Eastern US Travel Stories

Rainbow over Niagara Falls

Welcome to the Eastern US Travel Stories. Within these pages, you can read selected stories and musings about our waterfall-themed adventures in the East of the Mississippi. Hopefully, you'll find these stories entertaining and educational. Perhaps you might get a good laugh at our expense, or you might find some nuggets that you can apply to your own travels.

Thumb through the travel stories below. They are arranged chronologically with the most recent escapade at the top. Enjoy :)

The Glory Hole Falls in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma: 9-March 2016 to 20-March 2016)
Dodging Bullets
: ...Then, we pretty much followed this road for a few hours. Along the way, we saw large stretches of swamp and what appeared to be lake or "sea" given how extensive some of the bodies of water we witnessed alongside the road were. Little did we realize that we were starting to see some of the effects of the flood from last week and into last weekend that caused several parishes in the state of Louisiana to declare a state of emergency. In fact, we were going into Bossier City-Shreveport, which was right at the epicenter of the flooding late last week. Boy was it a good thing that we didn't do the trip in reverse (clockwise) as originally planned, because we would've really been screwed with the flooding there. Plus, we would've really been screwed at the Texas-Louisiana border along the I-10 since they closed it this morning due to high water from all the runoff that went from northern Louisiana to southern Louisiana. It was amazing to think that just three days ago, we had crossed that stretch of interstate to get to New Orleans from Austin. It took a while to get from the Hwy 1 onto I-49, but when we got onto that interstate, it was pretty smooth going as we could use the cruise control and just pay attention to the road as well as the cops. And in one moment, there was a cop right in the center of the interstate. When I saw his siren go on, I had this sinking feeling that he... [read more]

Millenium Park in Chicago (Great Lakes: 3-October 2015 to 9-October 2015)
Waterfalling The Heartland
: In any case, Julie had the bright idea of having Tahia hand over the bag of potato chips to the homeless person. His reaction to Tahia's gesture was priceless. He smiled widely, and called Tahia "Little Princess." He gladly took the potato chips and kept smiling as we said good-bye to each other. There was a lesson learned here. While Tahia was a little apprehensive at first, in the end, we asked Tahia how she felt after doing the selfless gesture to the homeless person. She said it felt "good" and we didn't even put the words in her mouth. She came up with the answer herself. So there was a fundamental principle behind helping people and making them feel better. It wound up making her feel good about herself, and this was one of those life lessons you simply don't get in the classroom. Who knows what other intangible things she picked up on this trip? [read more]

Pictured Rocks Cruise (Great Lakes: 25-September 2015 to 2-October 2015)
Lake Effects
: I actually had to waste about a dozen matches before the paper finally caught fire and ignited the wood hovering over it. But once we were in business, we could now try to figure out how to make smores happen with the skewer sticks we were given. I realized that perhaps tongs would've been better to melt everything together in one shot. But trying to melt marshmallows and chocolate while balancing on the skewers was a tricky proposition at best. In any case, we were enjoying the moment as we stared at the fire and watching the embers fly with the winds. As we took a break from roasting smores over the fire, we also looked up at the sky and noticed stars overhead. Tahia thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I knew that we were sharing one of those precious moments that I'm sure would stick in our minds for the rest of our lives. This was the kind of moment we live for, and it gave us the idea that perhaps we should do more real camping trips going forward in California or Southern Utah (provided the drought doesn't persist)... [read more]

Capitol Hill (Washington D.C.: 9-June 2014 to 11-June 2014)
National Mall Rats
: By about 10:35pm, we were finally back at the Residence Inn. We didn't do as much sightseeing as I had hoped on this day, so that meant that tomorrow would be all or nothing in terms of National Mall touring. Hopefully my work-related stuff would conclude earlier rather than later in the afternoon so I could join Julie and Tahia for some sightseeing fun. In any case, I definitely felt like I was coming down with something as my congestion was now stuffing my nose. Fortunately, I was so tired that I was ultimately able to sleep, and I knew that I would get perhaps an hour or more of sleep on this night than I had been getting in the past two weeks, and this was despite my 5:30am wakeup tomorrow (or 2:30am in west coast time!)... [read more]

The Statue of Liberty (Upstate New York, Ontario, New Jersey, and New York City: 10-October 2013 to 11-October 2013, 15-October 2013 to 18-October 2013)
From Albany to Buffalo and More
: But after the initial climb up, I then reached a spot where there was a rope tied across a pair of trees. I was certain this wasn't official as there'd be no way the Forest Service would endorse this. But I sure was glad it was there when I realized that trying to cross the exposed eroded section was way too slippery when I attemped to cross above the rope. All it took was the first step and the slip of that step (without me losing my balance fortunately) to make me realize that the initial approach was too risky... [read more]

Sunrise over fog in Florida, MA (New England, Quebec, and Ottawa: 25-September 2013 to 4-October 2013)
Patriot Acts
: During the 80 minutes of driving to this point, I was talking with Julie about the prospect of going all the way out to Bar Harbor and not being able to visit Acadia National Park thanks to the government shutdown. When Julie saw that Acadia National Park did indeed become closed (from her cell phone reception in North Conway), we at first were cursing our luck that we wouldn't get to do this. And yet it was such a long drive to get there, that all of the sudden, we were wondering whether it was even worth it anymore... [read more]

Lake Cumberland (Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia: 21-October 2012 to 27-October 2012)
Mixing it up in the Blue Grass
: Eventually, the trail started to hug some interesting cliff walls. But it was somewhere at this point that we spotted a deer carcass right next to the hiking trail. The carcass looked like it was a new kill. This freaked Julie out as she treated the dead deer as if it was like spotting a dead human body next to the trail. And not long after accepting that the deer was there and we'd have to go by it, there were a couple of guys in camouflage further up the trail. We suspected that they probably shot the deer, and now Julie was concerned that these folks might be up to no good (i.e. that we might be their next targets). In fact, it could very well be that this deer might have been related to the two deer that we saw cross the road in front of us as we tried to get to the trailhead... [read more]

Brevard (Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina: 13-October 2012 to 20-October 2012)
God Country
: While we were busy trying to figure out if we had indeed found the trailhead for Yellow Branch Falls, another vehicle pulled up into the lot. It was a lone man, and Julie was eye-ing him because she wasn't sure if he was up to no good or not. So we waited for him to make his move before we got ready with our gear, knowing that this was going to be a longer hike than the short walks throughout yesterday. Once the man made his move towards what appeared to be a shelter, we got out of the car with our gear ready and proceeded towards the same path that the man took. As we approached the shelter, we saw him there sitting... [read more]

Ithaca Falls (Upstate New York: 15-June 2007 to 18-June 2007)
Picking Waterfalls at the Finger Lakes
: We continued driving through the city towards the signposted High Falls fo the Genesee River. We parked at a pay structure then walked the city streets towards a pedestrian bridge traversing the Genesee River. I felt strange carrying around a tripod and DSLR camera in hiking clothes in the urban jungle, but my mind left this awkwardness when we saw the impressive High Falls... [read more]

Looking over Bridal Veil Falls (Niagara Falls: 13-June 2007 to 14-June 2007)
Niagara Falls Every Which Way
: As the boat pulled away from the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, I suddenly felt something warm hit me in the face. It didn't take long to figure out what had just happened. "OOOHHH CRAP!" I exlaimed to Julie. Obviously, I got hit in the face by bird crap by one of the many birds flying around the American side of the falls. It was gross! [read more]

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