July 4th Weekend 2008
Family Comes to Ontario (pg. 3)
by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz
July 6, 2008: Well, today was both a happy
and sad day. Happy because we could all go together to Niagara Falls, but
sad that Julianne, Marissa, Adam and Jos would be leaving to head back from
there and would be left to meander my way back to Woodstock for another
We headed out fairly early and drove straight to Niagara Falls through Hamilton
and St. Catharine. It was another beautiful day in SW Ontario and made for
a perfect setting for Niagara. Upon arrival in Niagara, we parked and soon
thereafter were already feeling the mists emanating from the falls. The
mists were everywhere this day, but added a refreshing coolness to the sunny
day. The place was very crowded but there was always a place to sneak in a
peak of the falls. As always, Horseshoe Falls is magnificent and powerful.
American Falls and Bridal Falls are much more graceful.
Julianne is a poser!! The falls and the mist. Adam, enjoys his first
ever view of the falls.
The Noes are posers too!! American and Bridal Falls. Julianne
ponders the grandeur.
From our vantage point we were able to see the tour boats go into the base of
Horseshoe Falls. The view from above adds some perspective as to the
dangerous swirling waters below the falls. I am sure that those on the
boat were awestruck by the power. I was more amazed at the ability of the
The Maid of the Mist heads into the churning waters at the base of Horseshoe
Since we were there and had the chance, Adam and Marissa took the “Journey
Behind the Falls” and Julianne and I watched cute little Joselyn.
A view of the Falls and Adam behind the falls, getting drenched
While they enjoyed the trip down, I sat and kept an eye on Joselyn…she hammed
it up for me….
Joselyn hams it up for Grampz
One of my other “pastimes” in places like this is watching the people. A
place Niagara Falls is perfect for this as people from all walks of life venture
here to experience the magnificence. I sneaked a few shots of some of the
people I saw while sitting on my bench in the corner of the lodge waiting for
Adam and Marissa to return.
A Hindi man looks for someone, a lady from India (or Pakistan)
took a rest on the bench next to me.
Hassidic Jews took time to witness one of God’s wondrous
Just back from behind the falls; enjoying an ice cream; waiting
for the venture of a lifetime
Adam and Marissa loved the trip down to the side of the falls. They got
back and were glad to see Joselyn was still in good hands:
Mama glad to see baby…and a very happy grandma!!
We took a stroll to get a better view of American Falls and could see crowds of
Crowds line the road all along the viewpoints for the falls.
And they come from everywhere.
Julianne and I take a seat with the falls behind us.
We finally made our way back to the cars, hot and tired and thirsty, but
refreshed from the beauty we had just taken it. It was time to go our
separate ways. My heart was filled with sadness in seeing them leave, but
yet I was also happy to have had the opportunity to share some my Ontario
experiences with my fabulous wife and our daughter. Adam had never been to
another country, so this was a special time for him and I was glad to have been
a part of that experience.
As they headed back to the U.S., I headed southwest towards the shores of Lake
Erie. Since I still had a good amount of the day ahead of me, I decided to
drive along the shore from Port Colborne to Port Rowan. I am glad I
did…it was a great drive.
This is the route I took from Niagara Falls back to Woodstock
My first stop was to the town of
town of about 50,000 people was long associated with an inland canal from Lake
Erie, but more recently is known for its large “outdoor
art gallery” of more than 25 murals, some of which are 3 stories high.
I have been to many towns with murals and am finding that this is a fairly new
tradition by cities and towns. I think that this time around I was more
impressed than I have been before (though the murals in
Point Pleasant, Ohio
and in St.
Thomas, Ontario are fabulous too). My first mural sighting (I never
use the maps provided…I prefer to go searching on my own and discover what I
might find!!) was a huge painting on the side of Sears at the Seaway Mall in
Welland. This mural depicted the entire history of the area and was so big
I had to take a number of photos to get it.
“History of the Niagara Peninsula” by Heinz Gaugel
If you look carefully you can see the overlapping portions in
More segments of the above
Heinz Gaugel is apparently a prolific mural artist. He did another one at
the same mall (and I missed it!!) and also has a huge mural in the heart of
Amish Country in Berlin, Ohio (I see another diversion trip coming…).
But his were not the only murals in Welland.
“Working Women” by Ted Ziegler
shows the contribution of women to the industrial
work force in the factories of Welland
Here is an assortment of others. I have tried to research the artists
“Main Street” – two depictions by
“Wagons” by Andrew Miles
“Welland Fair” by John Hood
Couldn’t find titles for these
was historically known as “the place where rails and water meet”, with the rail
line from Buffalo to Toronto running through while the Welland Canal brought
traffic up from Lake Erie. The first thing I noticed as I came into
town was the huge
Welland Lift Bridge that crosses the canal downtown. I had never seen
a bridge like this before. Basically, when a ship comes through, the
entire bridge lifts upward. The
article on this bridge is quite interesting as it is unique to other lift
bridges on the canal.
Welland Main Street Bridge
(Welland Canal Lift Bridge #13)
The bridge towers over the town; Welland Canal runs along the road
From Welland I headed south to Port Colborne which is the southern starting
point of the Welland Canal. Like Welland, it has a huge lift bridge, known
as the Clarence Street Bridge. It is one of the few remaining working lift
bridges on the Welland Canal. The vertical lift bridge was completed in 1929 and
has a span of 200 feet and a clearance of 120 feet when in the raised position.
As I came into town a huge ship was passing under the bridge, so I actually got
to see it in action. Pretty amazing!!
A huge freighter “Milo” floats under the Clarence Street Bridge.
It then goes down.
A couple more views of the old rusty Milo.
As I drove along Lake Erie I could catch glimpses of this ship in
A seagull conference in Port Colborne. The wharf with all
From Port Colborne I headed west along the shore. I tried to stay on the
roads that hugged the lake, no matter how small. There were homes that had
the lake in the backyard. Others had little “relaxation stations” set up
with nice views of the lake. Every so often I would run across scenes of
people in the water. No better way to tell the story than with the
pictures…they say it all on their own.
One of the many beaches along the shore of Lake Erie
Enjoying the beautiful beach…a lonely boat is stored off-shore
A man fills up his old car in Dunnville. Signposts pointing
to people’s homes.
A unique way to tow a boat…I saw numerous picnic tables along
A man relaxes on his little veranda. Others enjoy the water
Fishing and floating in the lake
Many homes are along the lake with fabulous waterfront views
I got lucky and caught a glimpse of this blue heron wading in the
Geese and a lonely rowboat
I finally made my way into Port Dover, a resort area along the lake. In
many ways it reminded me of a visit I made a number of years ago to Rehoboth
Beach in Delaware. Similar types of shops and atmosphere.
The pier and lighthouse for Port Dover.
A crowded beach attracts the swimmers, sunbathers and sea gulls
More beach scenes from Port Dover
Of course, boating and fishing are big time activities here as well
Coming in and heading out — cruising the lake is a big time activity
Of course, a good beach resort is no good without the eateries and shops
One last look at the beach
Well, back up the road to Woodstock. A beautiful day and some beautiful
sights. Many memories…and the continued longing to be with my family…
Back to the cornfields of Oxford County
All photos and commentary expressed are copyright of Sumoflam Productions and David Kravetz. All rights reserved.