August 17, 2008

The Thrill is Gone

Zippy and I went to Lake Compounce today, guests of the state of CT as a perk for our participation in the mentoring program.

Zippy took his mentee (let's call him Skippy); my mentee was non-committal about the day (and was unreachable yesterday). So my job was to take Skippy on rides (since Zippy does not do rides)

So I did the Wildcat (old wooden coaster) and the Boulder Dash (new wooden coaster) and the Thunder & Lightning (insane high swinging ride) and the Tornado (spinning ride). Skippy also did a few other rides solo.

I'm pretty much over amusement park rides. My 47 year old bod does not bounce back quite so quickly, and with all the yoga I do (and anatomy I've studied as part of my teacher training) I rode through the coasters with a certain panic about my cervical spine. I've got an 8-10 pound bowling bowl perched on the top of that fragile bit of anatomy and I was slinging it all around pretty good. Uhm...no....it just felt very foolish / mindless. I have no need to shake my body up or punish it to feel it, and I have sufficient awareness of my mortality and the inevitability of death to want to flirt with it, regardless of how safe these things are.....

All in all we had a good day. We skipped out at 4:00 pm, before the free dinner at 5:30. And I forgot to bring sunscreen so I got a good burn. I jumped at the chance to do some yoga tonight to work out the kinks and soothe my bod - achey from sun, crappy amusement park food, walking around on hot asphalt, and riding those insane rides.

All things considered, Boulder Dash (the new woooden coaster) was pretty great. And even though I have not been to Lake Compounce in decades, I have ridden the Wildcat (old wooden coaster) before. In 1983 or thereabouts, I was working at Superior Electric in Bristol, and one of my co-workers (Eric) was lodging with the Norton family (who at the time, owned the park). Even though the park was declining quickly, and the Wildcat was not officially opened, they kept it in running condition, and I got a special "friends of the park" ride. I think I also saw a Don McLean concert at the park that year....

At the time, I recalled the Wildcat being at the north end of the park, so it was interesting to see how the park has grown.

Of course, as an occasional balloon passenger in the greater Southington / Bristol area, I've seen Lake Compounce from the air many times.

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