It wasn’t a perfect “unofficial” summer day Wednesday with morning sun giving way to clouds and rain and highs only around 60 degrees. However, Ray, Gretel, and I still went to Arnolds Park Amusement Park, just down the road from his parent’s place in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
While the park is downsized from when Ray was a kid, it still features rides for the kids and for the more daring, a roller coaster that still ranks as one of the top 10 wooden roller coasters in the country.
Gretel was content on riding the swings and the spinning apples after deciding she didn’t want to brave the Scrambler all by herself.
Since I’ve never been on a roller coaster, I thought I would give it a try. We bought our tickets and we were off to the infamous roller coaster. We gave Gretel the cell phone and told her that if it flies off the track into West Okoboji Lake, call 9-1-1 and they would contact Grandma Donna to come and get her. I really hoped that would not be the case!
We boarded the ride and we were lucky enough to get the front car. We strapped ourselves in with the seat belt and the safety bar was pulled down in place.
Moments later, we were off for the 60-second ride of our lives. Okay, Ray was a veteran since he grew up in this area. It would be the ride of my life.
As the creaky car started to move slowly upward, a sign that read “The Point of No Return” appeared in front of us and I knew this would be the most exciting or the most horrifying experience of my life. As went rose higher into the sky only to drop and gain speed, I was shocked at the first drop that we came up off the seat. While I knew we had a seat belt on and the safety bar was secured, that was still a shock.
After that, it became less scary. At that point, I was just more concerned that I wanted to keep recording the experience without dropping my camera.
We both survived and I guess I expected the ride to last longer than 60 seconds. But, I wasn’t exactly ready to go again. On a warmer summer day and if we had been spending all afternoon there, I would have taken another life-defying ride on the wooden roller coaster.
With our rides behind us, it was time for sugary treats. Gretel and Ray chose salt water taffy as the main treat for the group. I ended up eating four of them. While there were o.k., it really wasn’t my thing. We ended up buying a 65-piece variety bag consisting of cinnamon, vanilla, banana, blue raspberry, walnut, and spearmint.
In addition to that, we bought a bag of pink cotton candy and had some in memory of Miss ABBA. She loved the sugary confection. Well, she loved many sugary treats.
And, Ray and I really indulged and push our healthy eating to the limits with salted nut rolls. He chose pecan and I chose chocolate-covered almond. A diet meant nothing to me after I risked my life on the roller coaster.
Overall, Arnolds Park was a fun time on an unseasonably chilly May day.
Today is our last day of vacation because we head back home Friday and it’s back to reality for me Saturday with work.