All Nighter: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Panorama

It was Wednesday night, May 1st, 2011; and I was on my way back home when I realized that it was, relatively, early, 10:00 p.m. and I was not in the mood to go home just yet. So I drove around for a while; I started heading north and I kept on driving. That day I had grabbed my cameras and lenses thinking that I may be able to get some pictures at some point of the day. Things seemed to fall into place... I searched GoogleMaps for an interesting place in the north and found Niagara Falls. At the moment, 6 hrs. and 45 min. seemed reasonable...

Half way there I realized that ~7hrs of driving is a lot. But it was too late so I turned up the music and drove on.

Around 2 a.m. I noticed that I could see plenty of stars. I pulled to the side of the road, turned off my car, and laid on top of it for what I'm guessing were 20 mins. The skies were clear and the lack of civilization allowed the stars to show their beauty. I also realized that the temperatures were dropping; shorts and a shirt were not very appropriate for where I was heading.

I continued my trip and noticed that beautiful landscapes surrounded me but due to the darkness of the night I could not appreciate them, so I kept on driving knowing that I'd see them on my way back.

I arrived at my destination around 5:00 a.m. and after driving for a while around town. I grabbed a spare jacket I keep in my car and walked to the Niagara Falls Park. The place was still very dark but there was something soothing beautiful about it. I walked around taking pictures and attempting some long exposure shots of the water and the falls. The task was particularly difficult without a tripod.

One highlight of my trip was seeing so many animals. I'm guessing they were just waking up and were not very afraid of people. As I was walking by, I noticed that a squirrel started walking towards me. I figured it wouldn't get too close, so I kept walking, trying not to bother it. It not only got within inches of me, but it ran around me, looked at me again, and then ran back to a tree... I laughed at this event for quite a few minutes, wondering what had just happened. I could only describe it as "something out of Disney".

After watching the sunrise and walking for a while more I decided to take a nap in my car, then grabbed some food and headed back home around noon. The most interesting part of the ride back was re-discovering the landscapes I could not see on my way there. Mountains full of trees, grasslands all around, and even a river with small islands like formations.

An amazing trip to a regular night...