The inevitable thing last visit to any amusement park for the season is to wonder what's not going to be here next season? What's going to be ripped out in favor of the new? And on looking over Michigan's Adventure that final time ... we're not really sure what. There don't seem to be any rides being allowed to decline into that senescence of neglect that signals removal plans. There is an obvious avenue for the park to expand; it's laid out in a C shape around the central lagoon, just a little short of being a complete loop around. But it's been like that forever, and as sensible as it would be to complete the loop the park doesn't show any interest in doing so. Given that the park's attendance seems to be rising still, and people don't seem to be getting bored with it, it seems like management can safely wait another year without a major capital investment.
There might be minor ones, though. We looked, really looked, at the park's entrance gate and signs. Snoopy and the park's logo are getting a bit faded and pretty rusty. We never paid attention in previous seasons, though, so don't have reason to guess whether that's just the way it's always been or whether they might be renovating the early-2000s main gate.
We'd aim to get to all the roller coasters, naturally. Love them all. Well, apart from Thunderhawk. That's the Vekoma big loopy coaster, near twin to the one at Kentucky Kingdom. It's a fair enough ride, although it's got a severely head-bangy restraint system. And when we did venture over to it --- it's at the far end of the park, with only a few other non-water-park rides, a perfect nucleus for later development that hasn't been needed yet --- we found it was closed. This wasn't the first time this season that Thunderhawk was closed either. I would think we must have ridden it at some point this summer but I know it wasn't the first day we went (it was inexplicably closed) nor the last day we went. There were just little packs of people coming up and chatting with the park employee standing guard over the 'This Ride Is Currently Closed' sign.
We did take a ride on the miniature railroad, the one that goes from one tip of the C to the other, and that wanders deep in the marshy, swampy lands the park hasn't yet built anything on. It's a nice and scenic view. And it gave us a good view of the pumpkin patch. Just as last year, they've got this region near Shivering Timbers --- the big, mile-long wooden roller coaster --- that's growing pumpkins. Why? We don't know. Michigan's Adventure does nothing for Halloween; the park isn't even open. Its sister parks are hundreds of miles away, and you'd think they could get maybe a couple hundred pumpkins from somewhere closer at hand. Or grow them on site, for that matter. Why does Cedar Fair need a twenty-by-twenty grove of pumpkins? For a second year in a row? A mystery. I almost dread learning the answer.
Trivia: Mercator's 1538 map gave the prefixes ``North'' and ``South'' to what had been just the large continent of America. Source: Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, Simon Winchester.
Currently Reading: The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore.
PS: How November 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog, which is, it ignored the blog more than I quite wanted.