Monday, October 27, 2008

Roadside America

It was a beautiful autumn Sunday here in the Old Line state, with a sky that was the reason someone invented the word azure. Leaves were falling, while here and there whiffs of wood smoke meandered through the air, letting all those with a sense of smell know that fall had well and truly arrived.

We packed The Kid into the family conveyance, met up with some friends, and travelled to visit a little slice of the not-so-distant past up in Ellicott City.

Before the days of Disney, King's Dominion, Busch Gardens, and the Interstate Highway System, America was dotted with small amusement parks and theme villages along the by-ways. Some were simple attractions like the world's largest ball of twine, or a back-room oddity museums, precursors of the modern-day corporate amusement park. While some of these have endured, most have lost the battle for vacation dollars to the larger, flashier attractions. Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for a good high-tech roller coaster, but there is something to be said for the simplicity of these smaller sites.

The Enchanted Forest first opened in 1955, but closed in the late 1980's. A small and dedicated group of volunteers began raising money to re-open the park, but to no avail. In the early 2000's, they began to relocate and restore some of the attractions to a nearby farm and petting zoo. It's a shadow of its former self, but walking through the small vignettes gives you an appreciation for what we used to do when we went on vacation.

But did The Kid have fun.

I have pictures, of course, but they'll have to wait until tomorrow because the camera's memory card is safe in The Wife's work computer...

1 comment:

lilli said...

I enjoyed reading that. Writing in your book? Keep it up.