View Full Version : Not Hypermiling To Niagara Falls (Eh) and Back

08-08-2010, 09:50 PM
Just got back today from a vacation in Niagara Falls (Ontario).

My wife had already been there once and didn't want to suffer the dullness of pure interstate driving, so for something different we decided to go there through Quebec and Ontario and come back through New York, Vermont and New Hampshire.

We broke each direction into two parts and stayed in a hotel overnight. We shared driving, with my wife taking the first half of each leg since she finds it more comfortable driving than being a passenger.

We weren't hypermiling except:
- My boring descriptions on the gas-saving benefits paid off and my wife did some DWLing! On some of the steeper hills in Maine she allowed the car to slow down up to 5mph instead of maintaining speed. It stops the Prius from screaming and bleeding on steep hills. ;)
- We drove at the speed limit through Canada (or occasionally a few kmh above). I'm sure Canadians on this site will understand when I write that driving at the speed limit in Canada is an advanced hypermiling technique. ;)
- I did some DWLing on the final leg, Lancaster NH to home.

A few brief notes on our drive through Canada:
- On our drive from the Canadian border with Maine to Niagara Falls I spotted a grand total of six other Priuses and at least one was from the USA. Toyota, do something about your pricing.
- We liked Quebec's solid lines to indicate no lane changes to the right while passing an entrance or exit.
- On the drive through Canada we were flashed by two cars. A Sienna and a (2nd gen) Prius. Maybe it's because we were going so slowly (the speed limit) but I hope it was excitement at the rare sight of a Prius.
- Dear Canada: stop adding and removing lanes without warning. Thanks.
- We are very glad we drove through Toronto on a Sunday.
- We are not very glad we drove on the QEW to Niagara on a Sunday.
- When approaching Toronto and I saw the sign saying Express and Collectors my first thought it was referring to tolls and I'd need to be on the right. Duh. Fortunately I stayed in the Express and worked out what they meant by "Collector". I guess I didn't read the sign properly.
- To anybody driving on 401 bypassing Toronto you can use the following rule: stay in the 3rd lane from left on the Express. Don't be fooled by the appearance of one or more lanes to your right: they're a trap. Forget about time, just slow down to allow cars to merge (and you'll sometimes stop completely if, unlike us, you're not driving on a Sunday). But that lane will take you past the city. At some point you'll have to move to the your left but that's just a signal you've made it out safely.
- If anybody thinks $4 US gas will slow Americans down, Canada shows that it won't once they're used to the price.

I'll post more another time.

08-09-2010, 12:07 AM

I cannot wait to see the pics! I was so tempted to ride up to the Falls last week and here I am wishing I would have.

What kind of FE did you pull from the Prius anyway?

Good Luck


08-09-2010, 08:07 AM

I cannot wait to see the pics! I was so tempted to ride up to the Falls last week and here I am wishing I would have.

What kind of FE did you pull from the Prius anyway?

Good Luck


I haven't done all the tanks yet: I have lots of vacation receipts to go through.
Tank 1: 452.9 miles @ 59.069mpg. E10 in Maine to Kingston ON. The leg through Maine and much of Quebec was max 55 mph which helps the mileage.
Tank 2: 408.8 miles @ 58.601mpg calculated. E? Kingston ON to Niagara Falls, driving around there, drive across NY and fill up in East Pembroke NY. 100kmh highway driving seemed to give 62 on the MFD, higher than Tank 1, I'm guessing because the gas wasn't E10. (Would have been higher but for foolishly trying to cross the Rainbow Bridge at 5pm with all the Ontarians returning from work after visiting the US park).
Tank 3: 430.9 miles @ 57.392mpg calculated. E?. NY to Rutland VT, drive a few miles around town there, drive to Danville VT the next day. 57.392
Tank 4: 179.1 miles @ 71.986 mpg calculated. Danville VT to Waterville ME (a short "downhill" leg) plus a few miles in town and the morning warm-up. It was 68.6 on the display so probably 64.n. This was better than it would have been because a combination of Nova Scotian motorcyclists and construction on US-2 forced us into some lower-speed DWL and P&G for a while. ;) Plus it's a 1200-1300 foot descent although the highest MFD reading was after descending approximately 1000 feet. The final 15 miles goes down another 200ft overall but has two mileage killing hills (50 up, 35 down, 50 up, 35 down :( )

I make that a total of 1,471.7 miles using 24.639 gallons at 59.7305mpg.

I topped off to first click at the end of Tank 2 or Tank 3. I think Tank 2 because the pump stopped after 0.5 gallons on the first fill so I had to do a second one.

While we always filled up with plenty left in the tank, I'm glad we had a car that's both efficient and gave us enough range to allow us to pick our stops. There were only 2 of us in the car so space was never going to be an issue. We have a Prius II (or Two in 2011-speak ;) ) but we have a couple of $10 lumbar supports which make the miles a bit more comfortable, particularly for my wife.

When I have more time I'll post some pictures (cheap camera, sorry) as well as more details of the routes we took.

08-10-2010, 04:11 PM
Tank 3: 430.9 miles @ 57.392mpg calculated. E?. NY to Rutland VT

If it was filled in NY, I can almost guarantee it was E10

08-10-2010, 08:12 PM
Actually going behind the falls isn't exciting but this view of the Horseshoe Falls was great.

08-10-2010, 08:25 PM
Cave of the Winds in Niagara State Park NY is better. This is on the way up.

08-10-2010, 08:34 PM
Standing on the Hurricane Deck is the best way to feel the force of the falls (without risking death or arrest). These are the Bridal Veil Falls, between Luna and Goat Island. The poncho should be covering more, but I had a backpack on.

It was a hot day so it felt particularly good.

Right Lane Cruiser
08-10-2010, 08:46 PM
Wow. :eek: Those pictures just don't even look real!

08-10-2010, 08:55 PM
As the water flows over the edge, it's almost like a clear gel.

08-10-2010, 09:43 PM
Wow. :eek: Those pictures just don't even look real!

The still photos makes the falls look even more stunning than in real life.

08-10-2010, 09:57 PM
Luna Island is in the Niagara State Park is between the Niagara Falls and Goat Island. It provides an excellent view over the falls.
The green tower just on the other side of the falls is the observation tower that has an elevator down to the US Maid of the Mist.

08-10-2010, 10:11 PM
A view along the Niagara gorge. It's the gorge that helps make it such a great place for hydroelectric power.

(We went on a tour of the Adam Beck II hydroelectric plant. It was interesting and the engineering was impressive, though not exciting. For eco-geeks only.)

08-10-2010, 10:20 PM
One of the inlet gates for the new tunnels under Niagara Falls, ON that will redirect more water to the Adam Beck hydroelectric plant.

The project's expected to finish in 2013. Unfortunately the extra capacity is to meet increased demand instead of decreasing fossil fuel use.

08-10-2010, 10:35 PM
The control dam helps control the flow of water over the falls

In truth, a lot of engineering work has been done on both falls. If nature were allowed to have its own way there'd be a lot more erosion and much more variation in flow. The flow over the falls is deliberately greatest during the day in tourist season.

08-11-2010, 02:08 PM
Oh, I miss those days when I used to live in Rochester, NY. Magnificent place!

08-14-2010, 02:22 AM
- If anybody thinks $4 US gas will slow Americans down, Canada shows that it won't once they're used to the price.

Based on my experience from Hungary, even $6 gas won't slow them down.

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