Lockport, NY

July 21, 2010 7:46 pm

This morning, we set out looking for the Dad’s diner recommended by Milica had recommended. We got lost, but the gentleman below helped us out. BJ turned out to be a former cook at Dad’s, but had moved on to a well-known Italian restaurant in town. He said that the restaurant was a hole-in-the-wall, and doesn’t even advertise. It used to be called Simon’s. Not only did BJ give us directions, he walked almost two blocks with us to show us the way. He was supposed to be married on the 18th, but had to go to court, instead. We wish him well.




Police cars outside, a good sign.

Dad’s was an unassuming place with good prices. There was construction going on nearby, and the construction workers were coming in to order things. Our server, Janice, was always on the move, but never too busy to smile or ask how someone was doing.


In spite of the bustle, Janice agreed to pose by the sign. Look at the price of the complete lunch, and remember, these are Canadian dollars. Elliot had trouble finishing all his french toast, so Janice gave us some tinfoil to wrap it.

We went back to the Motel, and were right on schedule to check out before 11, but I got caught up visiting with Ray and family. I’m pretty sure he said his name was Ray, because I spelled it out to confirm, but when I checked their website, it said Rod. It was intended to be a short day, anyway, because we wanted to ride the Maid of the Mist, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, at least for me. Perhaps Elliot will get to do it again, if he has children someday.

The Maid of the Mist (MM) was very reasonably priced – $15.60 Canadian per person. We got rid of our Canadian cash, leaving less than a dollar to carry back. No reservations necessary. We snaked our bikes down a maze of ramps with the rest of the cattle, and took elevators down to the dock. As even wheelchairs are not allowed aboard the MM, we parked our bikes on the dock where people put their strollers, and took our valuables in our front packs with us. I judged the risk to be low, as the only people on the dock were the staff and those who had paid to ride the MM.


Elliot in the standard MM poncho. It was a hot day. I decided not to use the poncho.

We just missed the boat as it was leaving (there are like 6 of them, I think), but that only meant we were first in line for the next boat, and got the best spots on top deck, starboard side.


The American Falls. Our guide told us that the rocks fell in a spectacular collapse 50 or 60 years ago. I wonder if my mother and father saw a different falls when they visited Niagara on their Honeymoon?


Ladies and gentlemen, this IS Niagara Falls!

The MM is totally worth it. There are about 6 other major attractions relating to the falls, but if you see only one, I recommend this one.

Instead of taking the obvious Rainbow Bridge, the Adventure Cycling route went over the Lewiston Bridge, and said to ride with the traffic. It was a long, circuitous approach to the bridge, perhaps 5 to 7 miles. I’m not sure why there wasn’t a more direct path. We got to this highway entrance below, and I struggled with whether the sign meant no bikes, or no walking your bike. I decided it meant the latter, and trusted Adventure Cycling.



The highway was actually very lightly traveled, and had a wide and smooth shoulder. Absolutely fine for bikes.

My plan was to stop at the first restaurant once we crossed over into New York, but we saw none for miles and miles. This fruit stand was the first food we encountered.


We got a basket of apricots for $1.35


They were good, we each ate about 3 on the spot.

We passed through the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, and had lunch at this place. A full size Philly steak was $8, with no tax. We each had half; it was large. The meat was shaved thin, not like the Roast Beef slices that many places in California puts on a bun and calls cheese steak.


Around Cambria, there were some girls selling lemonade. It was a mandatory stop.


The girls are all cousins, except for the tall one, who is the mother of two of them.

In Lockport, we had trouble finding the motels, but with the help of locals, located some. We’re staying at the Comfort Inn. I had hoped for a first floor room, but the woman at the desk said that all the non-smoking rooms were upstairs – they liked to segregate them from the smoking. Nevertheless, on the way to room 286, we went through a corridor of non-smoking rooms on the first floor, with “no smoking” plaques firmly affixed to their doors. I would have preferred that the desk clerk simply tell me that there were no more rooms available on the first floor. The facilities were nice, but not a good value for the money, at over $100 when tax was added.

Elliot wasn’t very hungry, so we simply heated the soup we bought previously in the room’s microwave. I went to the laundromat to attempt washing our clothes, but found that the place closed at 9 pm. Right next to the laundromat was Mighty Taco, so I got us some supplements to our dinner.

Mileage: 44.4


  1. Marilyn Lang says:

    The falls look awesome! (And wet!) I’m glad that you and Elliot had that experience.

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Marilyn.

      The picture doesn’t capture the majesty of being surrounded on 3 sides by the 180-foot falls when the boat goes into the horseshoe. Wet, yes, but we’ve seen worse on this trip.

  2. Mona Schorow says:

    Wonderful experiences whose memories will last a lifetime! Your pictures capture so many of those moments. Thank you for sharing. And, thank you for sharing your amazing relatives with me!!! Reuben, your Auntie Eileen, Merrianne, and Kendra made my stay memorable too. Especially Merrianne. Up at 6 am for a swim. Scaling new peaks. Consuming delicious malasada (for which more than the memory will stay with me a long, long time). And, LANIPO! I could fill pages with my impressions of that confounding, torturous (tho’ not tortuous), humbling hike. It seems a family tradition. YOW! You have a wonderful, gracious, loving family — in spite of Lanipo.

    I’m glad that you continue to meet really nice people everywhere you go! Keep on rolling!


    • roderick says:

      Hey, Mona!

      Thanks for following so regularly. We’ll be done pretty soon.

      Take care,

  3. Merrianne says:

    Wonderful pictures of Niagara falls. What a fantastic experience. I almost wish I were there but some parts of the bike ride I am relieved I did not have to experience. Looks like you have a good chance of making it to Maine, especially if you ride 70 miles or more a day.

    Good to see that you are supporting the lemonade stand sellers. When Marja and I went riding a few weeks ago I bought some lemonade from some small children who were selling the drink at their parent’s garage sale. I also bought some 3lb. weights for $1.


    • roderick says:

      Hi, Merrianne!

      I don’t think we’ll make Maine, at least not on our present course. We may just get out of New York, by my best estimate. Elliot is okay with that. I could call in to work and extend the trip, but the destination is not important at all. Coming back on schedule will give Elliot a chance to do his summer pre-work for the AP classes, and reconnect with his friends.

      Lots happened today. I’ll post pictures, or maybe just an outline to be updated later.

      I’m getting tired of sleeping without you next to me.


  4. Auntie Cindy says:

    Wow!! Seeing the pictures of Niagra falls makes me want to make a trip out there with the family for sure. Love all your pics of the locals and the stories that go with them. So what happened to BJ? did he get married?

    Well, we are off to get a Wahoo Taco. I am at your house right now visiting Merrianne and Kendra. I visit SF with my girlfriends tomorrow and Saturday then run a 1/2 marathon on Sunday! I’ll post some pics to my FB site. 🙂 Your trip is really quite amazing!!!!!

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Cindy!

      Hope you enjoy that [half] marathon!

      What happened to BJ is an extended topic best discussed offline, or at least not on a public blog.

      Elliot took some video of Niagara, maybe we can post that later, or put it where you can see it. But I’m sure that sort of thing is on YouTube already, pretty common.

      Sorry we’ll miss you when we return,