August 20th, 2013

krazy koati

Let's take your car and do amusement parks USA

The epic Pennsylvania Parks Trip that bunny_hugger and I took last month nearly started with disaster. As we were going to bed Saturday night, figuring to drive to Pennsylvania's triangle for a relaxed Sunday night and going to our first park --- Waldameer, in Erie --- first thing Monday, bunny_hugger checked their operating hours and discovered that the park is not open on Mondays.

I should point out we thought an amusement park literally in sight of a Great Lake being closed every Monday through the summer was the most bizarre thing in the world. We would learn over the week that this isn't even the tenth most bizarre thing about Pennsylvania amusement parks.

But the important thing that Saturday night was some rapid rejiggering of our trip. Instead of setting out Sunday and returning the next Sunday, we'd set out on Monday and come back a week after that, with Waldameer now the closer of our planned parks. That last-minute check would prove to be incredibly good fortune, not just for saving us from the classic Wally World situation (again, literally: Waldameer's mascots are Wendy and Wally Bear), but producing a diversion that would bring us to the most wondrous, incredible amusement park we have ever visited and maybe are likely to ever visit. I'll warn you when we get to it, but, I want you to know an astounding visit is coming.

Meanwhile, we did further surgery to the tour plan. We had figured to go to Kennywood, in Pittsburgh, on Tuesday and if we went to that first, then we'd have reason to drive much farther south in Ohio. This would make quite reasonable dropping down to Richland, Ohio, and a carousel quite important to the modern history of the rides. We'd also be able to, with just a slight further diversion, visit Tuscora Park in New Philadelphia, also Ohio, one of those rare municipal parks which also have an antique carousel (complete with Wurlitzer), a Ferris wheel, and roller coaster, along with some other rides.

We got to bed late, and we'd have a pretty low-key Sunday, but what would have been an obvious disaster --- and incidentally what would have been a disaster we'd never have suspected --- we missed.

Trivia: Russia in 1820 had about five thousand factories, employing two hundred thousand workers. Source: The Great Game: The Struggle For Empire In Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk.

Currently Reading: Your Movie Sucks, Roger Ebert. I still feel kind of sad Roger Ebert died too young to review Turbo for us.

PS: Reading the Comics, August 18, 2013, getting back to form on reading comics with mathematics themes.