It was a hot summer day when we drove into the mountains in search of a number of new locations. After exploring a few in the area we headed out and decided to make one last stop for the day before heading back home. After entering the edge of the overgrown water park, we were startled by running directly into a man. He did not see us, so we backed away around the corner and decided what to do.

Soon we realized he had a bike and wasn't associated with the location. We decided to say hello and were introduced to his friend who also was a long-distance cyclist. We ended up chatting for what turned out to be at least an hour and eventually headed in to explore the park, which was wide open. In the distance, a few locals called out to us jokingly asking if we were going to buy it. 

Wandering through a cave entrance leading to what was once the mini-golf course route, past a water wheel, and over a bridge took us in time to a stagnant green pool with floating buckets and other refuse. Beyond this lay the slides and the wooden tower that we climbed, but decided not to use to avoid splashing into the green pool below. The view of the mountains from the top was amazing, as was the cool breeze.

After closure five years ago, the site which was once a place for families to get some ice cream, play laser tag, do rock climbing, swim, and play arcade games, is now an overgrown jungle in the middle of town, visible from many main routes. With the current pandemic and state of the hospitality, leisure, and recreation industries, it is unlikely to recover and open again. Instead, it is now added to the long list of new abandonment types across the US, which are quickly outnumbering the classic asylums, mansions, and malls of our decaying urban and rural landscapes.

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