So the roller coaster was closed. Not ideal. Infuriating, in fact. All we could think to do was, well, what if we go to the carousel and ride that and maybe get back and maybe something would have changed? bunny_hugger was skeptical that we'd have enough time for that. I was optimistic because I always am about contingency plans and somehow never really believe that we're going to be late for anything.
The carousel, a Mangels-Ilions from 1914, had been at Wyandot Lake from 1938 until 2000 when it got transferred to the zoo. (This is before the zoo bought out the park so I don't know why the park, then owned by Six Flags, was willing to sell.) We saw and were immediately disappointed by the sign saying the band organ would play between certain hours, I think 3 to 4 pm, which we would not see. But the band organ was playing, so perhaps the sign was just a promise that it would be going those hours and didn't mean to imply anything about the rest of the day? Hard to guess. It's a beautiful carousel, although run at a lethargic three rotations per minute as I remember it. The carousel had small radial slots for the horses' poles, so that they would naturally swing outward as the ride got up to speed. Those were fixed in place, with no chance of the ride getting up to speed.
The carousel also had two of the smallest chariots we'd ever seen, ones carved as chessboard knights. These, bunny_hugger deduced, were not the ride's original chariots, based on the (filled-in) slots ahead of them. So it goes.
After our fill of the carousel we stopped off for coffee and tea and walked back to the amusement park area. Along the way we passed several flamingos in an informal-looking display and were awestruck and delighted by the way they stood. Not with one leg tucked up against their body and the other extended, like we expected from pictures and cartoons and all. The leg they weren't standing on was just raised and let to dangle down, hanging loose but not touching anything. We did ask why they did that and I forget the exact reason, but I think it amounted to something like ``they just like it that way sometimes'', which is as good a reason as could be reasonably demanded.
And we found the roller coaster closed. We fumed about this some and walked around to see what else we could that might be fun, but, there was the pressing thought that we were going to have to leave soon lest we miss our visit to Coon's Candy. In our last moments we took one last check, and told some people asking about the ride that yeah, it looked closed, but --- oh, are those zoo employees coming up the path?
Indeed. At really just past the last practical minute they reopened the ride. And the front seat was no longer taped off. We could get our front-seat ride in ... if it weren't for the guys we had been talking to, who were just a little closer to the ride entry when it got reopened. We got a backseat ride, and then went around to rejoin the short queue and missed the front seat again. And then figured we just had to get going. Maybe we'll have the front seat next year.
As we walked out the skies darkened appreciably and it started raining enough to worry we'd spoil the park map. Didn't. And then we drove, following the satellite navigator's guidance, which took us nowhere near US 23 north, so that we missed a lot of the familiar sights north of Columbus. Worse, the description of the route made it sound like we wouldn't rejoin US 23 for an hour or so and we might miss Coon's Candy altogether. Not so; the alternate path merged into US 23 after maybe ten minutes and the course proceeded as normal from there. It was only a little different around Worthington is all.
Coon's Candy was closed. Presumably for Memorial Day, in which case this will be a problem in future convention visits. We may have to set out earlier and to bring a cooler to keep candy safe on the drive back north.
Trivia: At one Royal Navy victualing yard in 1850, some 111,108 pounds of canned meat were condemned as unfit for human consumption. The manufacturer's switch to larger, 9-to-14-pound cans required more sterilizing cooking time than the older, 2-to-6-pound cans. Source: Food in History, Reay Tannahill.
Currently Reading: Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, Sarah Lohman.