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I am a Denver-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Riding the Kit Carson County Carousel

Even if for just five minutes, isn’t it great to feel like a kid again? I mean, really feel like a kid again? And what about if, in those five minutes, it would only take a quarter? Would it be worth it to have all kinds of great childhood memories rush back on you for only two bits?
It certainly was for me when I visited the Kit Carson County Carousel in Burlington, Colorado.
I was never much for rollercoasters or the other wild rides at amusement parks as a child, just ask my brother if you don’t believe me. He and my sister thought it’d be fun to take me on a crazy ride called the Octopus at Valleyfair in Minnesota, and I screamed so loud my brother had to slap his hand over my mouth to get me to shut up.
I’m pretty sure he still has a slight outline on his palm from where I bit him. Yes, rides like the ferris wheel and carousel were always much more my speed. I loved just going around and around at a nice, even pace; relaxing and taking in the world was certainly the way to go for me. I guess it just feels like a nice life metaphor.
The Kit Carson County Carousel is well known in Colorado for it’s great history, and I wanted to make it a priority stop. So of course, when my friend and I pulled up, I was like a kid in a candy store and on Christmas morning all rolled into one. I was electric with excitement. Glued to the attendant’s story about the history of the carousel I instantly knew which stationary figure I wanted to ride on; it would be none other than the lion! Yes, the king of the jungle, the beast of all beasts, and the one piece that proved to be impossible to steal in 1981 when antique thieves made off with four of the statues.
I wanted to ride on the historic animal as I felt that great flood of memories pass over me. I knew it was going to be a special moment for me and I wanted to make sure it was exactly how I wanted it to be. Heck, I even had to throw down the trump card on my friend, reminding him that I paid his quarter for the ride too, so I could lay claim to it.
It’s too bad though that I was a bit busy holding on for dear life. This carousel cooked! I had to hold on and lean in out of fear of the centripitel force flinging me out on to some small, unknowing child waiting in line and ruining a whole slew of memories for the both of us.
Really though, what a ride it was. I laughed and enjoyed myself as I went around on the plains of Colorado. It was every bit as fun as I had hoped, making me want to go again and again. Yet, in an effort not to dilute things, I exhibited some self control and made my way into the museum.
The museum, which is also about carousels in general, was not nearly as enjoyable as the ride itself, but still worth the dollar admission. Although, now that I think about how that’s four separate rides, I’m not so sure. After all, what museum did I ever enjoy as a kid? I don’t recall a single one that brought me such great memories as the carousel.
Sigh. I got ripped off.

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