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austin_dern

September 2017

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Jan. 19th, 2017

We have some traditions for Halloweekends weekends. An important one of them is that on Saturdays we don't go to the park right away, but instead visit the Merry-Go-Round Museum in downtown Sandusky. We didn't do that this time. We were looking at the ambiguous, confused signals of the weather forecast. The trouble was Saturday was forecast to be warm and sunny, which for a Halloweekends Saturday is also an invitation for the park to be impossibly crowded. Sunday was forecast to be cool and rainy through mid-afternoon, which is an invitation for the park to be a walk-on for everything. But it's also less pleasant for the people there. We chose to take a full day in the park for Saturday, and to use the shelter of the Merry-Go-Round Museum for early Sunday afternoon.

Probably we made the right pick anyway. While it would be a busy Saturday compared to closing weekend of 2015, closing weekend 2015 was bitterly cold and overcast and we got stuck on some rides because they didn't have enough riders to send a train out. No such luck this time around. We had a bit of a wait for Gemini, which was running two trains on a single track instead of one train each on the two tracks such as makes sense for their racing coaster. Goodness knows why they do that. In the queue we saw some kids playing some app-based party game. It was something like Password. The person held her phone to her forehead, where she couldn't see. Others called out things to help her guess what the word was. Looked pretty fun, really, and a non-obnoxious use of cell phones for waiting in ride queues. Some of the clues seemed dubious or flat-out wrong, even if they got the guesser to the right answer. But what are you going to do, report them to the Commissioner of In-Ride-Queue Party-Game Apps? We filed our protest when we got back to the hotel room.

We did venture in to one of the (several) kids sections of the park, some of that to see the evening walkthrough haunted area in full daylight. Some of that to ride the kiddie Wilderness Run roller coaster. That was more for completeness sake than anything else. As with a lot of kiddie coasters, it's a knee-banger. But, you know, there were kids on it having their first thrill ride, or the thrill ride they could take, and that's a good environment. Also, it's in a really nice setting, on the shore of the interior lagoon and surrounded by trees that were at a height of autumn settling.

The Mine Ride we realized had got some renovation done on its queue. It had, as a Western-themed area might, wooden slat fencing for the queue. It still has, but now the fencing goes up much higher, to maybe eight feet off the ground. Why did they figure the approach to the ride had to be through a valley of wood? No idea. I can understand Cedar Point being wary about any fences that people could hop over, in the wake of that person who got killed when he jumped the Raptor fence, but this one seemed weird. I don't believe the Mine Ride even gets near enough the ground to be hazardous if someone does get on the grounds.

We went back to the Frontier Trail and the petting zoo. The informational panels explained how the place showed off the kinds of animals you'd see on a real 19th-century historic Ohio area farm. You know, animals like turkeys, one of whom was completely uninterested in [livejournal.com profile] bunny_hugger's attempts to pet him. Or bunnies, most of whom were in a cage off to the side, and which included one extremely chill Flemish Giant that put us in mind of our lost rabbit's better days. There was also, it turned out, one small black rabbit who'd got herself over in a chicken enclosure and wasn't interested in coming out or dealing with anybody. We don't know her story. And there were more traditional farm animals like goats and ducks and ... turtles ... and ... Patagonian cavies and at some point you wonder if the ``historic educational'' side of the program has just got completely lost. No, not perfectly. Patagonian cavies are really cute when they stand up, which they do, for food.

Trivia: Oral-B's late-90s ``Squish Grip'' line of children's toothbrushes were designed by IDEO, the firm which also designed the first Apple Mouse. Source: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: American Slavery, 1619 - 1877, Peter Kolchin.

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