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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

"The Mist"

We keep finding the prettiest places to ride our bikes. We stayed two nights in the Silver Springs Campground in the town of Stow, OH. There was a long path that led all over, to a couple of towns and through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We rode our bikes into Hudson where we looked around and ate lunch, with the plans of riding to the national park the next day. When we got back to the RV, I noticed that my bike battery was only two out of five bars, way lower than it should have been after 20 miles. Abe took it apart to try to fix it, but the motherboard on the charger was fried. Something went bad, and there was a black spot and the plastic that had covered it was melted. The next day, we rode back into town to get me another bike charger. Why is it always my bike? First my tire got hit and bent, and now my charger. Oh, well. What's another hundred some odd dollars, right? At least the ride to town was nice, with lots of critters. Groundhogs, chipmunks, cardinals, and the hawk below.

Finally, on day three we got to ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. What a beautiful ride! We followed the wide blacktop path for miles, putting on over 30 miles by the end of the day. The trees are barely beginning to prepare for fall, so they are tinged with periodic red and orange patches, and the ground is just starting to become littered with brown leaves. We parked our bikes and walked a little ways to get to a serene little waterfall, then accidentally ended up on a trail that wasn't meant for bikes. I got suspicious when it started on a washed out road, and by washed out I mean half the road had disappeared and I had to really be careful where I rode so as not to fall into the foot plus deep ruts all over it, and I became convinced we didn't belong there when we got to walk our bikes up multiple staircases. But there's good news. It was a gorgeous ride and totally worth it, so I'm glad for the wrong turn.

Eventually, we found our way back onto the trail we were supposed to be on. That led us to a wooden bridge that spanned the Beaver Lodge pond, a shallow lilly pond with, you guessed it, a beaver lodge. We didn't see the beaver lodge, but we did see fish, bright red damselflies, turtles, including a HUGE algae covered snapping turtle swimming just below the surface, and there was a blue heron that stood five feet away from the bridge, with several people watching it and taking photographs. He or she was a lovely model.

We left Ohio, and drove to New York. I've been pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the people we've come across. At least on the northern end, it's a great place to be. We stayed a couple nights at Lake Erie State Park so that today, the nicest day in a while, we could go to Niagara Falls.

As we were driving past the western outskirts of Buffalo, I was floored by how many old, long abandoned factories there were. Miles of run down buildings, and hardly any of them in operation. There is a certain beauty in things that are dying, like old rotten trees in a lake bed, rusted out cars, or dilapidated barns, and this was no different. It was beautiful, but it was also heartbreaking to think of all of the livelihoods that have been lost.

Driving past downtown Buffalo and then into Niagara, the cityscapes were pretty incredible. We saw huge old cathedrals, skyscrapers, and a space needle just like the one I've been to in Seattle.

I have a recommendation for anyone planning on traveling - go off season. The traffic was minimal, and we were able to park in a lot that is for buses only during tourist season, but free for RVs right now. There were almost no lines. No crowds. It was great! Some businesses were shut down until next season, but that was a small price to pay for the lack of crowds.

We walked to Niagara Falls, and boarded the Maid Of the Mist Ferry that took us right next to the falls. It was spectacular. Everyone's seen pictures. I took pictures to share with all of you. But pictures don't even begin to capture the size, power, noise, and sheer awesomeness of Niagara Falls. We got up close, and I was able to feel the "mist". By "mist", I mean the full shower that was hitting me straight on. I had my blue plastic raincoat they gave me pulled over my head, but the water just went down the neck and drenched my stomach. Finally, I got tired of fighting with the hood in the wind, trying to keep it out of my face, so I pulled it off. My hair was immediately soaked. The turbulence in the middle of the horseshoe fall was so powerful that the ferry was rocking up and down and side to side like we were on the ocean. I can't imagine how anyone ever survived going over the waterfall, but although most do not live to tell the tale, some have.

After the ferry ride, we walked up some stairs that took us next to the smaller section. Once again, I was pummeled by "mist". I tried to take a video of it but couldn't see my screen well so instead of recording away from me, I took a snapshot of myself. You can still see that it was wet.

After that, we walked to the very top, where the Niagara River flows over the side. For some reason, my mind had always pictured a calm, peaceful river taking a sudden plunge into the pool below. Instead, it was a white water kayaker's dream, other than the sudden plunge at the end, for as far as I could see. God help anyone who falls into that water, because He's the only way they're making it out alive.

It's amazing how quickly temperatures dip when you're traveling north in the autumn. Almost overnight, we've gone from highs in the 80s or 90s and lows never being low enough to let us sleep well to highs in the 60s (today was 73) and blissfully chilly evenings. Just like when we started, I'm in a hurry to start making Abe's coffee in the morning because the propane burner heats it up a few degrees. I know it's going to get a whole lot colder over the next while, but it won't be too long before we start heading down south again for the winter.

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Judi Williams Thietten
Judi Williams Thietten
28 set 2021

It is so beautiful back there and it has been so many years since I was there. It doesn't look like the trees are turning yet. I do hope you will be in the northeast when they do. It is so spellbinding. Love to read your adventures. Love you guys. Be safe. lvu

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Kandy Thietten
Kandy Thietten
28 set 2021
Risposta a

The trees are starting to turn, but slowly. We're in New York now, and I think we'll be in Vermont in a few days. Love you.

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