So another decade (and some change) goes by. During that time I only get one opportunity to go to Cedar Point, and it’s as a chaperon for my little brother’s high school class. (He was in 9th or 10th grade then, I don’t even know.) As it turned out I didn’t end up riding on much of anything that day, not because I was scared of the rides (After all I’d more or less gotten over that.) but because it was miserably, unseasonably cold, and my dumbass hadn’t even bothered to wear a hoody! I spent most of that day lingering around in the damn video game arcade, just like I had some twenty years prior, when I was too chickenshit to ride anything. (See part 1 of this epic series in case you missed that one.)
But then, around 2011, my buddy Mike invited me to come along with him and his family on their annual three day camping trip at Cedar Point. I said “Hell YEAAAAAH!!!” So I took a couple vacation days and piled into a mini van with him and his family (people I barely knew) and we were on our way to Cedar Point: “The Amazement Park.” (We drove down on a Thursday night, stopping at a grocery store on the edge of Sandusky for supplies.) I purchased a case of beer, a half gallon of Smirnoff vodka, a half gallon of Kahlua, a gallon of milk, and some ice because nothing goes better with a hot summer weekend baking in the sun and walking on smoldering tarmac all day than beer and White Russians! Can I get a “Right?”
Thanks Dude! So we get to the campground, which is on the peninsula with Cedar Point, just to the north of all the rides. (A place I’d never been.) We set up. I’m introduced to the rest of Mike’s family and friends, and beers are consumed. Eventually something like 20 people pile into the camper and go to sleep. (Something I normally wouldn’t be down with at all, but fuck it: CEDAR POINT BITCHES!!!!)
Camping at Cedar Point, as it turned out is a completely different trip. First of all, you can bring whatever food and beverage you want with you. Second of all you get to enter the park a full hour before anyone else! (Not all the rides are open that early, but some of them are.) You also get to walk in through the back entrance, which is like having some sort of VIP pass or something. And once you have your daily hand stamping you can just wander in and out of the park all day, completely at will. (It was similar to having a season pass, but refuge is right there at the campground, which is only a short walk away from the park.) And I’m NOT going to mention the fact that there are HOT scantily clad female types wandering around everywhere, because, after all I’m not a pervert. (But there are. You know. If you like that sort of thing.)
I was up and around quite a bit earlier than anyone else in the campground. (Which isn’t that unusual.) So I went for a run along the beach. There was nobody else around, and it was amazing peaceful, and maybe just a little bit surreal. After that I took a shower in the public campsite bathing facility, which was not amazing. In fact it was pretty gross, because there were dead bugs everywhere, but it was better than not showering, and by that time some of the other sleepy headed campers were getting up and around.
Breakfast was prepared and consumed. Eventually people just sort of started heading in and out of the park in various groups, riding stuff, and then coming back out to the campsite whenever they felt like it. This…was…GREAT! In between short bursts of Cedar Point adventuring I would just hang out in a lawn chair, listening to tunes on my iPod, writing in my journal, and pounding drink after drink after drink. (After drink after drink)
I went on all the usual old school rides throughout the day, whenever I could get someone to go with me, and I patiently sat and waited when whatever people I was with wanted to ride one of the “Big Kids” rides such as The Magnum or The Top Thrill Dragster, and was content to stick with all the older rides Linnea and I had ridden together over a decade earlier. (I was used to those rides. They seemed safe, familiar, and fun. I liked those rides.) Oh and I probably ate some carnival food too. After all, someone once said something like “Man cannot live on Beer and White Russians alone.” (And they very well may have been right.)
But as the day progressed, and I made more and more trips back to the campsite for more booze, my fear level continued to decrease. Towards the end of the night, an hour or so before the park was due to close, we were hanging around by the camper. I suddenly announce, to everyone’s dumbfounded amazement:
“I’m ready to ride the Magnum.”
Mike jumps up and says: “Let’s go!” and he and I head back into the park.
There was nobody in line, and we literally ran through the turnstiles and were being buckled into that colossal ride before I knew it. (Remember the Magnum? The 200 foot coaster with a nearly 90 degree drop I was so horrified by a mere 20 years earlier, when it first opened? Well here I was on that motherfucker. And let me tell you I felt absolutely NO fear. (That’s the magic of liquor folks.)
It was AMAZING! As we crawled up that giant 200 foot hill I said “Fuck it” and threw my hands straight up in the air. Over we went. WOOSH!!!! It was actually kind of like that terrifying journey on the Cedar Creek Mine Ride 12 years earlier, but without the terror. We rode it again right afterwards, then went back to the campground. I had entered the park a boy, and left the park…a man! (I have to admit was pretty damn proud of myself, and so was Suzie; Mike’s 8 year old niece, who had ridden the Magnum about a dozen times already that day.)
The next day progresses much as the first had. In spite of all my drinking I got up earlier than anyone else. (I do that.) I went for a run on the beach. Have breakfast. Start drinking. Continue drinking. In and out of the park all day. Rode the Magnum again. (Wow so much fun!) The sky starts getting dark. We’re hanging out at the campground. I’m really REALLY fucking drunk. I suddenly announce, to everyone’s dumbfounded amazement.
“I’m ready for the Millenium Force.“
Mike says “Let’s go!”
The Millennium Force was just being constructed at the time of Linnea and my final visit to Cedar Point together, and we often joked about how insane people simply had to be to ride something like that, and there was no way in hell either of us would ever do it. At the time of it’s construction nothing had ever been built like it before. It takes you up 300 feet, then drops you pretty much straight down. Then it whips you right back up again another 200 feet (same height as the Magnum,) then around and over and up and down and around again at ridiculous speeds that will literally melt your face.
But I was ready for it.
And I’ll tell you what it was fucking AWESOME!!! (I even put my arms up on the first drop, although they warn you not to, because your arms could literally be pulled out of their sockets by the insane g-forces involved. I just didn’t care. I was that drunk.)
So I guess the moral of my story is that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Especially if you have copious amounts of liquor in you. In which case FUCK IT!!!
This guy said something like that once. (But without the FUCK IT part. I added that myself. Pretty sure he was an alcoholic though. I think you kind of have to be in order to be president of the United States, and he did it longer than anyone.)