Going over the falls in a barrel

Trip Start May 11, 2005
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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Canada sucks!  That's what I told the boys before we crossed the border on our way to Niagara falls.  "The reason it sucks" I explained: is that gas is way more expensive and so is beer".   These 2 things just happen to be the life blood of our road trip.  Not to mention the fact that the Canadian border control decided to search our vehicle!  Luckily we did not have to fill our tank but we did stop at bar to watch the NBA finals.   The cost of one pitcher of beer........ drum roll please........ 19 dollars with tip!!!!    Pat and Dave stared at the bill in disbelief  while I got to say " I told you so!"   We camped in a random field that night got up early to check out the Canadian side of Niagara falls.
   The city around Niagara falls on the Canadian side is like one big amusement park.  It was super built up with all sort of side attractions, grand hotels and swanky restaurants.  I guess the Canadian view of the falls is better than U.S. side, which is  good thing because that's the side we saw.   After checking out the falls from all its extensive viewing platforms we started to discuss if it was possible to go over the falls in a barrel.  We all knew this was not an original thought but were not sure if it had actually been done.   Just looking at the falls led me to believe that there was no way anyone could survive the plunge in  a barrel.   Well I googled it and here are the facts from http://www.niagarafallslive.com/daredevils_of_niagara_falls.htm
October 24th,1901
Annie Taylor was the first person to conquer the falls in a barrel. After climbing inside
her airtight wooden barrel, the air pressure was compressed to 30 p.s.i. with a bicycle
pump.  

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Though bruised and battered Annie made it, she expected fame and fortune.Annie died in poverty

July 25th
1911
Bobby_Leach_July_25th_1911.jpg (117614 bytes)
The
infamous Bobby Leach plunged over the Falls in a steel barrel.   Bobby broke
both kneecaps and his jaw during his daring event. Years later while touring in New Zealand, Bobby slipped on an
orange peel and died from complications due to gangrene !
 
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July
11th 1920

Englishman Charles G. Stephens
equipped his wooden barrel with an anvil for ballast. Charles tied
himself to the anvil for security. After the plunge,  Chucks right
arm was the only item left in the barrel.
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July 4th
1928
"Smiling Jean" Lussier survived the trip over the brink in a large rubber ball
July 5th
1930

A Greek waiter
named George L. Statakis suffocated to death after his barrel was trapped behind the falls for more
than 14 hours.

June 30th
Nathan Boya
drops off the brink in a ball-like contraption.
July 3rd
1984
Karl_Soucek_July_3rd_1984.jpg (46277 bytes)


The
first Canadian to conquer the Falls was Karel Soucek. Karel survived the plunge, but later
that year Karel was killed while recreating the drop from a platform inside the Houston
Astrodome. (Karel's barrel hit the edge of the water tank) 
August 18th 1985
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A Rhode Island bartender named  Steven Trotter made
the trip in a barrel wrapped in
inner tubes.
  Steven was fined a total of $5,503.00
October 5th
1985
A Canadian
mechanic John  "Super Dave" Munday made a successful trip in his barrel. Dave could not get
enough!  He made a second successful trip on September 26th
1993.

September 28th
1989
Peter_Bernardi.jpg (91857 bytes)
Niagara
Falls Ontario residents Peter De Bernardi and Jeffery  James Petkovich
accomplished the first duo descent of the Falls.
October 1st 1995
Robert Overcracker rides a
jetski over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls to help promote awareness for the
homeless. His parachute did not open and Robert ended up promoting better
parachutes. He plunged to his death and his body was never recovered. An
Egyptian tourist captured this amazing image.


The ultimate  daredevil .... Robert Overacker, 39, fell to his death at Niagara Falls in  1995 when his parachute failed to open as he drove a jetski over the edge.
June 18th
1995  
Steve
Trotter returns to the Falls again to  make his second  attempt. This time with a partner, Lori Martin a  caterer from Georgia. They were the first male and female to  make the big drop together !
  October 22nd 2003
Kirk
Jones from Canton Michigan becomes first stunter in the history of
Niagara Falls to survive the plunge wearing only the clothes on his
back. Kirk's idea had been in the works for a number of years. While
here on a visit with a friend, Kirk made the decision. They purchased a
used video camera to record this historical  event and went to the
Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the river. Kirk entered the
water about one hundred yards upstream and began swimming out into the
swift current. Eight seconds later Kirk made the 175 foot drop and swam
to shore while passing up a free ride with the "maid of the mist" tour
boat. Kirk was treated for minor bumps and bruises at local a hospital
and released only after promising to return for court. For his stunt
Kirk was fined a total of $2,300.00 dollars and banned from entering
Canada for life. Kirk is now wrapping up a stint with a US circus and
plans on writing a book about his ordeal. Unfortunately Kirk and his
friend had been imbibing in alcohol before the stunt and Kirks friend
couldn't figure out how to work the camcorder and the entire stunt went
unrecorded!
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