Friday, July 28, 2006

Paul Bunyan Jesus

Destination: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio. We left late Monday morning after a leisurely breakfast and lunch. I always love driving north or east of Knoxville, as we climb the ridges or delve through ravines of the Appalachians. Even driving on the interstate is beautiful. We left the mountains and wound across the rolling scape of Kentucky to Cincinnati. The best part was our deliverance from the interstate onto long, straight county highways. Northern Ohio, if you weren't aware, has the geographical construction of a tortilla, and though I'm partial to mountains, it doesn't get much better than truckin' it through corn country.

We got to the hotel around dinner time and drove off into the evening for dinner. Sandusky is quite the quintessential small town, with tiny shops and industrial-era architecture and norse-sounding placenames that don't roll easily off the southern tongue. The bayside scenery was plagued though, by an odd silence. We got out to walk around and ask directions to a restaurant, and were amazed that, besides a few folks riding bicycles (everyone, it seems, rides a bicycle up there), there was no one around. It could have been that it was a Monday night, but nonetheless, it was a quirky lack of ado. We did make it, however, to Port Clinton and the seafood buffet I'd been seeking. I couldn't remember the last time I'd eaten at a seafood buffet, and this one was the perfect way to get reacquainted - Clipper's Seafood, with all-you-can-eat crab legs on the buffet. On the way there, we passed the Cheesehaven, with 125 different kinds of cheese. Too bad we didn't get to visit.

I'll spare you the details of Cedar Point itself, with the exception of this. You NEED to experience the Top Thrill Dragster. If you haven't been shot from 0 to 120mph in four seconds and sent 428 feet straight up (and then straight down), you need to do this before you die. It will change your life. The best experience we had there began at WalMart. Yes, we're sad people.

While waiting in line to buy a pack of gum and get $40 dollars without paying an ATM fee, we met the Wests. Jim West and his family hail from Glasgow, and are spending a month in Canada and the States on vacation. We met them in the park the next day and went to Famous Daves for dinner, where you should've seen their faces as the waiters and waitresses came out clapping and singing for their youngest daughter's birthday. She looked like someone who had just fallen out of a plane, and Jim and his wife couldn't stop laughing. I found out quite a bit about our country as well, such as how cheap everything (including gas) is here, as opposed to the rest of the world. And furthermore, Jim's wife Marie remarked on the cleanliness of the States. In London, because of terrorist attacks, the authorities have removed all of the trash bins in "the tubes," and, she said, graffiti and vandalism are more prevalent in Britain.

On the way back home, at the behest of Greg Adkins, we took 75 south and stopped to see "Paul Bunyan Jesus" about 35 minutes north of Cincinnati. The Solid Rock Church has created an enormous sandstone colored statue of Jesus exploding from the water next to the interstate that does indeed resemble Paul Bunyan. After all, we know that there was a mistranslation in the book of Luke. Jesus actually rode into Jerusalem on a big blue ox. And that's why a giant statue was the best use of money for that church. Yippee!


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