The park was closed and we observed this in our traditional way, walking back through it the long way while rides turned their lights off. Parks are always interesting at transitional times like that, and Indiana Beach no less so. More, perhaps, because of its jumble of older rides and features and stuff which had made it through a half-decade of pretty severe neglect.
We poked into the gift shop, which hadn't closed with the closing hour after all. (Some parks do close their gift shops when they want people to go home.) They had some of the things we really look for, like brass Christmas tree ornaments, triangular pennants, and some that surprised us, like ashtrays. If bunny_hugger's mother didn't have her ashtray needs already satisfied we'd probably have got one. As it is who knew amusement parks still dealt in things as unseemly as ashtrays?
They had some small dolls of mascot I B Crow. bunny_hugger mentioned sadness that they didn't have a bigger one to more impressively fit our collection of amusement park mascot plush. One of the staff knew where to find what we wanted; they had much larger dolls in some boxes not yet fully unpacked. And cheaper than we figured on, too; I think they were about $15. She got one for us. I got one to send to some niece of mine. I like giving my nieces plush dolls that are clearly licensed but to stuff nobody they know would ever hear of. It's a little mystery to plant in their childhood memories. (I'm being facetious, but I do like giving them toys that will be just that little bit weird.)
We realized this late we hadn't got any maps of the park. The gift shop didn't have any out left. One of the cashiers had one, from her purse, and gave us that. It's better than nothing but it is a slightly folded map. Well, some of the fun in keeping maps like that is their history as artefacts.
By then we had really outlasted the park. There were a couple of lingering lights to guide us back to our car and that was it.
I wanted to fuel the car up in town, in Monticello. My car, like most gas-engine cars, has a range of about 400 miles. That's enough to get from Lansing to Cedar Point and back to Michigan before the low-fuel light goes on. Indiana Beach is about a half-hour farther, and on slower roads, than Cedar Point. And it's in a much more rural area. I know where I can safely refuel on the Cedar Point route. Indiana Beach? I didn't want to be driving along county roads hoping for an open gas station somewhere in nowhere. The gas station I did find turned out its lights and shut up for the night just after I was done.
While fueling up a couple of emergency vehicles rushed along the road past us. More drove on after we got on the road. And then the surprising lot of traffic came to a stop. Someone was having a really bad day. Ours ended with the slightly worrying but not remotely bad problem of improvising a way around a closed road of unknown extent in a small, remote farm country far away.
We made it, of course, and got home to find the house, our pet rabbit, and our lives in general in good order as we started our fifth year of marriage.
Trivia: Budapest and Detroit were among the candidate cities for the 1944 Olympics. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.
Currently Reading: The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade, Adrian Levy, Cathy Scott-Clark.