The Maid of the Mist Tour (Niagara Falls)

070313-194

Maid of the Mist Tour

* Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara, New York *

If you want to get a good look at the Bridal Veil Falls or the Horseshoe Falls from the American side. It begins as a ferry boat that issues you a rain poncho and takes you out from the calm side of the Niagara River near the Rainbow Bridge. The Tour takes you by the American and Bridal Veil Falls, and then into the spray heavy curve of Horseshoe/Canadian Falls. The tour can be accessed either from the American or the Canadian side. The tour is operated by the Maid of the Mist Steamship Company. The first boat was launched in 1846 to ferry people from Canada to America and vice versa. It lost business when the Suspension Bridge was built and became a tour system. Numerous boats and versions were constructed and used through the years. The very first Maid of the Mist I ran from 1846 until 1854 as a double-stacked steamboat ferry. Business failed in the late 1800’s and was not restored until 1895. The boats have saved a few people who plunged over Horseshoe Falls through the years. The Canadian operations will close in October of 2013. Most likely will be operated by another company on the Canadian side in the near future. Rating: 5 stars out of 5

070313-140

070313-165

The Myth of the Maid of the Mist is a Native American legend from the Ongiaras Tribe about a young woman, named Lelawal, the Maid of the Mist. She lost her husband at a very young age and was lost in sorrow. She canoed along the Niagara River to the Falls, singing a death song paddling into the current. She was caught up in the rough waves and hurled into the falls, but as she fell, Heno, the God of Thunder who lived in these falls caught her carrying her down to his home beneath the veil of waters falling. Heno and his sons took care of her until she healed. One of his sons fell in love with her, married, and bore a son who learned to be a God of Thunder. The Maid however missed seeing her family and tribe. Heno reported to her that A great snake came down the mighty river and poisoned the waters of her people. They grew sick and were dying, being devoured by the snake until the mass disappearance of the tribe occurred. She begged Heno to be able to go back to the realm of her people to warn them of the dangers, so he lifted her through the falls back to her people. She advised them to move away from the river onto higher lands until the danger passed. Heno came back and brought her back to her husband. Once the great snake discovered that the people deserted the village, it went into a rage hissing and going upstream to search for them. Heno rose up through the mist of the falls and threw a giant thunderbolt at the snake killing it in one blast. The giant body floated downstream and lodged just above the cataract creating a large semi-circle that deflected huge amounts of water into the falls just above the God’s home. Heno swept through the falls trying to stop the massive influx of water caused by the position of the corpse. His home was destroyed. He called for the Maid and his sons returning up into the sky making a new home in the heavenly realms watching down over the humans, Heno thundering in the clouds as he once did in the falls. The thunder of the falls is Heno’s voice. [ http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/09/the_maid_of_the_mist.html ] Other legends claim Lelawala was betrothed by her father to a king she despised and secretly wanted to be with He-No, the God of Thunder, who lived beneath Horseshoe Falls. In the middle of heartache she chose to sacrifice herself to him, paddling her canoe into the Niagara River and swept off into the Falls. He-no caught her, merged with her spirit, and lived forever in his sanctuary behind the falls, whereas she became the “Maiden of the Mist”.

070313-141

070313-142

070313-143

070313-144

070313-145

070313-146

070313-147

070313-148

070313-149

070313-150

070313-151

070313-152

070313-153

070313-154

070313-155

070313-156

070313-157

070313-158

070313-159

070313-160

070313-161

070313-162

070313-163

070313-164

070313-165

070313-166

070313-167

070313-168

070313-169

070313-170

070313-171

070313-172

070313-173

070313-174

070313-175

070313-176

070313-177

070313-178

070313-179

070313-180

070313-181

070313-182

070313-183

070313-184

070313-185

070313-186

070313-187

070313-188

070313-189

070313-190

070313-191

070313-192

070313-193

070313-194

070313-195

070313-196

070313-197

070313-198

070313-199

070313-200

070313-201

070313-202

070313-203

070313-204

070313-205

070313-206

070313-207

070313-208

070313-209

070313-210

070313-211

070313-212

070313-213

070313-214

070313-215

070313-216

070313-217

070313-218

070313-219

070313-220

070313-221

070313-222

070313-223

070313-224

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *