Days 25 & 26: Niagara Falls, Rochester, and Watkins Glen

Day 25: The Airbnb host was home from work because she was feeling under the weather, which gave us the opportunity to chat for an hour or so over tea about our travels, families and politics. If I ever return to London, ON, I’ll check if Layla has a room open.

Once the daily ritual of pre-flight checks and baggage was stored, it was time to decide on either spending an evening in Toronto or somewhere just beyond Niagara Falls. Because I would be in NYC soon and I needed to call my credit union about unlocking my online account access, it seemed best to cut my Canadian experience short and stay at a friend’s home in Rochester. In hindsight, I feel very good about this decision.

Every local of London I spoke to recommended strongly that I go to Niagara on the Lake. It’s supposedly less tourist trap-ish. When I have more money to blow and don’t have to be as concerned about weather changes, I’d like to spend more time investigating the recommended sites and locations.

Instead, I went where there was a Hard Rock Cafe, numerous souvenir shops, and bus loads of visitors being dropped off and picked up. But it was where I could see the actual falls.


The Shoshone Falls of the East!
The Shoshone Falls of the East!

I spent the last of my Canadian money on parking, a pressed penny souvenir and an I heart Niagara Falls sticker, then crossed back into the US. If you have a passport card, there’s a shorter/non-existent line at the Rainbow Bridge. After answering a few questions from the gatekeeper, I was on the less exciting side of the falls.

A friend from Portland and his wife are now living in Rochester, NY with their two month old baby boy. They invited me to stay at their house, so I did. Yes, we went to Wegmans.

Metal Daddy. Iron Baby.
Metal Daddy. Iron Baby.

Day 26: In the morning, Brandon, his son and I took a trip to Ontario Beach to stroll along the boardwalk and eat frozen custard.


From Rochester, I rode down to Watkins Glen State Park to check out the scenery.


About 1/4 of the way up, I realized my keys weren’t in my pocket and hauled ass back to the parking lot. I didn’t see them on the way, so I left my phone number with the gift shop employees, figured I’ve got spare keys hidden on the bike, and scrambled back up the falls to catch the last bits of daylight.



Eye kept my eyes peeled for the lost keys on my way back down, stopped back into the gift shop in case they were turned in, and when I had resolved to find my hidden keys, I saw them. Right where I had sat down to tie my shoes before going uphill. Next to my bike and all of my intentionally locked up belongings.

Good job, RoKo.
Good job, RoKo.

I made a reservation a half-hour south at a hotel for the night instead of camping. The next day, I would be riding into NYC, so I would need a solid night of sleep.


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