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National and state parks

Slept in until eight this morning. What a treat! The real treat, though, was Seattle's Best Coffee and a pool in the back yard.

Near noon we headed across the street to the Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site, which turned out to be the most disappointing national park we've been to yet. Most national parks have an enjoyable visitor's center and knowledgeable, friendly park rangers (even the more urban parks), but this one had no visitor's center and required an hour-long, paid tour only, with half the artifacts off exhibit due to construction. We were short on time and had counted on the ubiquitous visitor's center, and instead were greeted by rather uninterested employees (not park rangers?) and an extended gift shop. We had to skip the tour, but at least we got to see the house.  

And on the way out of town? All road lead to this intersection? Or at least three of them do.

We made it to Niagara just after lunch time and avoided both kitsch and crowds by going around the town and driving straight to the state park. Strangely enough, the state park parking lot was only sparsely filled, though it seemed to be the same price, or better, than the public lots on the edge of town. plus it was more peaceful.

Calvin was wowed by the falls. Of course. We hiked Goat Island, crossed the pedestrian bridge (over the rapids!) visited the observation deck and Prospect Point, and then did the Cave of the Winds attraction (no cave, lots of attraction), which was totally worth the excruciatingly long line.


Also excrutiatingly long was the line to get into Canada. Everyone wants out of the States on a Saturday night, apparently. Must be the gambling and early drinking age. But we made it, we ate a late dinner overlooking the falls from our room, and retired to the colorful lighting of that natural wonder.

I'm sure I could be wittier, or provide more information on how we made this an enjoyably educational visit, but I'm too tired, so there's always tomorrow.

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