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This is a ride at King’s Dominion called the Avalanche. See that girl in the blue car with her arms out? That’s my oldest hamming it up for the cameral.

It’s a super fun ride that I make it a point to go on everytime we go to the park. Because it’s super fun, the line is usually pretty long. This past Saturday, my youngest daughter and I were waiting in the long line to ride the Avalanche.

It seemed as if the line had not moved at all in at least 15 minutes. I noticed that the loading bays inside the control center were empty – many times they will stop you from entering the control center if too many people are in the loading bays, but they never wait untial they are all empty.

It was odd.

We finally got inside and stood in line for the last car on the train, only because that line was the shortest. When it was finally our turn to ride, they let a few disabled kids and their caretakers/parents in through the exit. A small boy with braces on his legs was helped into the car we were supposed to occupy next.

I won’t lie, my daughter and I did the “oh great” eyeroll. We had to wait for the next train.

I sit in the back, and my daughter sits between my legs – like in a bobsled. We buckle up and readied ourselves for a good ride. Out of the control center we roll into the hot sun and begin our climb up the hill. This is gonna be great.

Then, we stop. And immediately after that I hear a series of loud beeps from the control center. Like an alarm.


Then, I hear my husband laughing.

Let me interject a wee bit of information here. I don’t like heights. I like rollercoasters, but I usually hate the ride up the hill. During the ride up I either stare at my feet or just keep my eyes closed. I don’t mind the heights once the coaster is rolling, because by the time my brain can realize I’m up very high, I am suddenly down very low.

inverted-5This is the reason why I don’t ride on the Volcano, because you are up sickeningly high the entire ride.

So I don’t like heights, and I’m stuck in a car, at an angle, on a hill. And my husband is laughing, and taking video with his phone. I can’t even turn to look at him, because I am afraid of realizing how high I am.

My daughter is laughing too. This is an adventure for her, as well. She makes a point of mentioning that if the disabled kids hadn’t taken our spots, we wouldn’t be stuck.

Not long thereafter, a King’s Dominion employee comes walking up the gang plank next to us. It is at this precise moment that my panic level starts to become an issue for me because it means the ride is really broken. Suddenly I realized how very sunny and hot it was on this hill, and I could feel the weight of my daughter as she leaned back against me.

We were told that maintence is on the way, and we will either continue on with our ride, or we will have to climb out of our cars and walk down the gang plank. In my book, neither option sounded appealing. The thought of continuing on with this ride seemed both insane AND unsafe.

After around 10 minutes I was finally comfortable looking over the side of the ride and talking to my husband – luckily we weren’t that far up the hill, and I could deal with this height. We were told the maintenance crew were on site and working on the ride. A minute or so later we heard the gears attempt to start, and then heard the loud beeps of the alarm again.

We were then told we were going to have to get out of our cars and walk down the gang plank, and that was fine with me. It was hot, I was thirsty, and I’d had my daughter uncomfortably wedged in my crotch for the past 20 minutes.

At least I didn’t have to pee. There is that to be thankful for.

Because we were in the last car, we were helped out first. Let me tell you, it was NOT easy. My girl got out first, but she had me to help push her up and out. Then it was my turn.

Uff da.

Remember, we are at an incline, and not really sitting up. You ride in this thing like you would in a recliner – now imagine that recliner at a 45 degree angle, and try to climb out. Oh, and remember you’re 30 feet in the air.

I apologized to the people there to assist us out – I am not as nimble as I used to be, and climbing out of that car was not pretty or graceful. Thank goodness I always wear shorts under my dress.

0725151803eThe climb down the gang plank was harder than I thought – I had to stare just in front of my feet because if I looked up I could see how high up I was, and that was not condusive to keeping my panic at bay. It was time for some good old fashioned tunnel vision. And step by step I made it down.

0725151809Once I was off the coaster and watching the rest of my fellow riders make their descent, I was actually thankful that those disabled kids took our car. As hard as it was for me to climb out and walk down that plank, it would have been a logistcal nightmare to get a small child with braces on his legs down to safety.

It was like my daughter and I took one for the cosmic team, and that was cool with me.

Besides, we got some perks for our troubles. My daughter was ushered onto the ride of her choice – front row, no wait. And we were given passes for immediate ride entry for the next two times we visit the park. That will come in handy when the line for the Dominator is two hours long.

But most important, it was an exciting experience that my daughter and I were able to share together. And one that I could subsequently share with you – which is so typical of me.