Sunday, July 10, 2011

What I Did on my Summer Vacation, or, Days in Rodanthe

I spent the last week on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. On the way to the rental house, I passed through a town called Rodanthe, setting of a Nicholas Sparks novel. I have not read "Nights in Rodanthe," nor have I seen the Richard Gere/Diane Lane-starring film adaption, but I did stop to take pictures of what, to me, was the main draw of the town- Waterfall Action Park.



It looks as if it's been abandoned for years and they barely have a web site (which dubiously claims the "Largest Amusement Park in North Carolina" crown). If these message boards are to be believed, the park was open as late as last year.  It seems to have been a family business, which went into decline when the patriarch passed away.


Here's an aerial view, taken from their site. There was no corresponding legend, but you can see the bungee tour, water slides, mini golf courses, etc. And a HUGE house nestled between one of the tracks and Pamlico Sound.


Let's take a look, in slideshow form,  at what the 2009 edition of the Insider's Guide to the Outer Banks called "a palm-tree lined playground" and a "wonderland."




video

I wish I had taken more photos, or actual video, but I was afraid of contracting tetanus or West Nile. Plus, there were some trailers scattered about the property which were undoubtedly filled with mutant carnies plotting to kidnap me. Safety first, right?

11 comments:

Paco said...

Therese, I Just stumbled on this while trying to explain Action Park to my daughter. Oh, the memories this all brings back...wow. I can't believe you remember so many people's names, I sure don't now...so I've gotta ask, was the guy in the bungee pic with the snowboard Bri Kroeller?

Paco

therese said...

Holy moly! Hi Paco! No, that's not Brian. The guy on the snowboard was called Pete, I think?

Paco said...

I think I remember him! This blog's great, I'll have to post some old AP stories too...I've been telling them to my 7 year old daughter, but the rated G ones (telling my wife the good stories). I'll have to share it with my sister Emmie, she worked the transmobile for a few summers, I heard all about the trans techs. Living in Houston now, Bri's out in Oregon. Heard from Brooks recently too, he just moved to FL. Hope you're doing well!

Paco

Fred Sambo said...

thanks for the cool blog! keep it up!

Fred Sambo said...

Don't know if you have seen this...

http://www.abandonedbutnotforgotten.com/action_park.htm

Jen Ponton said...

Therese, this blog is AMAZING.

I'm from Warren County, and since we were only a small drive from Dorney Park, I'm one of the few Jersians who did NOT experience Action Park. Oh, but I heard about it plenty! It was the stuff of absolute legend, and imagine my surprise this year when I purchased season passes for Mountain Creek. My husband said, "Isn't this what used to be Action Park?" A few hours and many Wiki entries later, I was down the rabbit hole for good, and AP has been my obsession ever since. Thank you SO very much for sharing your memories!

I have one question for you--the fence near the Colorado River. I've peered through the cracks and got oh-so-excited to see what looked like an abandoned raft/tube path; the green trough was all overgrown, but it was clear that something used to be there. Do you have any insight on that?

Thanks for these AMAZING stories!

-Jen

MW3 said...

thanks for the cool blog! :)

george costa said...

THIS IS THE MOST STUPID BLOG EVER THERE SHOWING A PARK THATS ONLY OPEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS IN THE SUMMER IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER NOT WHEN ITS OPERATIONAL IVE BEEN TO THIS PARK IN THE SUMMER BEST TRACKS IN CAROLINA BAR NONE

therese said...

Uh, these pictures were taken in July of 2011. I drove past this summer and it's in even worse shape. I hate to break it to you, but the place is kaput, George. I'm sure it was a lot of fun in its day.

george costa said...

i guess hurricane irene never occured to you

therese said...

Hurricane Irene certainly did occur to me- 6 weeks later, when she flooded my basement.