austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Let's all sing like the birdies sing, sweet, sweet sweet, sweet sweet

Indiana Beach's motto of ``There's More Than Corn in Indiana!'' warns you right up that the park isn't a major metropolitan hub. It's in the outskirts of nowhere, far even from the middle part. It may be only a half-hour farther from us than Cedar Point is, but driving it felt longer. Partly that's unfamiliarity; a drive you don't know well always feels longer. (On the bright side, this meant I was primed to notice things like the Fort Wayne Fundome, which is not in any fashion a dome.) The start is your normal modern progression of Interstates, but after going past Fort Wayne we get onto a string of ever-smaller, ever-narrower, ever-more-dinky roads.

And cornfields. Lots of them. It's not just a motto. It's that curious bit of aggressive defensiveness that warns you there's soooo much corn to see. That's all right. We had podcasts. We had the fun of spotting the occasional non-corn roadside feature. We had the heck is that thing even, it looks like a giant staple only it spans the whole half of the road and there's a guy riding the cabin on top. Well, farm country. I'm from New Jersey, from the urban corridor. I don't know this stuff.

Our last couple miles there, on twisty windy roads often by the side of a river, we got stuck behind a tractor. I thought there'd be a passing lane sometime soon and there wasn't. Not for maybe five miles, even as passing lanes for the other side were granted. It's a silly thing to grumble about. But we were in need of the bathroom already. The tractor went off its own way about a quarter-mile before the park. In the very last bit we got into Monticello, Indiana, and some city streets that looked familiar. Not in detail, but in spirit. I knew the aesthetic here.

What I didn't know was that I drove right past the free parking lots and into the ones that were like seven dollars for the day. That's all right. Saved us a little hike and got us into the surprisingly tiny parking lot on the edge of the park. To one side was the Steel Hawg roller coaster, a tall and very narrow thing nearly separate from the park, as if the place had been trying to grow in that direction before the RV Dealership unpleasantness.

And I recognized the place. The spirit of the place, anyway. It had the feel of Jersey Shore cities, of small vacation homes and hotels huddled up tight against the waterfront. Attractions and games and noise and colors around them. A few blocks from the shore some places for people who want to have normal lives as far as you can while living in a tourist attraction. It felt like a good start to the day.

Trivia: Women competed only in singles and mixed doubles lawn tennis at the 1906 Athens Intercalated Olympic Games. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Fastpitch: The Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made The Game, Erica Westly.

Tags: amusement parks, anniversary, indiana beach
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