Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
The Boyfriend and I decided to go on a mini-excursion this weekend. He wanted to go to Centralia (aka The Abandoned Town with a raging Coal Fire Underneath It) and take some pictures. Since that is only 20 minutes from Elysburg we decided to catch an evening at Knoebels afterward (time and weather permitting).
Centralia, was weird. Basically just mass of empty lots, overgrown with weeds. Old graveyards scattered among rock outcroppings with smoke oozing out from the ground and a strong smell of sulfur (or something akin to sulfur). But it was an experience.
We got to Knoebels sometime after 6PM. The parking lot was pretty full, but lines were minimal all over.
Now, Will doesn't particularly like roller coasters but he agreed to try one out. I was kinda torn between the crazy airtime of the Phoenix or the fast, crazy-lateral-ness of Twister. In the end I figured Phoenix would be less intimidating. Walk-on for a row somewhere in the middle (sorry, I'm bad a remembering exact seat locals!) Even in the middle of the train this thing is a big ole ball of fun. Will might disagree though. He seemed a little shaken. Happy he did it, but not jumping at the chance to go again (and i have to give him credit for not chickening out.) Maybe i shoulda started him out on Kozmos Kurves?
Stopped to walk around a bit as it was only my second visit and his first. Being slightly familiar with it after my visit in April, I was definitely more won over by the whole environment of the park. It's just a cute place.
Made a full loop around the park before winding up at the food stand between Phoenix and the Log Flume. Stopped for some chicken and fries and a drink: 2 people $15 total. Not bad.
Hit up the Haunted Mansion while digesting. Cute. I like the skull room. (but then again I'm a sucker the the Halloween theme). Next was onto the Flyers. Wanted to make sure I rode these today, since i missed it on opening day. Will and I were gonna each grab our own car(plane?) but we wound up cramming into the same one. I need to work on my snapping technique, but over all i think we did pretty well rocking that thing back and forth (up and down?).
I went over to Twister next since Will was kinda dizzy from the Flyers and was not in the mood to try another coaster. About a 4 or 5 train wait for a random seat near the back. It was strange that they were only letting one train worth of people in the station at a time. Anyway, this ride was definitely more intense than I remembered. Had a ball though. Heard a couple people mention that this ride doesn't get enough love, and might have to agree. I still perfer Phoenix, but this is definitely a top notch ride.
Will wanted to check out the Skyway, but first we stopped off and tried the Bumper Cars. I heard many positives about the these cars but wow! I got my clock rung more than once. Most intense bumper cars i can recall riding. Got nailed so hard i all but tipped over. And aren't those "seat belt" fairly useless? Every time i got a decent smack it just un-velcro-ed.
Skyway was nice and calm. Actually ski lifts kind of freak me out more than anything and going over the road just felt weird. Nice view coming down though. It was night by now and everything was lit up.
We headed over to 1001 Nacht. Only people on the ride. Will saw that YouTube Clip that was posted here a little bit ago about the chick that is in love with it and was curious to ride. He liked it but not enough to leave me and marry it. I'd have to agree. We BOTH agreed that the lap bar is a killer. And he's a good 50 pound lighter than i am.
I wanted to get a night ride on Phoenix, so we made our way over. Much to my surprise, Will wanted to give it another go. Once again grabbed a middle seat. I had just as much fun. Will, eh, not so much.
After that it was time to scarf down some Pierogies and while Will had a Waffle/Ice Cream Snack, I bounced back to Phoenix to get a front row, night ride. Totally great way to end the night.
Overall a great evening. Glad we got to go and that it is close enough (2hrs) from us to enjoy a couple hours with minimal planning. Can't believe i waited until this year to finally go!
Also, it's a great primer for my trip to BGW/E on Wednesday :)
Seat belts on the bumper cars ineffective? Maybe that's why they only make kids put them on, unless they've changed very very recently.
I find it kind of amusing that Centralia has become a tourist attraction. I will agree it's weird with the streets still in place and sidewalks that lead to where houses used to be.
Sounds like you had a fun trip to Knoebels. Just curious why you ended up riding the Flyers together. Only 2 hours away-- you need to make a couple more trips up.
I don't know about that RGB. I have found Centralia to be very interesting since I found out about it a few years ago. Reading the story on it and seeing pictures definitely has me intrigued by it. I know it resulted in the movement of over 1000 people and it's nothing but a negative, but it's history and I love anything to do with history.
I see Knoebels is only 15 miles away from Centralia, so if I ever make it out to that park, I will definitely make the drive over and see the town that once was.
I gotta say that I agree with you guys on KG being a really cool park. (see TR from 8/17)
i'm glad I stopped while driving back from Indy. Sometimes the caffiene quits qorking and you need a shot of a adrenalin!
Jim S - I don't know if the seat belts were a kid-only thing. The guy next to me had his on and i just figured you had to put them on. Maybe there was a sign i missed somewhere.
RBG - I was surprised, there was a smattering of people milling about looking around. I was familiar with the story but didn't think it was a big draw. I also thought it would be more sad or more decayed or something. Maybe it was too bright and sunny out to be creepy.
Also, there were only two cars left when we got on and he let the kids behind us in as well, so we had little choice. Plus, i had all the tickets for both Will and I, so i think he thought we wanted to ride together. I didn't mind really, though i almost smacked will in the face with the rudder a couple of times and it was a tight fit. It's a good thing he's so darn skinny. lol
Chitown - Better go soon. Supposedly they are going to turn the place into a strip mine once they have cleared out the few remaining houses.
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