I work weekends and 12hr days at that, so I got up extra early and worked earlier hours just so I could leave at 8pm. Working only five minutes away got me in the park and back at the ride by 8:20.
I entered the Q for a final time and met probably the best group of enthusiast I've ever met and have know for a few years now. Chris Clark made his photo album complete with autographed photos of people on the ride. Sig's of everyone in the group and some comments that were mostly nice and the 10 final riders on the last page. Thanks to everyone who contributed photos to that book and I thought it particuarly nice that the book was donated to the park :)
Sean, Coasterdime,SOBPAT,Robscoast,John Peck and a host of others I can't even begin to remember names or screenames of thanks for the nice chats and comments in line and as always the line wasn't a line but a gathering.
At 8:55 I got on the ride and actually had a pretty good ride going. I usually can snap with the best of em, only problem is when everyone else is. I never was too good at it. Nonetheless I got a few snaps, had a good time and like any other visit got back in line right before they closed it.
At a little after nine we were greated by Maureen and some other PKI staff. Some security remained around our area and honestly Im glad nobody acted up even though I knew nobody would.
Everone was offered a final ride and everyone could draw for final rides. I think Im getting my order of events wrong but I got three rides, one before the park closed. One for the everyones last ride and I actually drew one of the lucky final ten riders tickets out of the box :)
Knowing I had time waiting on the other 100 people to ride, I ate a slice of cake that the park made for us and chatted amongst those who had already taken their final rides. Some who didn't get a final ride ticket said that they were glad I got one because they knew how much I loved the ride.
I also took this time to thank Maureen and eveyone at the park to thank them for this time and final rides. They don't have to do this and I for one am thankful they did.
Well the line was getting shorter and even the other 9 of the final ten riders were in line by the time I quit talking LOL, I almost missed it! I got in line, Signed Chris's Flyer book as one of the final ten riders and with everyone watching. It was our turn. I was kinda worrying about getting a snap as I didn't get one the ride before (OLD TUB NINE! :( ) The guy in front of me who I'd ridden on the same ride as him the two rides before said, "YA KNOW? IM JUST GOING TO SAVOR IT!" and that set the emotion for it for me. Snap or not, It was my last ride and unless sombody at the park rode after us, everyones last ride on the Flying Eagles at PKI. D*mnit I was going to savor it!
The final ten got on, A final tug on the belt by the ops and a always friendly "ENJOY YOUR RIDE!" Several people taking pictures and video and we were off.
Well, I certainly didn't impress anyone with my final ride although I managed a snap or two. A couple peeps really got a few good ones, The stall and drop from 15ft kind that people turned from watching Vortex and watching the flyers kind :) the ride was almost as fun to watch as it was to ride, Even when you were riding it!
All too soon the ride came to a end. A small aplause from everyone was made and a final greet from the ops at the exit and it was over, All over, done, kaput and final.
A small gathering around Maureen and a few thank you's later and we were among a final few exiting a very deserted PKI.
Id like to thank everyone expecially PKI for giving us that opportunity.
Thanks to all the great people, ride ops and enthusiast who've made so many memories, (Including last night) Come to pass :).
Chuck, who's really glad he didn't miss it and the night will go down as equally as memorable as his 4/13/79 First Beast night rides. TYVM PKI.
BTW, If anyone has any pics of me on the ride or a couple they would like to share of the ride I would sure apreciate it. I don't think I actually have any if not many at all. firstname.lastname@example.org *** Edited 10/19/2004 6:55:39 AM UTC by Charles Nungester***
I just wish those that are going on and on about it "being just a ride" would have been there to see the reaction of those that appreciate it.
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