The Maid of the Mist, still going strong after 150 years
by Deborah Williams
How many ways can you view the relentless waters of Niagara Falls? If you're not a risk taker, you might promenade opposite the mighty torrent on sidewalks barely damp with spray.
Or...you might gape from the deck
of a boat below the thundering cascade, peer out from the caves behind it, gaze
from towers, ogle from a helicopter above... Yes, you can drink in the vista from
every conceivable angle.Niagara Falls remains an awesome spectacle. A sprawling
182-foot-high cataract of roaring water, surrounded by towering clouds of mist
and spray, it drains four Great Lakes into a fifth, Lake Ontario. Writers have
long struggled to capture in words the immensity of the Falls. Mark Twain simply
wrote: "Niagara Falls is one of the finest structures in the known world."Any
vantage point can confirm Twain's view, but the most vivid experience involves
the Maid of the Mist boat ride that celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
President Theodore Roosevelt called the ride "the only way fully to realize
the Grandeur of the Great Falls of Niagara."
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