This past weekend, my childhood haunt, Six Flags Over Georgia, decided to retire one of its most venerable rides, a parachute drop called "The Great Gasp!" Since the ride is 29 years old, I have fond memories of, first, watching my dad ride it, then riding it myself with him, back in the 70s and 80s.
So this past Saturday found me and the goddess at the park, but that wasn't the reason. We had promised to take a friends' children (ages 12, 6 and 5) to the park and this just happened to be the day we'd planned. Still, I found myself actually looking forward to the day just a little bit, since I'd be able to take a little walk down memory lane and get a button just like the one they'd given to the first riders.
So we get there, and of course we're scurrying about trying to keep everyone happy, fed, and adequately bathroom'd. The Gasp is a priority but it's way down the list. Then around 4 p.m. the heavens open and we get a thunderstorm to end all, and we're stuck underneath the covered audience section for the "Wild West" gunfight show. We keep waiting for the deluge to slacken, but just when it seems like it will, it comes down even harder. Two hours later, it has let up just enough for us to walk the mile to the gate, then the mile and a half to the car, so we start walking and very quickly are soaked to the bone.
The coup de grace comes after we leave the park. There is a tree down across the pedestrian path, which we're able to squeeze under. Then past it is a tremendous flood, muddy brown in color. (We don't know what was in that, but the 12 year old was happy to supply imaginative guesses.) We have no choice but to keep marching through the flood, which rises to our knees at one point. Finally, with ruined shoes, sopping clothes, blue fingers and chattering teeth we arrive at the car, which is parked next to the Chattahoochee River. (That it wasn't flooded there was a minor miracle.)
Naturally, there's backed up traffic and it takes another hour to exit the parking lot. When we come to the site of the flood we forded, it's no longer there. (Of course.) And my rendezvous with the Gasp? Unfulfilled.