GO! Girls Outdoors

A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

Search Girls Outdoors

Latest Resources

Gear

Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

Read more»

Travel

Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

Read more»

Surfing

Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

Read more»

Hiking/Tramping

Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

Read more»

Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

Read more»

Kayaking/Canoeing

Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

Read more»

Cycling

Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

Read more»

Climbing

Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

Read more»

Organisations

Organisations
A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

Read more»

Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

Read more»

If you’re sick of the tourists, just follow the camouflaged fishermen

tn_P3150321.JPGWe took advantage of the fact that Niagara Falls is a short drive from Fonthill, home of Uncle Paul and family, and went for a visit tn_P3150332.JPGone beautiful spring day.  Niagara Falls lies on the Niagara River which is the border between Ontario in Canada and New York in the US.  The falls themselves are 52m high and 792m wide, and an average of 110,000m3 of water flows over them every minute - this means that they roar like a lion and throw up an enormous cloud of mist that coats everything in sight with a coating of ice if it’s winter.

tn_P3150336.JPGThe first person to go over the falls in a barrel was a woman!  Go girls outdoors indeed.  She was a 63 year old school teacher called Annie Edson Taylor and she performed her feat in 1901.  Annie decided that going over the falls in her barrel was the way to fame and fortune.  Most people thought (still think) she was a bit nuts, though having recently survived my first couple of years of teaching, I do kind of sympathise with her.  She emerged from her barrel bleeding but pretty much intact, declaring tn_P3150337.JPG“no one should ever try that again”.  Maybe she was for real, or maybe she was just protecting her future income - apparently she used to stand with her barrel at the falls and sell autographed photographs to the tourists.  Annie never made her fortune because her manager was a con man who took everything she owned, but fame she has - or maybe infamy is a better word for it.

tn_P3150334.JPGDespite Annie’s recommendation against going off the falls in a barrel, a number of people have done so since.  One guy even spent $30 000 reinforcing his two person barrel with steel, putting in a harness and windows  and adding a rudder and oxygen tank.  He and his passenger made it with minor injuries but were picked up and fined by the police as soon as they emerged from the bottom.  One guy jumped off a couple of days before we were there, and was plucked out of the river at the bottom more or less unharmed.  It’s illegal to jump off the falls and if you get caught you face a hefty fine - which is probably why the fellow who just jumped off pushed away his rescuers at the bottom (read the story here).

 tn_P3150341.JPG

If you haven’t been to Niagara Falls you’ll be surprised to find out that it’s one of the biggest partying/clubbing/gambling/night life places around.  The roads to the falls are lined with huge buildings bearing neon signs advertising everything from strip clubs to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not to wax museums to casinos to honeymoon suites.  If you like nature and the quiet life and want to applaud the wonders of a beautiful waterfall, Niagara Falls is not the best place to go.  Being in and around cities for the last two weeks was doing my head in - I wanted out!

tn_P3150339.JPGThe Niagara River is impressive in itself.  While we were driving down the Niagara Parkway which follows the river downstream, Dave’s keen eye spotted two guys in camouflage clothing holding fishing rods.  Very keen for an outdoor adventure, especially one that involved walking down to the river, we pulled the car to a screeching halt, jumped out and ran up to the place they had disappeared.  There was no sign of the camouflaged fishermen, but as we wandered through the bush we spotted a pad that looked like it went down to the river - and sure enough, as we stood there looking a bit lost, a Canadian popped up out of nowhere to give us directions...

tn_P3150350.JPGThe path wound its way down to the river and ended up at the Whirlpool rapid, an enormous bowl where the river changes direction as the water heads downstream.  We followed a pad alongside the river, around the edge of the Whirlpool and past the rapids that feed and drain the bowl.  As we walked along, sayingtn_P3150351.JPG g’day to the Canadians as we went, we spotted an odd phenomenon.  Why on earth do Canadians chop trees down all the way down here at the river?  How come they chop them down by nipping away at the wood until half the tree is missing?  It’s not that far to the road, why don’t they just bring a chainsaw?  And where do the logs go anyway?  Why bother?  After puzzling this mystery for a while, we finally realised that it wasn’t the lumberjacks chopping down the trees but the beavers - a different sort of Canadian entirely! 

tn_P3150352.JPGWe followed the path by the river for as long as we needed to get our ‘great outdoors’ fix, then made our way back up to the road by following a random looking path that looked like it went in the right direction.  This ended up at the bottom of a reasonably big cliff, but luckily someone had built a 4 storey staircase so we were able to reach the road again.

A worthy adventure, and a much needed ‘great outdoors’ fix.  And the moral of the story is - next time you’re sick of the tourists, just follow the camouflaged fishermen.

GO! Girls Outdoors

Copyright © 2009 Marjorie Morgan. All rights reserved.

Site design and build by Nick McIntosh

MT 4.3-en