I LOVE Wikipedia. I even made up a rap about it. Sometimes I just free-style to it. Wiki-wiki-wiki-pedia! WIKIPEDIA!
So today’s random article is about Goat Island and lucky for y’all, I have a great story about it!
When I was 13 or 14? (site needed…he he) we took a family trip to Niagara Falls. It was the first time I had ever been there so Mom made sure we saw everything there was to see. We went on the Maid of the Mist, the Spanish Aerocar over the whirlpool, toured Clifton Hill and all it’s weirdness…and Goat Island.
For those of you who haven’t been there, Goat Island is on the New York side of the falls. It’s basically the piece of land that separates the American Falls from the Canadian Falls. It is so cool, because you can walk the foot trails and go from one island to the next called the Three Sisters Islands. At the very end of the final island, you get a spectacular view of the falls. I mean, really up close and personal. If I remember correctly, it looked to be only about 20 feet from where the falls go over.
Now, I say that, knowing now, that I didn’t have to find out personally. See, I, Cassie, almost went over the falls.
Perhaps, it wasn’t that dramatic…but here’s what I remember:
We (Mom, Larry, Carly and I) were touring the island. I was, of course, forging ahead of the pack, as per usual. Always in search of some tame adventure. Earlier in the day, when we were on the Ontario side, I was watching the water go over the edge, wondering how deep, fast and cold the water was. Here, on the island, I could at least find out one of the things: the temperature of the water. When we got to the beach of the island, most tourists stayed distant…knowing….smart. Me? Not so much. I wanted to feel it. So I stepped forward, ignoring my Mother saying, “Cassandre Louise, you better be careful…” (Yah, I know, Louise…really?) Careful should be my middle name.
So I stooped down to grab a rock and feel the water when I slipped…
And an middle-aged man grabbed me by the back of my shirt and told me to be careful.
The rest is a little fuzzy. However, for a split second, I had visions of going over the falls and falling into the river below. And that alone scared the bejesus out of me. My greatest fear in life? Deep water where you can’t see the bottom. Even 20 foot chlorinated pools would scare me. So the falling over the falls wouldn’t scare me nearly as much as being in the water, waiting for the Maid of the Mist to come save me…or worse. I think the fear alone would kill me.
(Side story: when I was in 3rd grade or something, I was boating with a friend on the Clarion River. My friend was tubing and I was to stand watch for when she’d let go or fall off. Apparently I wasn’t the greatest of lookouts, because she fell off somewhere near the Piney Dam and when we went back looking for her, we didn’t find her right away. The currents were tugging her under and she was petrified. As was I. Ever since then, I’ve been deathly afraid of deep water. Especially when you can’t see the bottom. I just can’t do it.)
So that’s my story of how I came close to really getting to know the Niagara Falls. I’m sure my Mom will tell the story differently…
Oh, and for the record, the water was cold.