The Cedar Point Chronicles (Part One)

19 Aug

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a complete and total coward.  When I was little, everything terrified me.  Bullies, dogs, monsters, slow moving cargo vans with tinted windows, tornadoes, Popsicle sticks covered with ants and of course let’s not forget the imminent arrival of “World War 3,” which we were told was going to be with the evil “Communists.”  (I’m planning to write an entire post about just that subject.  One of these days.  If I get around to it.  Which I probably won’t, by the way.)

This kind of shit didn't help-

This kind of shit didn’t help.

Over time most of these fears were self identified as irrational and faded away.  For instance, I really never got bullied, I was never abducted by a serial killer in a cargo van, (not that it doesn’t happen, but it never happened to me) ants are pretty much just ants,  the alleged threat of “War with the Evil Communists” I eventually came to the conclusion was mostly just propaganda meant to keep all the little slaves afraid and working for Big Brother (again, more on that later,) and monsters are really just bizarre looking animals we haven’t discovered yet, and mostly live in the deepest parts of the ocean, which is somewhere I seriously doubt I will ever go.

goblin-shark1

Goblin Sharks.  They’re down there.  Waiting for your soul.

There is one fear I have always had that still remains.  I am intensely afraid of heights.  More specifically I am afraid of falling from great heights.  (Or even moderate heights.)  This of course is not an irrational fear!  Falling from a great height would hurt bad, probably even kill you.  Not only that you would have a little time to ponder your imminent fate before you hit the ground, and there’s a good chance the last thing you would feel, besides unimaginable terror, is a split second of intense agonizing pain as your body exploded all over the ground.

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I never thought this was funny. Not even a little.

This fear goes back deep into my childhood, and when my mom took me to the fair, I only rode the kiddie rides, and even some of those rides scared the shit out of me.  For a long time I didn’t even like being on the second floor of a house!  (That particular fear did subside somewhat by the time I got into kindergarten, and had gone away completely by the time I got to 2nd grade.)

Up through high school I had the opportunity to go to a place called Cedar Point a couple of times. Once with some kids I used to babysit for and their mom, and once again in high school band. (I played Trombone by the way.)

Cedar Point, for the uninformed, is THE greatest amusement park on earth.

cedar-point

I know you’re probably thinking, what about those Disney places or Universal Studios?  Well. those are theme parks.  Cedar Point is mostly just a place full of mind blowing, cutting edge rides. A peninsula jutting out onto Lake Erie that is filled with one crazy ride after another, admittedly interspersed with vendor stands featuring ridiculously over priced junk food and trinketry.  But mostly it is just rides.  (Also fuck Disney-world.  It’s in Florida.  And fuck Disneyland.  It’s in California.)

Both of those early times I went to Cedar Point I spent most of my day hanging out in a place called Bernstain Bear Land, the Reptile Zoo (which they don’t even have anymore) the video game arcade, and basically anything else that would save me from the terrors of riding on any of those gigantic roller coasters that looked pretty much to me like instant death.

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During the high school band trip I somehow managed to summon the courage to get on something called “The Canoe Ride” which did in fact feature a horrifying 50 foot drop down a water slide.  I rode it over and over again all day, and felt like a real trooper about it.  Meanwhile, many of my peers were riding The Magnum, a brand new ride which featured a 200 foot, pretty much 90 degree drop, and was, in fact, at the time, the tallest coaster in the world.  (I was having NO part of that shit, let me tell you.)

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The Canoe Ride vs. The Magnum.  Nuff Said!

Fast forward some ten years.  My best friend at that time, a girl named Linnea, asked me if I wanted to go to Cedar Point with her.  Hmmmmm.  I hadn’t been to Cedar Point since LONG before I was of drinking age, and now that I had lived long enough to achieve that privilege, I figured there was a pretty good chance, with enough liquid courage, I might actually be inclined to ride one of those daunting coasters that had so mocked me in my youth.  Plus Linnea had assured me she had a certain ride threshold herself, and would only go on some of the more mild coasters, and absolutely nothing that went upside down.  (The whole thing seemed pretty legit.)

Yet there was an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach that warm summer day as I drove us towards Sandusky Ohio. Sandusky’s only about a 2 hour drive from Jackson, Michigan where she and I both lived at the time.  Or should have been.  An unfortunate misdirect on the Ohio Turnpike added an extra couple hours to our journey, not to mention an extra bite out of my wallet, since the Ohio Turnpike is a road that is apparently considered so incredibly amazing they actually charge you to drive on it!  By the mile! And we’d been on it so long we were almost in Pennsylvania before I realized we’d missed our exit long… long ago, and had to turn around and drive all the way back down that same damn turnpike for another hour to get to the so called Amusement park.  (There was no amusement involved in that shameful drive.)

Pa._Welcome_sign_SR_219_McKean_County

So eventually we arrive at Cedar Point.   We walk through the front gate.  My knees are trembling.  What had I gotten myself into?

CedarPointmainentrance3

Welcome to Hell. Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

I’m staring up at all these monolithic rides which I had convinced myself, the whole drive out here, couldn’t have been as tall as I remembered, and indeed they weren’t. They were taller.  They were much…much…taller.  And I knew I wasn’t getting out of it this time.   Somehow or another, I was going to have to get on one of these ridiculous looking roller coasters.  I couldn’t possibly disappoint Linnea. I couldn’t possibly cop out now, and have to drive us all the way back to Jackson with my head hung in shame the whole way.  This was gonna happen!  There was nothing I could do about it.  I felt like a convicted murderer on his way to the gas chamber.

What…the fuck… had I gotten myself into?

To be continued….

beer count vertical

13 Responses to “The Cedar Point Chronicles (Part One)”

  1. Carrie Rubin August 19, 2015 at 1:00 am #

    We live within an hour of Cedar Point. My 18-year-old rides all those deathtraps. I like a good roller coaster, but I have my limits. That limit is anything that might land me in a neck brace…

    Incidentally, a man just died at Cedar Point last week. He exited a ride, and, seeing his wallet had fallen out, climbed the fence to get it. But when he did, he was struck and killed by a roller coaster car. Very sad. I can’t imagine how awful that must have been for his family and friends.

    • domingosaurus August 19, 2015 at 5:49 am #

      Yeah I read all about that story. VERY sad! Also, I believe it’s the first time anybody has actually been killed by a ride at Cedar Point. (Albeit, it happened when he entered a restricted area under the Raptor.) There are however, tons of “stories” about people who have been killed on nearly every ride in the place, but what I found out later in life is, they were just urban legends, and the same exact stories persist for every amusement park. The actual number of fatal accidents that have legitimately occurred at such places is surprisingly low. (Though accidents do happen, and people do stupid stuff when they’re drunk, which a lot of people are. Just wait until I get to parts 2 and 3 of my “Cedar Point Chronicles.”)

  2. charmedonex August 19, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    I dont do scary rides. I LOVE Disneyland, have had an annual pass for the last 19 years but I will NEVER do the rollercoaster at CA Adventure. I don’t even do Space Mountain anymore so I feel you..haha!

    • domingosaurus August 19, 2015 at 5:51 am #

      I can understand that fear, but as you will see if you check out parts 2 and 3 of this story (which will be posted over the course of the next two days) I eventually conquered my fear, with the help of copious amounts of alcohol! (Whoops, there I go posting spoilers again! 🙂 )

  3. BunKaryudo August 19, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    As someone whose role model growing up was Shaggy from Scooby Doo, I’m with you so far. I’ll be disappointed if you next turn into a chest thumping macho man and now work as a paratrooper

    • domingosaurus August 19, 2015 at 9:33 am #

      No chest thumping or paratrooping for me. I may or may not have ended up actually kind of liking a few of the tamer roller coasters, but, you’ll have to read Part 2 to find out.

      • BunKaryudo August 19, 2015 at 10:51 am #

        I’m interested to see what happens next with those scary roller coasters. (I’ll watch from behind the couch.)

  4. Tina, The Bo Bina August 19, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    LOL @ spoilers… a fair amount of your favorite libation is ALWAYS a factor when attempting to quell the fears of pursuing the high speed, death defying supercoasters! 👍🍻 I was born in Sandusky but moved to So Cal when I was just a year old – but did have a chance to visit Cedar Point when we were visiting family in Michigan back in ’72, so I don’t remember a whole lot about the trip… maybe cuz I was trippin’ a bit? Who knows… but I would love to go back to see my hometown and shake up my own coaster shivers… hehe 😉

    • domingosaurus August 19, 2015 at 9:36 am #

      You may find the rides to be a little more daunting than they were in 72. Some of the classics are still there, like The Blue Streak and (I think) The Mine Ride, but they keep tearing the good stuff down to make way for BIGGER and FASTER. (It’s pretty sad.) 😦

  5. NotAPunkRocker August 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Oh man, I am the “front of the coaster, arms up, ride over and over again” type and my brother was the “no coasters, no way”. We had passes to Kings Dominion every year for a few years when we were younger and I would spend all day in line or on coasters and he would be in the lazy river in the waterpark section.

    I am so, so glad my son inherited a love of roller coasters from me. I don’t know what I would have done if he had been afraid of them! He’s been to Cedar Point, it’s closer when he stays with his dad by about five hours. I haven’t been yet, but he told me that the lake made it chilly when he went and that he could see Canada from the top of the coaster. 😀

    And wooden coasters, while not the fastest most modern things, are the scariest which =best rides ever 😀

    • domingosaurus August 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      As my Cedar Point Chronicles continue, if you stay with me, you’ll be surprised how much I’ve grown over the years! 😉

  6. heb23 August 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    Your fears of those carnival rides are not unfounded. They are run by either carnies or disinterested teenagers earning minimum wage. About disinterested teens earning minimum wage…uh Cedar Point!

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  1. August. I came. I saw. I kicked its ass! | Not Necessarily About Dinosaurs or Anything Else - August 31, 2015

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

Are You Finished Yet?

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael Rios

Sherlock unlocking the past

anewperspectiveperhaps

This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Soaring through Life, Love, & Happiness: One story at time.

PotatoPen

That's right! I write!

Forty, c'est Fantastique !

La vie est belle !

Mr Tookles

tee hee

The Dependent Independent

TV, movies, books…rants… just trying to put skills to use.

Fictional Kevin

Cigar Fueled Creative Writing

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Elizabeth Conrad

True stories from a recovering asshole.

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Skinny and Single

Single and Over 40 and Not Suicidal About It

BunKaryudo

Lovingly Hand-Crafted Humor Blog

Life After 50

Life at any age can be amazing! We only need to grab hold & experience it!

Lessons from my daughter

Although all doctors agreed she would do nothing.....

lindaseccaspina

remembers the invention of the wheel

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Retro Girl & the Chemo Kid

Superpower: love. Adventures through childhood cancer, grief, healing and happiness.

What Rhymes with Stanza?

Words at rest, words at play

Life and Random Thinking

A old dog CAN blog

Fred in Wyo

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Our next Chapter

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Acorns. And scurrying.

The Falling Thoughts

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