RA72: To Our Amusement

Gibsonburg OH to Sandusky OH – 39.1 miles

As planned, we rose earlier than normal and set out for Fremont OH.  With food our motivation, and a healthy tailwind chasing us, we rolled into Fremont only a little bit after 8AM.  There were several downtown cafés, and we soon settled on AM Korner Café, housed in a tall trapezoidal shaped building reminscient of Mick’s Gym in Philadelphia.  The place was full of “antique” shop paraphernalia, and only a few local patrons.  Perfect.  We called Jesse and he soon joined our table.  I had a ham, cheese, and broccoli omelette that was really good, and Jack’s French toast also looked very good.  If I lived in Fremont, I’d be frequenting this place.

Morning delight in Gibsonburg city park
AM Korner Cafe in Fremont OH
AM Korner Cafe in Fremont OH

We rejoined with Roger and found US6 heading east out of town (off the AC route), which had a minimal shoulder (about 12”) and moderate traffic.  The westerly winds continued to push us along around 18 mph, and we reached Sandusky OH in short order, stopping only at a corner market for beverages.  Our first order of business – find out about the ferry.  We learned that is takes about 8 hours in 2 stages to get to Canada, and it arrives at 10PM so we booked lodging there as a precaution.

Jack is a fan of cloud photography
Pipe spider

Next stop: Econolodge.  We researched and offered to stay at a KOA, mostly in order to defray Roger’s camping costs, but even then the $7 rate exceeded his budget.  And besides I am sure he went off and found camping for free.  From this point Roger is going to be traveling alone on his way to meet us in the Niagara Falls NY area.

Our Econolodge is located at the entrance to the Cedar Point Park causeway, which we figured would help us reach the park.  Unfortunately, we talked to several folks, including the motel clerks, who informed us that no shuttles or buses go to the park, and bicycles would be very dangerous on the causeway.  Our AC maps even had a symbol that indicated that bikes were not allowed there, and besides, we were a little concerned about locking and leaving them at the park entrance.  In the end, we decided that we’d simply walk the 3.8 miles there – should take about an hour, grabbing some food along the way, and arriving in time to take advantage of the twilight rates at 5PM.

The walk was great, despite the signs stating “No Walking or Bicycling.”  How did they expect us to get there?  We reached a toll booth and so just walked around it and into the parking lot, hoping that a shuttle would then be available to take us to the entrance, but found none.  We completed the 3.8 miles ahead of 5PM, then asked all manner of park employee for advice on how to leave the park at closing time:  shuttle?  bus?  We were met with incredulity that we’d walked here, and, in a friendly manner, received no help.  Guest services offered to help us call a taxi after 10PM.  Everyone is expected to arrive by car.

Welcome to Cedar Point, by car only

We entered at 5PM and made a beeline for the coolest looking ride there, Top Thrill Dragster.   Words will certainly fail me in describing the sensations of this ride.   Suffice it to say it is the #1 thrill ride I’ve ever been on.   120 mph in 3.8 seconds, then a 90 degree climb up 42 stories, over a sharp top at negative G’s, then a more-than-90-degree descent with 270 degrees of twist on return.  17 seconds of pure adrenaline.  Worth the hour wait.

A "car" readying to take off on Top Thrill Dragster
On Top Trhil Dragster, your "car" goes up and over this 420 foot ramp simply on momentum

Next: a wicked looking roller coaster called Magnum XL.  It too had a bunch of negative-G humps that were way cool.  Our third investment was in Millenium Force, voted as one of the best steel rollar coasters in the world.  Exhilirating speed, amazingly steep ascent and descent, and a max speed of 95mph as smooth as it can be.  While in line for almost an hour, this ride was stopped for mechanical reasons, but we stayed in line and eventually got on – also worth it.

We didn't do this ride, called Tower of Power, but it looked cool

Next ride was the Wind Seeka, one of those round swinging things that takes you way up and spins you around.  In this case, way way up, like 50 or 60 stories.  I thought it might be a pretty great view from there and was not disappointed.  Amazing views of the Cedar Point peninsula, out over the black Lake Erie, and the Sandusky coastline.  Since an inner ear problem a few years ago, I’ve had issues with heights, and I must admit that this ride tested it, perched on a swing with no visible means of support beneath my feet for 500 feet.  Sweaty palms.

Closing time.  We grabbed some pizza and Pepsi for dinner, then sat and listened to a half hour of patriotic music and fireworks booming behind a coaster as people streamed out.  We exited ourselves, and unfortunately found Guest Services closed.  We asked several folks for a ride to the main road, and were turned down.  What now?  We walk.

An accident had occurred about 2 miles out on the causeway, and traffic was backed up all the way to the park.  We started our walk, passing all the cars,  A security guy stopped us south of the park and told us that walking was not permitted on the causeway.  He suggested we call a taxi.  We simply told him, “OK.”  but we had no cellphones, and calling a taxi at this point made no sense anyway.   A taxi might be able to reach us but then be stuck in the big traffic jam trying to get out, all with a goal to go only a few miles.  So, we walked on after the security guy left.

We endured a few senseless comments from cars stuck in traffic that walking is not permitted (yeah, we know, we’re not hiding it), but otherwise made it back to the motel in good shape.  That’s the way you do it.  That the park does not accommodate pedestrians or bicyclists is a wonder, but I suspect it is highly geared to collect $10 for parking each car.

39 miles today, plus another 7 miles on our walking legs.  Tomorrow should be a simple day – sleep late, eat, a few chores, and jump on the ferry for a long ride.