"25 Blogs in 25 days...the TORTURED tour!"
August 6th - Day Three of The Tour
Leaving Chicago, we had an interesting trek through Gary, Indiana (where I paid silent homage to the late Michael Jackson) and Ohio –which I discovered is much like driving through Nebraska (only those in the Midwest will understand) we arrived in the state of New York. Who knew that New York State was such a lush green, forested place? The short jaunt from Fredonia to Niagara Falls was a pleasant one and our weather at around seventy with low humidity and brilliant sunshine could not have been more perfect. After a quick lunch at my fav spot, Hard Rock Café, we ventured to the “falls” where I stood in amazement and memory of the last time I’d seen that area almost …dare I say it, forty years before. Eeek! It was well worth every mile to see my kids snapping away, their eyes wide with respect and wonder of such a magnificent sight. Yes, we’d seen the IMAX movie on Niagara, but seeing something of such magnitude in real life is far more incredible!
Then came the challenge, trekking down to the base of the falls to the “Cave of the Winds.” I could remember my trip on the “Maid of the Mist”—the boating excursion that takes soaked passengers on the river beneath the falls—but for the life of me I couldn’t recall this “Cave of the Winds” being there. Still, you live only once and I am a secret adventuresome pirate at heart, so I donned the required foam-soled sandals and rain poncho and stood before the simulated falls mural with my three of my children to snap our picture for posterity. (Oh yes, dad opted to hold bags, wait on the surface and test out the homemade ice cream)
I later wondered as we stood in a “cattle line” waiting our turn, if the picture was taken in case of an unexpected accident. What can I say? I’m a writer. Finally, we made it to the front of the line, where a man stood repeating the litany I’m sure several times over during the course of his shift, “this elevator will take you 175 feet below the surface and then you walk through a tunnel…” at which point I began to wonder how he could look so casual when sending people into this watery abyss.
I cinched my glad bag style poncho tight and got on my game face as I prepared to squeeze into the cubicle that would plummet me to the base of the falls. I tried not to think of thousands of tons of water rushing over the rocks, centuries old, one of the true wonders of the world—and I was going to get to stand in its grandeur and get soaked. I started thinking then about my latest work, my deadline and it suddenly seemed less stressful.
We emerged from the tunnel into the sunshine and stood a moment overlooking the churning waterway below. I chided myself for being overly concerned, and yet I had a feeling this wasn’t all there was. People with various odd looking expressions, soaked to the skin were coming from around a bend. THAT “feeling” came to fruition a few moments later when I stood at the base of a set of wooden stairs that angled every which way—looking like something out of the movie ”Labyrinth”—to a platform high above, settled right into the midst of the falls.
So I began the maze of steps, taking note of the haphazard and yet I was certain carefully placed wood planks jabbed here and there, bracing the structure against the rock. I tired not to think of the constant roar in my ear, the hundreds of thousands of pounds of pressing pushing against the narrow wood steps and single person walkways that crisscrossed the falls ahead. I tried not to think of having to stop part way when I small child decided firmly they didn’t want to go any further. Later, my husband tried to reason that hundreds of people go on this daily and each year they tear it down and rebuild it. Which I suppose was meant to appease my concern, but I’m not sure that it did. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat ;)
In my erotic Medieval historical, TORTURED (Harlequin Spice-Books, Aug. ’09) Sierra must face her fears and the unknown in order to survive. What fear have you had to face that made you realize the strength you have inside you? Read a full excerpt from TORTURED on my website! http://www.amandamcintyre.net/
One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of TORTURED! Having read this book, I can personally tell you that you really want to win this one. I actually cheered out loud at the ending!
Next stop Novel Thoughts at RRH http://www.novethoughts.wordpress.com/ -- August 7
See you on the road!
DIARY OF COZETTE Harlequin Spice Oct. '08
TORTURED Harlequin Spice Aug. '09
"Winter Awakening" in WINTER'S DESIRE Nov.'09