(Note: Maid of the Mist is the boat that takes you up to the Niagara falls)
Dear 'Maid of the Mist' staff,
On the 19th Sept, I visited Niagara Falls with a big group of friends, and we went on the Maid of the Mist.
It is a lovely place. As it was such a hot day, being out on the water, in the mist from the waterfall was even more special.
But I feel I should apologise to the staff.
I didn't mean to terrify you.
You see, as an experienced wheelchair user who is young at heart, I love going down ramps. While I will always be in control of my chair, I will also go pretty fast when I decide it's safe to do so. My gloves giving me excellent braking power while avoiding friction burns. If a 'down' ramp is immediately followed by an 'up' ramp I will usually try and use a bit of the down hill momentum to help me up the next ramp.
I was with a large group - who all know me and are used to my approach to slopes. They are used to my normal.
So I went down the ramp onto the 'Maid' in my usual manner. In full control, knowing I had the space I needed, hoping to use my momentum to get up the second ramp, thoroughly enjoying the experience, and forgetting that you weren't used to my normal.....
I didn't expect you to jump in my path to save me!
It was impressive - and although it wasn't needed, it did show you were totally switched on, which I honestly appreciate.
I hope you have recovered from the shock. You coped admirably - trying to adjust from 'full panic stations rescue mode' to 'calm, helpful, polite, assistance mode' at a moments notice is not easy, but you managed it - and even stayed friendly and helpful despite the scare I gave you. I'm sorry if I made your hair turn gray.
Next time I'll give more warning of what I'm about to do and hopefully avoid any further traumatisation.
And thank you for letting me bum-shuffle up the stairs so I could join my friends on the top deck, and to the captain for showing me the best place to sit - while making me promise sincerely I wouldn't move fast while on the boat. I don't think his heart would have coped if I had!
So once again, I'm sorry for giving you all such a scare, but thank you for forgiving me, for being such a lovely bunch of people, and for giving me such a lovely time.