Wednesday, July 24th
Kennywood Park, West Mifflin, PA
Two teaching friends of mine piled into the Cherokee and headed to P-Burgh. After finding traffic a nightmare into the park along the one lane stretch of road off I-376, we hit the park around 11:30am and grabbed a bite and off to the Exterminator. We somberly strolled by the Whip and the guys asked about the details of the accident, which was wierd to speak about, but discussed it briefly and headed inside the Warehouse! Glen has never ridden this and we didn't tell him anything about it. When he heard the "CLICK" in the middle of the ride, he screamed, "What the hell is going on?" And laughed with us over the final half of the ride. We quickly re-rode, then headed for Phantom since neither has ridden since the change. They both loved it, as did I. The second drop is a classic and the speed back to the station was just as intense. Of course, we hit the 3 woodies, which were unique and flying around their courses. Pitfall, Bayern Kurve, Kangaroo and the Log Flume were also thrown in for kicks. We really wanted to see Noah's Ark again, but the line was huge.
A couple of notes: Kennywood is just as beautiful and well maintain as I left it last September. The food was great, too.....Potato Patch and an ear of corn on the way out. It was packed Wednesday, but the smiles from the kids and family put it all in perspective. I have a tender spot in my heart for this park to where I can't see anyone leaving without a smile (I didn't have a smile because we had to LEAVE!)
Conneaut Lake Park, Conneaut Lake, PA
We wanted to grab a couple of rides on the Blue Streak on this trip and made the most of our short stay. First, we had to check out Devil's Den, which was a classic, fun house, type ride that is listed as a coaster because of the gravity driven cars. The ops beat the hell out of those cars, throwing them around the platform, too.
Basically, after riding Blue Streak, I needed a Chiropractor. My GOD, man! Rough as can be, but what a great, rickety ride among the trees at this ancient park. The ops loved seeing us a half dozen times inspecting every seat we could. Note of interest.....If you can, ride alone, you are thrown around the car like a rag doll, knee pads are optional! What a classic!
Waldameer Park, Erie, PA
Driving north, I told the guys about a small park in Erie, and they were having a great time, so the 45 minute trip north was a breeze.....blarring a classic rock radio station, I could have told them about 5 more parks and they would have agreed. Waldameer was gorgeous, clean and perfect for family and children. The Comet was similar to the Beastie at PKI, where we took 2 quick laps and toured the park. A bored ride op at the Wacky Shack invited us to ride, WOW! This was a FUN house. All of us rode seperate and jumped many times from the tricks of the "shack". We thanked her and headed for a slashdown on one of the fastest Log Flumes I have ridden. After an hour in the park, we jumped in the truck and headed to Buffalo. 3 parks, 11 hours, 8 coasters....
Overall, PA is filled with little gems scattered about the countryside. Conneaut may not have the amusement feel compared to the other two, but it does have a classic coaster to ride many times. The music, aromas, and friendly faces have made PA a destination for me every summer now....I just can't get enough.
There's nothing like a woodie...
In 4 Days My 100th Coaster will be HyperSonic XLC
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