Now I want to know about the Great Gorge Route, where its remains are to be found. Actually I want to go back in time and ride the streetcar along that route. That must have been a thrill!

We stopped for a picnic beneath the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and enjoyed the vistas.

A beautiful hike, if a bit frightening at times! You do get close to the edge.

George and I agreed that we enjoyed the adventure tremendously. For us however it is not the thrill of hiking that we love. Hikers, I love them, however to them the point seems to be conquering adverse elements and terrain and visiting places that are not easily accessible. They also love employing tons of equipment -- snowshoes, spikes on their shoes, who knows what all.

Me, I like to travel with just Chapstick and a sketchbook. I do not even usually bring water. I love visiting places that are easily accessible. I can walk endlessly, I mean miles and miles. However I would prefer they are easy miles. I want to relax. Take the air. Look around.

I felt I could do that today. And now this is my eighth hike and I win my badge!

My old hiking partner Barbara also earned her badge for her hike at Eighteen Mile Creek.

As we love to declare...

We are the champions!

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