I’d lived in West Virginia all of my life, but in 28 years I’d only visited the state’s one and only amusement park once, sometime between 1985-1986. I really don’t remember much about our evening spent there, but I do remember eating pizza, riding the Haunted House, and getting sick on the Scrambler after riding the Spider. Huntington is about 3 hours away, and because I rarely ever head over to that part of the state I’d put off going to Camden Park for a very long time.
It isn’t that I didn’t want to go to the park, I just wasn’t sure if it would be worth the drive and the cash that I’d have to spend. Granted, most of that thinking was based on what my yearly salary was before the job I had at this point. I could never justify the trip for such a small park that might not even seem worth my time. My original plans for the weekend changed and I had the free time and budgeted cash, I decided to go to Camden. As an added bonus, they recently opened a new Sheetz close to Huntington and since it was on my way I took the opportunity to go and get a much beloved Buffalo Chicken sub.
After sleeping in on Saturday morning (a rare treat), I woke up and got ready, leaving around 1:30 PM. I didn’t want to arrive at the park before 5 PM because after that time it was half price admission, and I really didn’t think I’d need more than a few hours for the small roadside park. I stopped in Beckley at Walmart to get a shirt and some batteries. After getting on the WV Turnpike I stopped at Starbucks for a Frappuccino.
I always loved going to the State Fair of WV. This was something we did every year when I was young and I had so much fun the previous year that I knew I’d go again in 2007. With the addition of some new rides, including a new coaster to add to my track record, I decided I would meet my parents there on the last day of the fair since they would be going up the day before and camping at the fair grounds. I’m not a huge fan of camping, and haven’t camped at the State Fair since I was very small, so I stayed home and on Saturday morning got up and drove to Fairlea.
The drive was just under 2 hours and the weather was beautiful. The skys were clear, it wasn’t too hot, and the humidity, which has been a problem the weeks prior to the fair, was low. When I finally saw the skyline of the midway I was excited when I saw that one of my favorite rides the Freak Out there even though it wasn’t on the schedule. Then I saw another new ride, a Chance drop tower, that was also not scheduled to be there. Once I arrived, I pulled into the Fair’s parking lot and met my mom, dad, and sister, then we rode back to the camping area where they had their tents set up. Mom and Dad were going to use my Xterra to pack up most of their stuff, so I headed over to the gate to meet up with my brother in law, my niece, and my nephew.
After getting to the gate I paid the $10 to enter and headed over the bridge to the fairgrounds. I met up with Johnny and the kids at the bottom of the bridge, paid for my Ride Till 5 bracelet, and we headed to our first ride, a new coaster.