Michelle and I spent the long weekend on the run which seems the norm now. I completed work late afternoon on Friday, but Michelle had to work on Saturday and Monday, so with broken days like this, we needed to stay close to home. We decided to head back to Fort Erie to explore the old town right on the Niagara River. I used Google Maps to search out what I thought would be a good place to boondock.
There is something romantic about these small border towns. With the old building in what I call the town centre in Fort Erie reminds me of some of the bars, I frequented while in the Royal Canadian Navy when we would sail up into New Westminster in BC. Old, run down and dirty are the only words that come to mind, but dirty in the sense of old greyed or weathered area.
Old Fort Erie on the Niagara Parkway
Our first stop was at the boat launch just next to Nicolls Marine, there is a nice little parking lot right on the Niagara River. It was so peaceful, a couple of people fishing and someone shooting bird pictures with what looked like a Canon 70 – 200mm lens. Sadly the first sign we see plain as day was indicating that there was no parking between Midnight and 6 AM. We contemplated spending the night in the Parking lot, I mean after all how far and how often does the Niagara Parks Police patrol the river. In the end, we felt it best if we did not get on anyone’s radar if you follow me.
I thought that the road was quiet enough we could simply pull out and park on the street. There are no signs indicating that there was no parking there overnight. Michelle noticed an old building almost directly across the road with a for sale sign in the window and was obviously empty. This building had a perfect place for us to boondock for the night. The lot was dark, though close to a street light, and with a gentle rain very peaceful place to sleep.
Back to the River First Thing in the Morning
Once morning came, we could not help but return to the boat ramp to enjoy the birds diving into the water hunting for a good fish for their breakfast. I made a pot of coffee for Michelle and me, and our breakfast cereal. As our lazy morning moved forward we decided to take a walk around the area. One of my loves is shooting Street Photography though there were not many people, there were some fabulous old buildings and signs to record. I could not help but feel like I was back in New Westminster walking along the Fraser River past the old buildings, that housed the crazy busy bars the night before. I have very fond memories of that time in my life.
The one thing that stood out, was the lack of people. Realising it was a Sunday early afternoon, the riverside bars and restaurants were empty, void of people. This would not be the case in New West or Vancouver. The Brunch crowd would be packing in these areas with not a seat left open. I guess this is why the downtown area of Fort Erie seems dead, void of a future of prosperity. Though when I come to think of it many areas in the Niagara Region are the same way.
I love watching Michelle explore the area. Everything is new for her, she especially loves being down near the water. I know she still thinks every body of water we come by is salt water. I know I miss being near the ocean. The smell of the sea air, there is something so heart warming being near the ocean. If you get an opportunity head down to the area, visit the restaurants, or have a beer in at the bar. Help bring back the area, it is really quite lovely.
Next weekend there will be a new adventure in a different area of the Niagara Region. Maybe we will explore Niagara on the Lake or should we try Port Colborne? See you out there, stop by and say hi!