I was huddled with the other tourists on the deck of the Maid of the Mist boat, wearing the required blue rain slicker, as we admired the Horseshoe Falls. My slicker was drenched by the mist—a downpour of mist—from the falls. When a woman standing next to me poked me in the side with her elbow and pointed up to the sky. Since the sound of the falls was deafening we could only communicate by the universal language of nods, pokes and hand gestures.
I thought she was pointing to someone jumping off Horseshoe Falls in a barrel or other gear. Many people have tried to conquer Niagara Falls. They are pulled by the beauty, energy its emits. It’s a force of nature that draws people to it.
Now, I was going to see one of those thrill-seekers try to beat the odds. I elbowed her and gestured to the waterfalls. I was wondering where this person was. She shook her head no. She pointed directly over our heads. I nodded in understanding. I pulled down the hood of the slicker and looked up. There was a helicopter up in the sky.
That looked like one wild ride to me. As soon as the boat docked and a friend and I got our rain slickers off, we headed to the helicopter launch pad. We purchased our tickets at the tour office, ready for the adventure to begin.
Since our helicopter was a six-seater, my friend and I could have our own window seats. As the sound from the whirling helicopter blades grew louder, my anticipation increased. We were two thrill-seekers without a barrel. We would be flying over the Niagara Falls.
The pilot and co-pilot instructed us on safety rules, buckling up seat belts, where the air bags were and not touching any of the doors. We put on head sets to block out the extremely noisy blades. Then we took flight!
It was an amazing experience flying over the three different waterfalls along the Niagara River. The pilot talked to us via the headsets acting as our tour guide sharing the history of place and answering questions.
First we flew over the smallest of the trio, the Bridal Veil Falls. Then it was the American Falls. We flew over the Horseshoe Falls last, with the excitement building as we got closer. The Horseshoe Falls are the largest with so much water pouring down that there is a permanent rainbow.
The Horshoeshoe Falls are horseshoe shaped with a drop of over 173 feet to the bottom.
The water from Niagara River courses through hydroelectric turbines up river supplying electricity to surrounding areas of Canada and the US.
It was thrilling to fly over the waterfalls–experiencing their power and beauty from the air.