I’m writing about Oasis Water Park this week, because I mentioned it in my last blog entry. That small mention of a relatively small place stirred up a lot of memories for me. There were many great things about Oasis.
The first being that tickets for locals were only $8. This was really nice especially since you had to pay for parking in a city were pay lots were few and far between. There was perhaps one other pay lot in the city that I remember, and every time I went to use it, it was open to the public anyway.
The other really great thing about Oasis was that it was desert themed. Makes sense seeing as how it was in the middle of the desert, about two hours away from anything of consequence. The rides all had wicked names like The Scorpion, Roadrunner, Black Widow, Sidewinder and Centipede. Roadrunner, Sidewinder and Centipede were the slides I frequented the most. Mostly because my sister was terrified of going on any of the others. The Sidewinder and Centipede were tube slides. So you grabbed a tube from anywhere waited in line and rode, in a tube, down the slide. They were a little bit slower and when you hit the water at the bottom you only went under if you tried to flip your tube.
The Roadrunner was right next to the Centipede. It was an enclosed narrow tube and it went really fast. I’m not one for nose plugging, but I had to hold my nose the entire way down this slide. The water around your body shoots so violently towards your face it inevitability makes it up your nose no matter what you do. The other thing about this slide is the moment you pushed yourself in the tube you had a perpetual wedgie. The only solution was to grin and bear it, until you hit the pool at the bottom. Then you could stealthily remove the wadded swim suit from your rectum.
My friends and I finally convinced my sister to go on the Black Widow. This was a newer slide, my sister is not one for new things, but it was a double tube ride and I promised I would go down with her. I didn’t bother to tell her that it was pitch black in the tube as you went down and didn’t get light again until the very end. I knew she wouldn’t walk all the way back down through the line when she saw how dark it was in the tunnel, because that would be embarrassing and if there’s one thing she hates more than change it’s embarrassment. So we got her to go on the ride and she liked it…a lot. For the rest of the day she wanted to wait in line for the Black Widow. Since it was so new the line was longer than most. I think we all took turns riding with her so we could go enjoy other slides.
The most terrifying slide in all the park was The Scorpion. It was an unenclosed, straight down drop of about 7 stories. I believe I went on that one twice in my entire life. The first time I went on it I didn’t weigh quite enough and lifted off the slide for a good portion of it. I don’t know why I ever tried it again. Probably to impress some guy.
There was one other really tall slide at the park that I can’t recall the name of. For a long time it was an enclosed tube with two big drops instead of one like the Scorpion. You didn’t use a tube, then it changed. It was unenclosed, and required a three person tube. It was less scary when it changed, but you also didn’t bang up your back when you hit the second drop.
In addition to the slides there was a wave pool, the lazy river, the kids play area and a few small kiddie slides. There were private cabana’s, that as a teenagers we never used of course. The lifeguards were all students from the surrounding high schools and the music playing over the speakers was always from the radio. It truly was a wonderful place to be.
Then the worst thing ever happened. Oasis was bought by Knott’s Berry Farm. They changed the theme of the park to a beach theme, which made no sense since the closest beach was about three hours away. The music changed to a looped CD of the Beach Boys. If you were at the park for two hours the likelihood that you’d hear the same song at least five times was very good. Worst of all they took away the local discount. By this point my friends and I were all considered adults. So we had to pay to park and pay about $30 to get inside. It became the biggest rip off ever. They changed nothing about the park except the signs for the slides. It was a sad, sad summer day when we tried to go with our $8 in hand and were told it was now $30.
But I suppose I’ll always have the memories.