Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking The Plunge

“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…” 1 Chronicles 16:12

Sometimes our memories of things just aren’t quite what they should be. Sometimes our memories are worse. Sometimes time has softened what was once reality. So it was at Silver Dollar City last week.

I wrote before about our last trip to SDC and our forcing the boys to ride the Lost River of the Ozarks ride and their horror and distrust resulting thereafter. On our visit last week, I decided to continue on with the tradition (albeit only a few months old) of making the kids ride one new age-appropriate ride per visit to the park. Hey, if we’re going to pay the big bucks to get in, we might as well ride at least a few of the rides. And I really think they might like the rides once they are over their initial shock.

On Thursday, our designated water day, we entered the park early and headed straight for the Lost River of the Ozarks ride. Everything went off without a hitch. We rode with a grandma and grandpa from Dallas who had brought their pre-teen granddaughter on the trip and my kids seemed to enjoy their second consecutive survival of the giant tube.

Since I was on a roll now, I thought we should go ahead and try the American Plunge. It is a good old-fashioned log ride, and it was one of my favorite rides growing up. I had no reservations that it was to be enjoyable for the kids. We stood on the bridge and watched several of the logs come down the giant slide into the splashdown area, and then we got in line ourselves.

The three of us rode with an older sister and her little brother who apparently was quite a ride rider himself. He was all of about 4, so my boys should have been bolstered by his confidence. So there we were, little brother, older sister, 7YO, 5YO, and me in the very back of the giant log. Things were going swimmingly as they released us out into the open waters. We went through a little cave and saw some kind of statue being drown in a whirlpool while a fake dog tried to pull the spinning head out of the water. The kids thought he was being flushed down the toilet. Then we rounded the corner and met up with the giant conveyer belt that was to take us to our destiny.

This is where reality began to set in and I realized that this was not going to be the happy little ride I remembered from childhood. I hadn’t ridden this ride since I was a teenager and was probably more desensitized to thrilling experiences at that age. It became evident to my 33YO brain that all hell was about to break loose once we made it over the top of the conveyor belt. I grabbed hold of my 5YO and braced my feet along the sides in an attempt to keep him firmly planted in the log. I left the 7YO to fend for himself and hoped he had sufficiently sandwiched himself in between the 5YO and the older sister in front of him. I made last minute attempts to have my sons brace their feet on the sides as well, just as we topped the veritable peak of doom.

And then we surrendered to gravity and were all hurled 9 million miles per hour down the 20 foot drop to the splashdown area. My teeth loosened in their sockets and I did what I’ve always done on thrill rides – closed my eyes and screamed. Only this time, my scream was at least partly genuine, as I knew then that I was the cause of what could have been one of the more frightening experiences of my children’s lives. And that they would probably never trust me to be the judge of a ride for them again. And they were probably wondering if we were all going to die, since their mother was screaming like a banshee.

Nevertheless, we all survived the log ride. The kids used words like horrible, terrible and awful to describe their ride and my 7YO said his eyes almost popped out. I kind of would have liked to have had a picture of that. They used to take your picture coming down the big slide. Not sure if they still do or not, since my children weren’t hanging around that place any longer than they had to.

And I was soaked. I looked like I had taken a bath with my clothes on. I remembered a time when I would have been ecstatic to have been the wettest on a ride. I remember a time when I used to ride any roller coaster in the park, so long as I could scream and close my eyes. I remember a time when the log ride didn’t scare me, and I realized I’m all washed up!

We spent the rest of the day in the ball house and riding the butterflies, tea cups, and flying elephants.

And I didn’t scream once!

“Look to the Lord and his strength; see his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

1 comment:

  1. Great! I loved rides as a kid, but now, I can just stand and watch them, feeling my stomach rolling along with the ride. Don't think my heart would continue to beat if I got on one now! Keep up the great articles, I read all of them.


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