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On Sunny Lane: The Mountain Coaster


I can’t say that I ever liked roller coasters.

I did go on one years ago, when our class went to a local amusement park for our eighth-grade field trip. It was a very calm roller coaster, as roller coasters go. In fact, my friends and I went on it several times.

Some people really like to ride roller coasters. The higher and loopier they are, the better they like it.They like to get into that little train with a bunch of strangers; put their arms in the air; scream as they descend the incline; and feel the rush of adrenaline as their stomach slams into their throat.

I have better things to do.

Fast forward to the trip Sweetheart and I made to Gatlinburg last month. Since we have been there several times, we have seen just about everything we want to see. We were driving through the community and reached the end, where we saw signs pointing to Ober Mountain. We decided to check it out.

It so happens that the mountain is the site of a ski resort. In the summer it converts to a recreation area, with activities to keep tourists happy. The price of admission entitles a person to it all.

There was an inside skating rink, with bumper cars that skate across the ice. There were the ever-present fast food restaurants and souvenir shops. Outside was a huge rock where children and adults could test their climbing ability. (Too bad I was wearing my sandals, or I would have given it a try.) There was also a small zoo. 

People were lining up to ride the ski lift, so Sweetheart and I did, too. We went straight to the top, where we could have had a great view of the valley—if so many trees weren’t blocking our vision.

We did make a unique discovery, though. A small Bluegrass band was performing in a shed at the top, where the ski lift ended. They introduced themselves to the people who were listening to them play. Lo and behold! One of them has the same last name as ours! As Sweetheart and the band member compared notes, they decided they must be distant cousins!

Photo right: Dorothy says,

”What am I getting myself into”?

 

Next, Sweetheart steered me over to the area where the mountain coaster was.

“We’re not going to ride this, are we?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

Before I could object, I was being strapped into my own individual sled-like coaster car. With two levers I was able to control my speed. That gave me some comfort. I soon learned that I couldn’t just take my good old time, or I wouldn’t get anywhere. Besides, there were people behind me, in their own sled-like coaster car, who didn’t want me to hold them up. 

As I traveled the tracks that followed the contour of the mountainside, I could see the tracks dip and twist and turn, just like any roller coaster. As much as I wanted to go slowly, I found that if I did, I would be hanging in suspension when the tracks dipped on the side.

I prayed quite a bit as I whisked along the mountain path. I kept telling myself everything was safe. But I also reminded myself that accidents have been known to happen. I did survive the trek, however, and felt relatively proud of myself.

We took the cable car down to the village and had supper. We came back up and had another adventure on the mountain coaster!

I must admit the whole experience was exhilarating. Maybe, even fun. It doesn’t hurt for a person to step outside his/her box once in a while and try something new. After all, that’s how I met Sweetheart.

Trouble is, my back hasn’t been the same since.

 

Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at dorothybutzknight@gmail.com


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