--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
By SHAINA ZURA Tattoo Staff Writer Among the newer attractions at Lake Compounce are a series of rides set away from the rest,nestled between South Mountain and the lake. These seem popular, though it isn't easy to stumble upon them. You really have to look for them. An old-fashioned trolley located near the miniature golf course begins the trio of new rides. This trolley car is authentic, on lease from the Shoreline Trolley Museum. It is complete with antique product advertisements for goods such as Lifebuoy soap, Heinz spaghetti, the Yellow Pages and Arrow shirts. The trolley takes you on a short, leisurely ride past the lake. And with the toot of a genuine trolley horn, it'll drop you off beside the other two rides. The first of these new rides is called the Sky Ride. It resembles a ski lift, but on a larger scale. You sit in a metal bench with a bar over your lap, and hover from a cable overhead as you are led up the mountainside to an incredible height. This is not a ride of speed or action, but gives an incredible view, along with a thrill of its very own. Dangling high above the hillside, you aren't as constrained as on other rides. It seems like you could fall out. The Sky Ride may not be as fast as the roller coasters, but comes with far more restrictions. Along with the basic warnings of regular rides, it comes with a unique set of cautions. Signs point out that this is not a ride for those who fear heights. One says, "In the unlikely event of a chair lift evacuation, you must be in good enough physical condition to climb rugged mountain terrain. If you are unwilling or unable to do so, we suggest not to ride this attraction." If that in itself isn't daring, I don't know what is. On a less frightful note, the third attraction is the Thunder River Raft Ride. It is sort of like a modern day log ride, with a little more spontaneity. Up to eight people are loaded into a circular raft, complete with seats and safety belts. Then you are given the thumbs up and are on the move. Dropped into a stream of fast-moving water, filled with synthetic rapids, you are on your way. You turn and spin your way down a cement river, getting a few more passengers soaked with every rapid encountered. Some people come away barely wet, but most get completely soaked with one trip. It all depends on the currents. So don't get so swept up elsewhere in the park that you miss this new section entirely.