June 13:  Hamburg to Niagara Falls, Ont.  43.2 miles

The day was charged with excitement.  The route was going to take the group over the Peace Bridge and into Canada.  All that pedaling and all that time thinking about the freedom seekers and their struggles was now going to be captured in a simple walk across that international line.  As the group packed up and started out onto the road, each person in their own way began that thought process of reflecting on what those before us had done.

But first there was the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum to find.  Situated directly on route it was easy to spot with its "different" types of bikes displayed on its front lawn.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed but that didn't stop the group from trying out some of the bikes!!

On to Buffalo and down through the industrial section and onto a bike path to the entrance of the Peace Bridge.  It was time to take the lane and enter with all the vehicle traffic that was attempting to enter into Canada for the day. The bridge is a high expansion bridge across the Niagara River.  Most of the group chose to "slow down" and take in the experience of the crossing by walking their bikes, rather than riding.  Being an expansion bridge, it provided the individuals with that last hill to freedom.  Standing at the midpoint brought emotions out of everyone as one thought about the meaning of stepping into Canada and freedom so many years ago.

Once across the group weaved and wove through the custom lines, passport check points and finally out into the town of Fort Erie, Ont. and the Niagara Recreation Trail, a bike path to Niagara Falls.

The trail followed the Niagara River from Lake Erie to the falls through residential areas, vineyards, and parks.  It also passes several places where the Underground Railroad safe houses were still visible.  The freedom seekers were not necessarily save once they reached Canada.  Many times the slave "bounty hunters" would cross the river to kidnap the individuals and take them back.  The Canadian UGRR helpers fought many a battle to re-free captured slaves.

The closer the bikers got to Niagara Falls the faster the water started to flow and the hearts and minds of everyone were taken over with the magnitude of the whole experience.

And then there it was -- with mist sailing high into the air, the falls magically appear in the distance.  The route brings one in at the top of the Canadian falls (Horseshoe) just as if one was sailing down the river.  The miles of bike trails were quiet and tranquil, but now the roar of the falls and the sight of all the people witnessing the spectacular sight brought the dreaming to an end and forced a reality check.  Most of the day had been spent seeing but a few other individuals -- now we were in the throws of thousands of people all looking at the same thing.  Languages from all over the world could be heard, with everyone having the same expression of wonder on their faces.

Picture taking time and then to the hotel to get rid of the bike.  Back to the falls and down to the Maid of the Mist was the activity of the day for most of the riders.  If we were here, let's get as close the the fall as we can.  

Niagara Falls is a city surviving totally on tourism.  Every possible tourist trap, chain restaurant, gimmick advertising is located within easy walking distance of the falls.  One side of the road has such natural beauty, while the other has a man-made menagerie. 

Last Breakfast

Anne, Sondra and Lois


Pedaling History Museum

Pedaling History!

More Pedaling

Holly On Her New Bike!

Peace Bridge to Canada

Walk To Freedom

The Magic Dividing Line

Truly International Line

Sue At Canada's Front Door!

Georgia Trying to Get Into the Country!

Canadian Safe House


Sue and Lois On The Way to the Falls

Niagara River

Getting Closer

Niagara Falls, Ont

Horseshoe Falls from Above

Niagara Falls!

Maid of the Mist at Horseshoe Falls

Maid of the Mist with Rainbow!!

Sue and Lois at the Falls

Frankie and Lois at the Falls!!



Mary and Lois on the Maid of the Mist

Mary, Lois and Frankie -- The Maids of the Mist!!!