A perfect example and bad trend for my trip would be I'd find entire sections of roadway with one lane for miles on end. I don't understand why they need to close off that much roadway at a time. Of course it's the weekend and no one's working anyway. So, taking the readers tips, I made a left at the Burger King and minature golf course. I was doing realy well until I came up a sign that said to 78. It didn't say which direction. So I'm following this road for quite some time, not seeing any sign of 78, when I pass the back of another Interstate sign, which of course says to 78. Well, there's goes 20 minutes as I backtracked. After hopping onto 78, I was very glad I wasn't going the other direction (west), as it was a parking lot. So finally I see a vision. No it's not some kind of miracle, but Steel Force and Talon in the skyline.
After forking over $8, I became indecisive about what to wear. My gut was telling me to wear a long sleeve t-shrt, and that was a good call. I had trouble with the locker I tried to put my stuff in, but I couldn't get the key out. Luckily, they have someone posted there and he made it happen for me. The first thing I saw was the Screaming Swing. Damn, that thing swings high! I thought it would be where the Skyscraper used to be, but t's next to Coasters restaurant. It looked different, but I just didn't feel like forking over $5 for something I'll be able to ride for free at Kennywood.
I rode two rides on Hydra first, figuring that even with ERT, anything could happen mechanically wise that would take that out of the equation. It was fairly bumpy, but it's a nice ride. It's rather safe, but it sure beats Hercules for entertainment value. It's also very photogentic and I'm hoping for some great shots.
I moved down towards Steel Force next. As I was driving up I was thinking "Wouldn't it be nice if DP had a Revolution?" Then it dawned on me--they do have one. The pre-ride check is little strange. After everyone sits down, the ride op goes around and lowers everyones harnesses and lets them go one by one to make the light turns on. Then after that's done, they lower the harnesses. It's not terribly effecient. I understand that they're trying to avoid having all the restraints down, and then some guys harness won't close because he's a little bit on the heavy side
I rode Lazer next, and didn't quite think as much of it as I did the last time I visisted. It's probably old age. I thankfully didn't grey-out this time . I moved onto Steel Force, and while still loving it, it feels like an overgrown mine-train to me now. Working my way back up the hill, I stopped off at the picnic pavillion for lunch. I mingled with a few people, but many people seemed to keep to themselves.
After some rain, I changed into my swimsuit to ride Thunder Canyon, which was not a smart decision. I know I've said the ride is sadistic in the past, but I'd forgotten how long the course was, and how many waterfalls there are. Every waterfall felt shocking to the system. It was kind of like a Polar Bear Plunge over and over again. While in my swimsuit, I took advantage and rode White Water Landing. I sat in the front row and when we dropped into the "typhoon", I was thrown pretty violently against the lap bar. It'll wake you up, that's for sure.
Back into the street clothes, I needed a Top Spin fix. I used to think Dorney had a good TS program, but no longer. Tomb Raider Firefall took care of that. As I was coming off, I noticed that the train was boarding and I went on a small trip around Thunder Canyon. They have a narrator, but he wasn't terribly exciting. Again, just to be on the safe side, I rode Talon. I thought it was a lot better then when I rode it in 2001. It made me happy to think that we'd have it all to ourselves at the end of the night.
At some point, I finally got to Thunderhawk. They were running two trains which surprised me (it went down to one later). This is obviously a lot more fun than Hercules, but man does it beat the crap out of you. I got in line for Revolution again, and it started to pour. Yes I know I said to pack a raincoat, but my jacket's in my locker up by the main gate and I'm nowhere nearby. Sitting there while the guy was checking every restraint one by one was slightly agonizing as the rain wasn't warm.
So what did I think of the park after not having visited since 2001? Well, I've had some weird emotions about it. On one hand you have this park where everything is painted in vibrant colors (except for a few high sections of Steel Force), and there are trashcans every two-inches, which keeps things clean. There are bathrooms everywhere, which is great for a guy like me with a small bladder.
But on the other hand, something seems wrong, and I can't quite put my foot on it. Is it that every area looks pretty much the same? Or is it that everything looks perfect? Is it some of the clientele who are a bit rough? Or was it the bike police riding around everywhere with full accessories (I don't think they had a gun). I just don't know. The thing that really got to me however was a sign posted at every restroom warming not to bring picture phones and video recording materials into the bathroom (or something along those lines). Wow, I wonder what the story is behind the warning?
Other rides ridden: Apollo 2000, Enterprise, Meteor, Dominator-Space Shot
From reading your TR, I figured out that you and I had spoken in front of Hydra before the ERT. Unless someone else brought along a swimsuit. (What's with this real name stuff on the name tags anyway? LOL But I wasn't going to be the one to start asking people's "handles.")
Sorry to hear about the problem with the directions though. I drive up that road quite a bit, so I really never notice any signs for 78. But if you pretty much stay straight-- or as straight as the road is-- you sort of veer a little bit but you don't actually turn off until you finally hit a T, 78 should be smack in front of you. You had to have turned off before then, because on the road I'm thinking of, you end up running parallel to 78 for about a mile or so. You can't miss it, in fact you'd see all the cars sitting still in the construction zone.
If there are any signs for 78 having you turn off before then, well that's just stupid-- but then again we would be talking about PennDOT, one of my favorite state agencies.
Did you make it to Hershey on Sunday afternoon? And did you find the Giant food store I mentioned? At least I didn't give you Pennsylvania Dutch directions... "well you go down the road and turn where the old barn was that burned down in '82..."
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