Friday, February 8, 2019

Love Canal and Niagara Falls in the Winter

Niagara Falls, NY, USA
On February 2nd, J, his cousin, and I made our second trip in a few months up to Niagara Falls. In fact, it was almost three months to the day that we were there last time. J and I wanted to do something special for his birthday. We first planned to go to Kalahari, but then we saw a photo that the falls were frozen, and he decided he wanted to do that instead. Before we left, I made a list of things I wanted to see knowing full well that it would be cold so we probably wouldn't see all of them. Guess that means another post will be coming soon.
The first stop we made was to Love Canal. In 1890, William T. Love envisioned a model city that would be founded on the idea of a canal connecting the upper and lower falls to produce cheap electricity for the town and its factories. When that idea failed the canal became a dumping ground for the Hooker Chemical Company. The Hooker Company eventually covered up the canal with a clay seal and, in 1953, sold it to the city for $1 so a much needed school could be built. Barrels of chemicals were found during construction and people often complained about dark puddles in their homes after rainstorms and foul smells, but the town continued on. In 1977 a massive survey was done on the area by the federal government and they found that the 33% of the population suffered some kind of chromosomal damage compared 1% you'd find in most places. In 1978 the area was considered unlivable and most people were relocated; however, a few people decided to stay. Unfortunately, when we went I wasn't really sure what to look for. I knew there was an abandoned street but wasn't sure exactly where it was. Turns out we drove around the entire site without knowing it. It's now completely surrounded by a fence and barbed wire and only a field remains as most houses and buildings were demolished. There is an abandoned road not passable by cars that I hope to go back and walk through, but decided not to at the time because I was not wearing the appropriate shoes for snow.
While Love Canal was super fascinating (to me), the main reason we went was to see the frozen falls. It was supposed to be 50 in Cleveland the day we went so we weren't quite prepared for the snow and cold. It actually wouldn't have been fine but it was the wind that got us. It was worth the trip to see every thing covered in ice. The ground was a sheet of ice too, but I'm very impressed that I didn't fall at all.
There really isn't much else to say about the trip other than it was really cold. I suffer from nose fountain syndrome - my nose just pours when it's cold - so it makes it so much more miserable to be outside because I have to blow it every 5 seconds. I would probably like the cold a lot more if I didn't have to do it so often. After dinner we walked to our car and J mentioned how the building looked like an animal. It was actually made to look like a turtle, but I was too cold to go and take a picture of its shell. It's kind of neat that we parked next to the oddly shaped building. We made one more stop before we left for home. I'll share that later.
Have you seen Niagara Falls in the winter?

4 comments

  1. Seeing the icy falls in the winter is a goal of mine! Your photos are beautiful!

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  2. Also I forgot to say that we drove around Love Canal too and I was disappointed that there wasn't much left, but what a fascinating history!

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    1. If we go back we're going to walk down the road that's closed off. I thought I saw an abandoned building there. We'll see if I was right!

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