The next day is Mother's Day and we head to Cedar Point Amusement Park, known for it's world class collection of roller coasters. Lest you think that we are bad sons, I should say my mother has been gone for a number of years and my travel partner phoned his at the beginning of the trip and set up a date when we return to assist her in her spring gardening, her request for Mother's Day.
Because of the extraordinary winds that day, some of the roller coasters were not open due to safety concerns. The two wooden ones located near the rear of the park that I had looked forward to riding were not yet open this early in the season. The winds were so strong we are forced to change in the car from shorts and tees into long pants and shirts with sleeves. The trash cans in the park are weighted at the bottom to keep them from tipping over. The winds are pushing them, standing up, down the midways making them appear to have come to life exercising a will of their own.
One ride closed is called the Millennium. This roller coaster's first hill is equivalent in height to a 30 story building. After a long, steep drop it ascends the 2nd hill, equal to a 20 story building. It reaches speeds of 120 mph. My friend mentions that he is glad that it's closed. This way he doesn't have to feel like a wimp for not riding it.
It being Mother's Day and fairly early in the season, attendance at the park is light and lines were short allowing us multiple visits to some of the attractions. When visiting amusement parks with this particular friend one of our first stops is the Scrambler, his favorite type of ride. Having gotten that out of our systems it was time to tackle one of the roller coasters the park is famous for. Our initial choice is tall, white and fairly traditional in form and design. Located near the shoreline it affords you an expansive view of Lake Erie just prior to plunging you down, then twisting you up, around and upside down along it's white track. My friend, seated next to me, declares "oh shit" several times over the duration of the ride. Gluttons for punishment, we returned for a 2nd ride later in the day.
Another roller coaster we visited twice caries you up and over one of the midways that cut through the park. Just as you think the ride is near it's end you feel a chain grip the car dragging it up a hill then releasing it for another go round of flipping and winding relying solely on the laws of gravity and physics.
The majority of people in the park that day appeared to be in their late teens. While standing in line I notice glitter in the matted, windblown hair of one of the girls. I realize that may of the teens may be in the midst of their "all nighters" after their proms the evening before.
The longest line we stood in was for the indoor roller coaster. Neither of us had ridden one before. In this case the anticipation proves to be greater then the actual experience. I realize that, for me, part of the excitement is watching the world speed past you and then having your field of vision turned upside down. The experience of being flung around in the dark is interesting but we both agreed afterward that it verges on lame.
By late afternoon we are fairly spent, having arrived early in the day. We realize that if we departed at this point we would reach Chicago at a reasonable hour saving us the cost of a hotel that night. As we make our way out of the park we pass another ride closed that day due to the unrelenting winds. It is called Superman. It is a hanging roller coaster. It occurs to me as we pass that it's track resembles a long oversized strand of kryptonite green spaghetti.
We pause for a photo op at the park gate. In the photo, the digital sign above our heads reads 52 degrees. It does not indicate the wind chill.