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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Time Event
1:05p
Next morning the whole Lincoln road was deserted

I had decided to walk around the rim of the American side of Niagara Falls, from the top, above all the demonstrations of potential energy changing to kinetic energy. I figured to just walk far enough to meet up with my mother, or her friend, or maybe my father, and to see how far I felt like walking before turning back. Now, the thing is, consider the sort of tourist I am, which is the kind that could realistically spend more than a glance looking at a trowel if I have any reason to believe that this trowel was involved in any way in any interesting activity. So it was easy to fall into a pattern of ``I should walk a bit farther; after all, when am I going to be here again?''

And this is how I walked out on a footbridge that was farther away, and longer, than I thought, which allowed first for completely different views of water falling and the occasional seagull, but also lead me eventually to what I believed was Goat Island. Around here the trees were grown into the nice sort of respectable little forest like where I grew up, with plenty of trees but not enough depth to worry a suburban kid. And the walkway drew very close to the Niagara River, far enough up from the falls that it was still reasonably tranquil. In fact, there was one stretch where it was just a few feet and a little walk downhill to get to a sort of alcove in the river, where the water was stirring around but not moving that fast, and ... you know, I had my sandals on, and ... when would I be here again?

So I joined what I have to imagine is a modest legion of people who've walked into the Niagara River near the Falls. It wasn't far into the river: I didn't get even much past my ankles wet. And it wasn't near the Falls; even if I had slipped, I'd have just gotten myself muddy. But I was filled with that wonderful thrill that comes of doing something that you can describe as risky. And the water soaked into my sandals and covering my feet felt really good on that hot day.

Trivia: In 1715 North Carolina declared as many as seventeen commodities, including maize and wheat, to be legal tender. Source: History of Money, Glyn Davies.

Currently Reading: Understanding Physics: Motion, Sound, and Heat, Isaac Asimov. I already understand them pretty well, but it has been a while since I last read an Asimov science popularization and you have to admit the Good Doctor did know a few things about how to do them.

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