May 18th --The Niagara Falls--


Today I had to finish the payment by all means. As I stayed in a suburb yesterday, I needed to go to a larger town to find a bank for wire transfer. Now I know that banks close at 16:00, so I got up early and checked out the motel at 7:30. I took the I-84 west and crossed the state line of Pennsylvania. It was raining and I couldn't go so fast. I expected that Scranton is large enough but it was not exactly on the way. I passed just the north edge of the town and headed north along the I-81. Again I came to the state line of New York. This time I found the welcome sign. But it was GREEN, the same color as thousands of signs along highways. And it was so plain that it didn't seem to welcome visitors. Anyway I could add New York state to my collection.

I reached Syracuse, a junction to the I-90. It was relatively a large city, so I decided to look for a bank. I drove along a main street and found one soon. I parked at a parking mater along the street and went in. But a clerk said no again. So I changed my mind to send traveler's checks by mail. She kindly showed me the way to a post office. It was just one block away. I went to the post office and asked a clerk if I could send traveler's check. She said yes. I went out the post office to prepare a letter for it. Taking a cup of Latte, I wrote a letter and signed all traveler's checks I had. I sent it by an Express mail after taking photocopies of the checks and the letter. It should be delivered to Colorado at least on Saturday. I called the mechanic and told him that I had sent the necessary amount. All I need now is to get more traveler's checks for the rest of the charges. But this was still a pain in neck due to many protective limits. My credit card has a limit, the ATM has a limit for withdrawing cash per day, and AAA also has a limit to sell traveler's checks. I will need to buy traveler's checks at Niagara Falls today, and tomorrow at Detroit and Chicago.

I drove the I-90 west. It was still raining. When I came to Buffalo, I got off the freeway and drove around the downtown looking for a CitiBank. But searching without a branch location map was as difficult as looking for a corrective lens fallen on a floor. I gave up and took the I-190 to Niagara Falls. As I had searched one branch in Niagara Falls on Internet, I could easily find a CitiBank. I got as much cash as the ATM can handle and bought traveler's checks at AAA. Fortunately, AAA was very close to the bank. Tomorrow I will have to do the same sequence again.

After driving a little bit, I got a room very close to the riverside. I put my baggage in and went out again. First I put on my rollerblades but I found an awful sign say, "No rollerblading in park" in front of the Niagara Reservation State Park. I went back to my car and drove it to a parking lot in the park. This was the second time to see the Niagara Falls so I was not so much excited. It stopped raining, although dark clouds were still in the sky. After taking some pictures on the US side, I decided to walk across the rainbow bridge. This was the first time to walk across a border of nations. I was a little bit excited because we can never walk across a border in Japan. I walked through a revolving door just like the exit of an amusement park and went out of the US. At the middle of the bridge, there were three flags, US, UN and Canada. The immigration was also easy because I didn't take a dog with me.

After a good Chinese dinner, I walked along the river until the falling point of Horseshoe Falls. It was almost 21:00, so I waited until the illumination is turned on. When it was lit, the falls were very beautiful in white. But it didn't last for long. After 5 or 10 minutes, they started to turn colors, from red, blue, yellow, etc, etc. I couldn't stand for it. Once before I have seen a fountain with colored water, shocking blue, somewhere. I had the same feeling as I had at that time. I walked back to the bridge, crossed the border again, and went back to the inn.

The welcome sign of New York

A cute direction to the falls

American Falls

Flags on the rainbow bridge

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls at night


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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto