The Falls of FUBAR

Flowing energy rushes toward the edge, a slave to its inevitable fate. It builds and builds and builds some more, unwilling to compromise.

Suddenly, it slips.

For a few precious seconds it suspends high in the air, engaging in a soundless symphony.

Then, it falls.

The finale is deafening, like cymbals clanging against the bottom of an unforgiving pit. This masterpiece draws us in – millions year after year.

Niagara Falls.

Embarking on a road trip to Montreal made this a no-brainer overnight stop for us. Mr. H and I booked a crappy chain hotel on the Canadian side, followed our trusty electronic maps, and strapped Ken Follett the cow in his seat.

ken the cow on the road

Along the way we admired Provence upstate New York…

upstate new york

Ten lengthy hours after leaving Milwaukee, we arrived.

It was dark. And the border crossing at Niagara Falls, Canada was completely FUBAR.

Labor Day weekend. Border strike. FUBAR.

There’s something bittersweet about driving across North America, making it to your destination in decent spirits – cramping with hunger, aching from head to toe, delicates lodged in places – and being trapped with all the other bleary-eyed, naive tourists in this…

traffic at niagara falls

…for a freaking hour.

Naturally, Mr. H. wasn’t havin’ it. I love him even more for rescuing us from our gridlock hell to nowhere. My hero!

Destined to sleep in our truck on the side of a potholed street, we stumbled into a nearby hotel and luckily they were able to accommodate us. (Nothing like flushing money down the shitter on that unreachable hotel on the Canadian side, eh?)

As usual, we made the best of the situation. We lowered our standards and gleefully stuffed our faces in the familiar chain restaurant attached to the joint.

Mediocre fried food. Cold beer. We were saved.

Feeling tipsy, our sanity obviously questionable, we decided to go to the casino across the street to drink our touristy sorrows away and people watch. We’re not gamblers, so this environment fascinates us.

After a while, what initially seemed intriguing became ho-hum, borderline depressing, and our eyes became heavy. So we stumbled back to our hotel, scented with cigarettes and defeat.

The next day, despite our irritation with the whole charade, we went to the damn falls. We were a tough crowd, but Mother Nature won us over with her minxy appeal.

The credit card bill, the slot machines, and the traffic disappeared in that moment.

niagara fallsniagara falls
Niagara Falls…are they really worth it? The blood, the sweat, the tears?

Hell yeah they are!

23 thoughts on “The Falls of FUBAR

  1. Love this. Yeah, the Falls are sweet. Saw them back in 1988 when, for Spring Break and on our way to NYC, we (sorry to say) crossed the border without event. Ah the pre-911 days…… I was actually disappointed and had expected some sort of fanfare with moose and beer. Back in 1998 crossed the border in Nogales to Mexico….practically the same story except you get to walk through this cool gate that is scary and says “you are now leaving the United States” and literally you feel like you are in another world the second you cross over. The Third World.

    1. LOL! Agreed. For such a lengthy road trip, everything was pretty smooth for the most part. But the end of that first leg seemed so awful at the time. Doesn’t help when you’re exhausted and starving.

      Looking back, I see those beautiful falls pix and know it was worth the stop. We survived the falls!

  2. I have never been to the falls. Despite the bad luck to your trip, it sounds like it was a fabulous time. I don’t blame you about feeling depressed after visiting the casino. Those can get really low, fast.

    1. You should go some time! If you know it’s touristy going in, it helps to keep an open mind about the cheesy interludes you will most definitely encounter.

      Yes, casinos are an interesting study to be sure. At first, we thought…hell, why not?! Then, we were hightailing it out of there!

    1. I got a little carried away with the intro, but hell…I was floored.

      True, true on the tribulations. Going through those shenanigans made us appreciate the falls even more. We looked at them and grinned maliciously: “Haha! There you are, you wily bitches!”

  3. The Falls look quite beautiful! and I’m happy to see that Ken Follett the cow was able to join you on your trip. I hope he didn’t gamble away too much money!

      1. You’re good cow parents, watching out for his gambling problem! He must have loved seeing all that open road.

        I love the image of you setting up the photo 🙂

    1. Totally! The beer and fried food seemed to work right after.

      I went for a lovely swim in the hotel the next morning before the pool officially opened. Had the place to myself and did a little floating meditation. : )

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