I'm going to jump ahead to our trip home from New England (and get a little more time to research on the Shaker Village's history). We're at Niagara Falls!
Whenever I think of Niagara Falls, I think of a classic Abbott and Costello routine, in which one prisoner asks another to tell why he is here and he launches into a narrative of how his wife ran off with another to Niagara Falls and every time he hears the words, he goes a bit crazy, saying "Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch..." and then he attacks the hapless person who happened to mention the falls, often with seltzer or other slapstick bits.
Lucy did it too -- the version with Phil Silvers is my favorite (but they change "Niagara Falls" to the name "Martha."
Both Rick and I had been there in nice weather at different times, taking the very good tour that goes "behind the scenes." But in winter? Never.
So on our way home we stopped, parked a few blocks away at a souvenir store. (I don't think the owner wanted us to leave. Certainly during this frigid winter, human contact was a rarity in a summery souvenir stand!) Then we walked to the falls. On this cold and windy day, the mist had a powerful effect, stinging our cheeks. I think if we'd stayed another ten minutes, we would have frostbite.
No one can deny it was gorgeous. Snow and ice clung to the sides of the trees with a fairyland effect.
The light was perfect. The graceful arch of the sidewalk made for interesting photo angles.
And when you looked behind you saw something rare this winter -- a brilliant blue sky.
Some of the trees looked downright eerie!
But it was clear that there hadn't been a lot of visitors -- at least, they weren't using the "spy glass" binoculars at the site!
It was no surprise to learn the next day that the falls had frozen over the next night. With the dropping temperatures and wind, it seemed a given. You can see some fabulous photos and read more about it here. Take a look -- the photos at night are especially magnificent.
We visited the U.S.side of the falls. On a nicer day -- or at least one less windy -- we would have then gone to the Canadian side, which I've heard is more magnificent.
But one close brush with frostbite is quite enough! Nonetheless, it reminds me of how very magnificent this site is -- and how refreshing (in more ways than one) to see it without fighting through a crowd of fellow tourists!
And I suspect we'll be back!