BEST STATE FAIR RIDE - 2003
Ye Old Mill
Given the damage so commonly inflicted by fairgoers upon their own gastrointestinal tracts, it would feel irresponsible to endorse a ride that further punishes the body from without--particularly any of the extreme, bone-rattling, equilibrium-disrupting, money-extorting, 45-minute-waiting, please-sign-here-so-you-can't-sue-us thrill rides. (Besides, if you're so eager to test the limits of your mortality, Valleyfair is open all summer long, tough guy!) Instead, we return to enduring favorite Ye Old Mill, on pace to celebrate its 100th year at the fair in 2013, and already recognized (as we noted in these proceedings two years ago) as the country's "oldest operating tunnel of love." Naturally scented with the mildew of the ages and flowing with what appears to be ice-blue Gatorade, this no-tech canal of kitsch hasn't required any serious updates since Eisenhower left office. What is there to update, anyway? Boats float and people like to make out (and/or freak out, and/or get high) in the dark. And while you might mock those campy miniature grottos (think "Still Life with eBay Rejects") along the nostalgic route, at least you know you'll complete the experience with your collarbone intact. To borrow from Tupac: We're gonna ride this motherfucker till the paddlewheel falls off.