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  • Writer's pictureRachel Devin

Explore B-Town With Me: Abandoned Water Slide

As I’ve mentioned, I am a recent graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I spent the last four years falling in love with everything Bloomington has to offer and calling it home. The city surrounding IU was nothing like I had imagined. Growing up in Georgia so far away I had never really given much thought to the state of Indiana. The only think I knew about the state was that it produces a lot of corn. Therefore, I was convinced that IU would simply be surrounded by miles and miles of corn fields. I could not have been more wrong!

Bloomington has a culture of its own unlike its neighboring cities. For the most part I loved Bloomington for its culture of inclusivity and acceptance that you can see from the moment you arrive. Individuals of different ages, races, gender, and sexual orientations all coexist harmoniously throughout downtown. Unfortunately, no city is perfect and there have been instances of violence and discrimination, but the good very much outweighs the bad.

This is the first post of a series I am beginning on this blog called “Explore B-Town With Me”. Each post in this series will be dedicated to a place, restaurant, or building that I believe everyone who visits Bloomington must see.

The Bloomington landmark that I have chosen for the first “Explore B-Town With Me” is one of my favorites. I saw this spot on social media from time to time and always said I wanted to see it for myself. As my time at IU passed by, I thought I wouldn't get the chance, but about a month before graduating I finally got to! Today I will be talking about the abandoned Zoom Floom waterslide located at nearby Lake Monroe in Bloomington.

The Zoom Floom park was a popular summer destination for local families during its prime. Unfortunately, the concrete slide was later closed down due to safety concerns and high insurance costs. Those who used to ride the Zoom Floom slide as children recall getting scratched up by the edges of concrete when they fell slightly off the provided matts. The concrete slide was not demolished when it was closed and is now a popular destination for students and local graffiti artists.

The waterslide is relatively difficult to find. It took my friend Sara and I over 2 hours to find it! It really should never take anyone that long to locate it but once we got to the area near the slide we took a left instead of a right. Had we taken a right the slide would have been about 30 yards away. But like I said Sara and I took a left…. The left led us on quite an adventure.

First, we walked down a massive hill (which meant after miles of wandering around the woods we would eventually have to walk back up this hill). Once down the hill we started to see several dilapidated old structures. These structures caused us to believe we must be on the right track! As time would pass we would agree that we must be getting close to the slide, we walked through trail after trail and still no slide. We explored that area for about an hour and a half before we decided to turn back around and give up. Once we dragged ourselves up the never-ending hill we decided to check what was located at the right turn… and there it was less than five minutes from my parked car.

Locating that slide after walking through the woods for hours on end might be one of the most satisfying and accomplished moments of my life. While the slide was obviously too dangerous to continue allowing children to ride on it, I think its very cool that the slide can still create a sense of community. The community no longer consists of families enjoying their summer vacation but has been replaced by a community of artists who use the slide to express their own thoughts and opinions. I think there's beauty in the degradation of the slide. I see endless opportunities with this slide as it is a mixture of the past and the present.

Anyone who visits Bloomington or is lucky enough to live there should definitley add visiting the Zoom Floom slide to their list!

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© 2023 by Rachel 

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