I think I’ll stay on the ground

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Colfax Free Fair for the first time.

After interviewing Ellenboro Elementary School Principal Bill Bass and fair committee member Francis Bailey about the fair, I decided that I needed to check it out. They talked so much about the yummy fair food that I couldn’t resist. I usually just go to fairs for the food.

I went with fellow reporter Alyssa Mulliger and the second she caught a glimpse of the lights on the rides she became giddy. Exclamations of “ooh, I want to ride that one!” were heard all the way to our parking space.

Once she started talking about wanting to ride all of the rides, I knew I was in trouble, so I began preparing my stomach and head for what was ahead of me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun at the fair, but rides are not my specialty.

I have always been afraid of heights and it was always struggle to make myself stand in line for roller coasters, but a few years ago I realized that rides were starting to make me feel sick. I guess it’s because I’m getting old, or maybe I have a touch of motion sickness but either way it doesn’t feel good.

When I was younger I didn’t have this problem. Although roller coasters were terrifying, they didn’t make me feel sick.

My first real roller coaster experience was in middle school at Carowinds. We all lined up to ride Top Gun, it probably has a different name now, and I was freaking out. I had never ridden anything that went upside down before and I was just sure that it would break and I would fall out. But, as you can see, I lived to tell about it and was very proud of myself for being so brave.

The next time I rode giant roller coasters was on a spring break trip with the marching band. We went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and encountered ‘The Incredible Hulk Coaster.’ According to the amusement park’s website, the coaster accelerates from zero to 40 mph in two seconds with the force equal to that of a jet taking off an aircraft carrier. It has seven inversions.

I remember standing in line for the ride with another girl who was not a big fan of coasters. We were both about to cry by the time we got to the front. But, again, I lived to tell about it and actually rode this one more than once that day.

That was my last big roller coaster. Since then, I have been sticking to smaller rides or keeping myself firmly on the ground. I have been to a couple of fairs and ridden ferris wheels, but I was always nervous that they were going to break while I was on them. Everyone always says “Oh no Erin, it will be fine. The rides are very sturdy,” but I can’t say that I agree. If you ever ride a ferris wheel with me, you better be alright with holding my hand or me keeping my eyes closed most of the time.

Once photographer Garrett Byers and I went to a fair. He decided that we needed to ride the ferris wheel to the top so he could get a good shot of the crowd. I told him that I didn’t want to ride it and that I would wait for him safely on the ground. But after a lot of his begging, I gave in. How bad could a little ferris wheel be?

To my dismay, while on the ride Garrett started moving all around and leaning forward to shake out seats. I was officially freaking out and then, wouldn’t you know it, the ride broke with us almost at the top. Garrett looked at me and said “Well this doesn’t normally happen.” Thanks Garrett.

At the Ellenboro fair I decided that I would suck it up and ride a few of the rides with Alyssa. Unfortunately all of the rides went in circles, which is not good for my head and stomach.

We rode some spinning thing first and that made me feel a little queasy, so then I asked if we could race down the gigantic slide. The slide didn’t spin, so it was my favorite ride.

The last one did me in though. It was the ride called Wipe Out which spun you every which way. About halfway through I realized that getting on the ride was probably a bad idea. My head and stomach did not appreciate and I really thought I was going to lose it for a little while. I had to walk around the fair for the next few minutes after to get everything straight.

I guess I’m just not cut out for rides anymore. I must be getting old.

I did have fun at the fair, minus the sick feeling. However, the best part was the cheeseburger, french fries, lemonade and fried Oreo. I really just like to eat.