Rambling Roads

My son and I went down to Chaska this morning for some mini-golf. It was a bit of a drive (40 minutes), but since he has class in Excelsior this afternoon (I am at the Excelsior library as I write, enjoying my forced free time!), which is 45 minutes from home, in the same general direction, the excursion worked.

The road leading from home to the course zips past a municipal airport, giving glimpses of far-off hills, with nothing in between them and the runways. Suddenly, the left-side of the earth drops away, and we are stunned. “Oh, look, Mom – my favorite place!” Dipping in graceful arches above the valley floor, and twisting thrillingly over meadering waterways with little flags celebrating their highest peaks, the Wild Thing, Highroller and Renegade greeted us like familiar friends. Valley Fair.

It really was quite a sight. I had always figured that the amusement park must be in a valley, due to its name, but I had never seen if from this side before. The valley was quite large, and really quite beautiful, though a bit marred, or enriched, depending upon whether you are me or my roller-coaster-obsessed son, by the park.

From mini golf to Excelsior, we ended up on a free rollercoaster. What a blast! The highway had obviously been a horsetrack from at least a century ago, with hairpin turns, no shoulders and rusty guard rails tilting into the abyss on either side. There was no need to go above the posted speed limits to get some good tummy tickles and side squashes. Well, I think I did take the 15 mph hairpin at about 18, but they weren’t kidding about needing to take the next curve at 35!

Since we had a little extra time, we drove the several mile stretch three times. Maybe this will become a new detour on the way home from class. It sure is cheaper than the fair, and seems to bring just as many smiles!