Knoebels 8/31 (The Circuit is ALMOST Complete) & Keansburg New Jersey 9/1 - Ignore Second Thoughts - Pick up A Travel Guide - Respect For Truckers and Too Many Country Radio Stations That Sound Alike

Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:28 PM

Here goes...First I will set this up..report about the rides and then ramble on about non realted stuff so you can abandon the ship if you want to.

I had a rough summer working at two day camps and my wife and son gave me a gift of two days to have some well-deserved fun. I Left Long Island at 5 AM. I was going to cut through the city and hit 80. Like a dope, I thought I would save a toll by taking the 59th street bridge instead of the Queens Midtown Tunnel and then hit the Lincoln to New Jersey. Big mistake. I hit a lot of traffic, even at 6 AM and would have saved about 45 minutes paying the extra fare. (Gotta remember that for next time!) My car is an 11-year old Jeep Sport - without air conditioning and without the ability to open the front two windows. The passenger and drivers seats have been swapped and it is a reliable but not omfortable ride. There is a gap in the driver's window that doesn't reach the closed position by about 1/2 inch.

Got to Knoebles by 10:50 after making stops for bedding, breakfast and travel brochures at the Welcome Center..which ended up saving me a lot of money later on. I found out that the park was only going to stay open until 8:30. Maybe I should have aborted the mission. I wanted a full day under the lights. I know there have been posts about cutting back hours...but the high school parking lot that I passed was filled and the kids of Elysburg are in school. Nahh....I drove too far to be denied. Let's see how this plays out.

The lot was less than a fifth full and cars were scattered. Weather was very cool and cloudy. Boy did it feel great to be back. Got the wristband (No line) and in order ot keep up with tradition hit the Flyers first.

Flyers: No wait. This was my first solo flight. I don't know about snapping, but I did get a little slack and a bump in my car from time to time. I also "FELT" like the eyes of the operator were on me. Nice long cycle and it felt good in the cool air. (5 cars traveled empty).

Twister: Might as well hit the coasters and get them out of the way. One train wait for the back seat. It was a bit shakier than I remembered, but it is still an impressive and beautiful ride..which would have looked much better on a sunny day or in the black of clear night. (Perhaps the ride had to break in for the day or perhaps I was still tired after a long drive and from carrying my heavy and gym bag around). Perhaps I will try again later.

I meandered near the campground area a while. Perhaps I will try a cabin instead of a hotel tonight. I don't have a tent or any camping gear, but the pillow I bought at Wallmart on the way up would help me should I stay in my car somewhere.

Here's where this park starts to shine a little bit brighter than the others. The temps were in the 60's and maybe hitting 70 by mid afternoon...and yet there were about 3 people in the pool. That means the pool was supervised by lifeguards for those three kids. What other park would open an attraction of that size for only 3 people? I would find that to be the rule today.

Phoenix - This time I waited 3 trains for a front seat. I liked it better than the twister and there were two moments where I felt the sensation of the train's wheels moving forward, and I felt I was lifting out of my seat. There were also some shaky monets which took away a bit from the experience, but again I chocked it up to it being both a cool day and an early ride time. I would try again later.

Log Flume - No wait. I like flumes and I like this one very much. There is a sign somewhere near this ride (and others) that mentions park actions if you make rude or disgusting gestures to the camera. Good policy! Also, there were parts of this ride that had "gum clusters" taking away from the experience. People who start or who contribute to gum clusters do not deserve this park.

Gasoline Alley - This ride and any ride where you wait for your own car can get long. I waited 20 minutes for a car. I saw a family of 3 and thier golden retreiver exit a car. Nice Touch! The car goes up into part of the twister layout into a very serene drive back into the loading platform. Very well done.

Food: Overall, I had a rotten breakfast on the road which I didn't fully eat. Also, by the end of the day I ate like I have two *** holes. I would be embarrased to provide a complete list. BUT.....there were some things I wanted to note... 1) I never ate at The Alamo, but it was closed today. 2) There were signs at almost every eating location saying that the park and this stand is closing at 8:30 PM due to the fact that school has started in the area. 3) The International Food Court had Mexico and Italy closed until the weekend. I ate enough from the other continents to make up for it.

Food Overall:

The fish was good. The corn was great. The potato wedges were still fantastic. The ice cream was ok. The hot dog wasn't so good. The baked potato was perfect. I paced myself though...this wasn't all at once. There was also not a big wait for anything I ate or drank and it was very easy to get a table. The table by the mill with the rotating top had me mesmerized. I could stare at that thing for hours on end. BRILLIANT!

Mining Display and Museum: Very interesting and informative. If you ever think your job stinks...thank goodness you weren't a miner in the 1800s.

Guest Relations: I thought I should look into a cabin for the night. There is a courtesy phone that I was allowed to use to contact the campground. They said the temps would be in the 40s that night and that I would need some blankets to keep warm. The cabin is over a hundred buck for the night...which is great if you have a large group. I opted to decline. I did take a look at the Golden Tickets, etc that are on display. Very nice!

I'm sure I'm going out of order here...

Train Ride: No Wait. Perhaps the best amusement park train ride I have ever been on. The tunnel, the twister area, the camp grounds and the woods...Beautiful!!! I saw several squirells. I asked the driver about other critters and he said you can sometimes see rabbitts, chipmonks, and occasionally deer.."but they don't like the noise." I asked about bears. He told me he only saw cubs once. (Mama was playing Fascination.)

Skloosh - Didn't do it, but again here is a ride that would have been packed on a hot day and it was up and running.

1001 Nachts - Three Riders, no wait. I told the ride op that I was in town for the wedding and that I was on the groom's side of the family. "Ok....." I could see why people like this ride, but the guy in the middle has his fiberglass harem on either side. He's not going anywhere and neither is this bit.

Down Draft - No wait - I have been a bit nervous about the motion on this ride...but I wanted to compare it to Apollo at Dorney. This ride gets up to speed in no time and it hauls quickly. I tend to breathe out going down and in on hte way up. On this thing it was like giving birth. The ride's air compressors were adding to the fray. I was getting a bit disoriented,, but I was hanging in there. I have not seen this at any other park. I sat on the front of an arm on the far right.

Ferris Wheel - No Wait. Fantastic views. Nice speed. A bit of tire noise when starting up or slowing down. (Could use a bit of paint)

Kozmo's Curves - Someone mentioned in another thread. Just do it. Get the credit. Move on. Great advice. The operator looked at me funny when I was boarding, but she understood when I told her I needed it for my record.

Carousel - Even if you don't ride...go on it for the organ. THe operator collected the tickets (& checked wristbands) on the ride. I got a lot of rings, but not the brass one. The outer seats don't go up and down which I found to be odd.

There was a guy fishing on one of the walkways. I couldn't believe it. Nobody was stopping him and he told me he was going for trout. Wow!

Paratrooper - Fun ride. Faster than I remembered and quite powerful with a long cycle. (No wait)

Tea Cups - (no wait) I love this thing and it's very similar and a bit faster than the Demolision Derby that used to be at Rye. It looks like the cups miss each other by inches when they cross the center. PERFECT!

Kozmotron - (No Wait) We got to hear 2/3 of "All Star" by Smash Mouth. I like the ride, but it could have had cooler effects. This one just missed.

Bumper Cars - (1 Cycle Wait - 2 Consecutive Laps) They are everything people have sai about them and more. I took and recieved lots of hits. People were getting off the ride and jumping back on. The sulpher smell added to the fun. This was my first time! WOW!!!!

Whip - (No Wait) I felt like it was forceless. Perhaps a tighter lead rope. It didn't do anything for me.

Motor Boat - (20 Minute Wait) I had to try it. The boats had very little control and my dingy needed to be pulled by a worker with a wire stick when it was stuck. (That didn't sound right).

Italian Trapeeze - (No Wait) - Tight fit. Fun ride. I didn't ride at night, but this a well - lit beautiful ride after dark.

Wood Carving Area - Old School craftsmanship is not dead. It's lives in Elysburg. Fantastic carving - but I couldn't afford the giant bear for 3 grand.

Rocket Ship Slide - (No Wait) - I had to do this once. The climb wasn't that bad and it was nice to see a second operator at the top helping out the kids. I uh....got stuck a little on the way down. Then I stopped. Then I inhaled and tightened up my body and DANG this thing was fast. (I got a couple of skid marks on my legs.) When I hit the runway I almost took out the ticket taker and the fence. FUN!!!!!

Cable Car Sky Ride - First time. IT was nice to hear the crickets on the way up...but people in the seats in front of me kept yelling to people a few seats in front of them. SHUT UP! I saw that there were 71 chairs. Then a chair with no number and then #1. What gives? I found it anti-climatic, although I did bring my camera and go some nice shots of the park and a close-up of a rare blue butterfly.

Bumper Boats - (No Wait) I think I only did this because there was no wait. When you hit someone head on, there is a splash, you both bounce away from each other and life goes on. It's one of those things that looks cooler than it is. Unfortunately, a drip of bumper-boat water landed in my mouth which presented the only thing at Knoebel's that tastes terrible. I was spitting (in water fountains) and trying ot get the tase out of my mouth for about two hours.

Phoenix: I went for a few night rides - hoping to have an improved ride. I had a 3 train wait for seat 3-2. A lady was with a very nervous kid who just took his first ride. Anyway...as we were leaving...I had some drama akin to the story that Good Bear recently told. A guy in front of me whipped out his cell phone and was going to take a movie of the entire ride. I asked him to please put his phone away as it could be dangerous. He pretended not to hear me. I asked again louder. He ignored me and laughed. WHen we got into the station, I told the operator about it and he shrugged it off. The kids went to their parents and I opted to just drop it. The ride in my opinion was still a bit shakey but the air time was very good.

I also did the Flyers at night and ended with a final lap on the Ferris Wheel.

Security - Mr Dugan, the guard at the station allowed me to call the local hotel to see if the discount coupon would be honored. If I was a walk-in I could use it. He also told me that the staff is short so the Alamo and Boat Tag were closed. He was the proper balance of polite - but firm.

Bathrooms - Two of the stalls were missing seats and I actually was petting the porcelain.

Clientelle - I was surprised to see quite a few people from Long Island. Obvioulsy word is getting out. Clusters of families. MOstly well-behaved kids and people having a great time.

Shopping - I bought a t shirt and a hat for me and my son and a playe piano CD. Everything was reasonable. It was fun to just browse.

I was glad I was able to get on some things that I previously missed and I left a few for the next time (fandango, wipe out, rockin' tug - which looks like it has the same motion as a disco). So while didn't do it all, the sparse crowds more than made up for the 8:30 closing time. (By the way Dorney and Great Adventure had similar closings) I will complete the curcuit next year perhaps. But overall....I had a great day at a great park!

Now comes all the extra stuff that most of you don't care about.....

Going up I didn't get to a country station until the Delaware water gap...but I did hear an old friend of mine who plays AC hits (Adult Contemporary) and has been at the same Jersey Station for over 25 years. It's just great when you hear an old friends voice on the air.

The country stations were all playing the same types of songs...which are no longer very country. Look, Taylor Swift is ... ok...but she's not Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings. The banter between the morning show hosts was inane and sad. I am not going to spring for satellite radio in an 11 year old truck...but clearly this is an indication of why radio is a dying medium. Make it good, make it fun, make it special. Don't give me the same Darn 12 in a row that every other country station is playing. Entertain, Inform and involve me. (Radio rant over!)

I don't normally do a lot of interstate driving, but I have to tell you I have a lot of respect for truck drivers. I ate breakfast at the Buckhorn's at the TA facility not far from the exit for route 42. Holy smokes...these guys were sitting alone eating horrible food and they just looked....sad. I'm sure they miss thier families, they deal with traffic, they rent showers at the TA (Free with 50 gallon fill up), but it must be a hard life. All they have to look forward to is the next truck stop.... that's got to be a hard life.

Not that I didn't eat enough, I had a late dinner at the Friendly's in Danville. I asked the manager about the Red Roof... and the coupon from the Welcome Center was accepted. She said she never heard any complants from any of her customers.

Tuesday - Septmeber 1.

I got a call from home saying I had to be back at 9. I deceided to go to Keansburg New Jersey to check out their fishing pier. I had my rod with one hook and little else.

I took the turnpike extension to Allentown and aside from a lot of construction work, it was very cool to use the tunnel through the Leighi Mountain. I haven't been in a tunnel like that since I went to Kennywood several years ago. There were a few police folks with radar guns in hand trying to nail people with a heavy foot through the construction areas. Yet another thing the truckers deal with on a regular basis. Me, I drive the limit in the right lane. It gets me where I need to go, but I have never gotten a speeding ticket.

Breakfast at Bob Evans. YUMMmm!

When I got to Keansburg the water park looked inviting, but I did want to first check out the pier. I paid three bucks to park at the amusement park lot and drove over to the other side. Keansburg has a lot of old fashioned kiddie rides, some decent food stands, some out-door bars and a few adult rides and prize-based arcades peppered in for grins. There is a free beach too with a great view of the New York City skyline in the background. I don't see this place getting a lot of attention on these boards, but it's a very nice place to spend the day with little kids.

The pier is about 1/2 a mile long. There are two portable johns on the pier and it is guarded by a small bait shack. You can fish for 8 bucks from open to close and if you just want to walk, it's a buck. There are a few picnic tables at the end of the pier and the people there ranged from beginners to pros. I paid the fare and picked up some frozen bait.

While I waited for my bait to thaw...boom....I pulled in my first snapper. There would be 8 more within an hour ranging from a few ounces to about 3/4 of a pound. I lost a few too.

All of a sudden...the turns that were off in the distance were steaming towards the pier. THe guys who were prepared cast in and were landing serious bluefish that were storming the beach. THe fish were about 3 pounds each. Later the bird and the blues moved out to back out to the harbor. But they will be back....

The coolest thing was that as this was happening one of hte guys at the bait-store was driving up the pier in a golf cart selling extra bait, snacks and soda. I NEVER fished at a pier with such amenities.

I ate some pizza and drank a soda near the Moby Dick Ride and just took in all of the sights, sounds and smells. I didn't go on any rides. I didn't need to. Rides, food, radio, and fishing. It was the end of two very perfect days!

Thanks for reading at least part of this.

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Friday, September 4, 2009 3:18 AM

Very nice, sounds like you had a good day. But, um no, that's how ALL the toilets are at Knoebels. Interesting, isn't it?

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Friday, September 4, 2009 6:09 PM

I hate the toilets at Knoebels. I don't know what they're trying to accomplish by leaving the seats off. Maybe they used to have a vandalism problem -- they certainly had a graffitti problem.

I thought it was well-known that Knoebels allows on-ride photography, but I guess it's become more of an unspoken thing lately. Mind you, I don't know if it's an official policy, but let's just say I've never seen anybody stopped, even if they get their camera out in the station.

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Friday, September 4, 2009 10:28 PM

So you weren't necessarily "Feeling Groovy" on the 59th St. Bridge?

The outer seats on the Carousel don't go up or down because of the rings. I guess they didn't want people reaching for rings from moving horses. Love the part about the retriever on the Antique Cars.

Very entertaining TR. I always like reports people submit that go beyond the usual I rode this, then this, and liked this one but not that one.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:34 AM

Richie, I can validate your obersvations about long haul truckers. I did that for about three months in the fall of '06, right after I got my CDL.

I didn't see my family from Labor Day until Christmas. On the other hand, I did get to see a HUGE part of the country, in fact the only states I haven't been through are Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconson, and the Dakotas.

You also gotta remember that EVERYTHING around you has been on a truck a few times in the process.

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Monday, September 7, 2009 8:53 PM

Mr. Zero & Jim S - - - > That just can't be very sanitary. Look, I'm not looking for gold, silver or even jade. It's just that when you have the urge to purge...they should splurge.

Bear - - - > I appreciate the Paw of approval. When I saw the dog leap from the car...I realized I could only be here. He (She?) even had that certain "Golden Retreiver-like smile." I will NEVER forget that.

Hopman - - -> Not only trucks but almost 85 percent of everything we now buy came first via tanker over-seas.

If I may I'd like to add a few more things that I forgot about.

When I was waiting for the Bumper Cars, a local cover band was starting their set. Their first song was "Signs" and any group that opens thier show the line... "And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply." has got to be good.

I also passed Cammel Beach ski resort and water park on the way up. Have any of you ever been there? It's funny that when I passed that sign, I once passed the Knobels sign on the way to Cedar Point thinking "...nah...how good can that place be?"

At Keensburg I saw for the first time (For the diet folks) Baked funnel cake instead of fried. (It looked like it wasn't a big seller.)

Thanks for responding!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 3:39 AM

Even though I visited the park this past Sunday I forgot to take a look but I don't think those toilets even have holes to attach seats. It's odd but really is it that much different from using a seat someone else has used?

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 6:15 PM

Doesn't Cammel Beach have an alpine coaster?

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 9:05 PM

MrZero - - -> but that can lead to soggy buns!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009 10:06 PM

Jim, I think that coaster was at Pocono Play Park (?). Camelbeach doesn't mention having any kind of coaster on their website.

http://www.skicamelback.com/Camelbeach/Home.aspx/

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 12:49 PM

A decent online resource for US alpine slides/coasters: http://john-anthony.blogspot.com/2009/03/alpine-coasters-slides.html

P.S. At Oakwood, Megafobia was very good, warmed up quickly after opening. But the surprise star attraction was the steel-troughed alpine slide...it ROCKED! :)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 5:55 PM

I'm slightly more awake tonight. I think that Camel Beach had an alpine slide, and it's SBNO. I never heard of anything at Pocono Play Park other than a junky kiddie coaster.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 6:41 AM

.No coaster at Camelbeach, but it is a pretty good waterpark. The alpine slide is long closed and you can see the remnants from the lift as you ride to the restaurant up top.

The kiddie coaster at Pocono Play Park died last summer and was removed before this season.

There is an Alpine (Mountain) coaster at Jiminy Peak in Hancock MA.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:10 PM

I just took at the Camel Beach WebSite. How could they have a "girls Only" day...especially on the last day of operation? Isn't that discrimination?

I remember once on an Alpine Slide at Action Park that I was rammed in the back on the way down by another rider who didn't care too much about safety. Come to think of it, the ride op who sent him down didn't care too much for it either. It can be VERY DANGEROUS to put control of an attraction like that in the general public's hands!

One last final note about that trip....Did any of you notice that some of the "decorative" taffic walls on Route 80 near the turnpike have artwork that kind of looks like sperm cells? I mean the Long Island Expressway has a few seagulls on the way to Splish Splash...but SPERM?

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Monday, September 14, 2009 10:49 AM

I've been to both Camelbeach and Camelback and both are really good. Camelbeach plays Calypso music all day long so you feel like you are in the islands (or at least you can pretend to be.) They also have a regular pool as well as a wave pool. I personally love that they have a pool as I can actually swim in it and not get tossed around by waves and other people landing on top of me. They also have a good lazy river and are expanding every year. In the last few years they have added 2 toilet bowl slides, the standard one with a tube and a less common one with no tube that dumps you into 6 feet of water, (it's one of the most intense slides I have ever been on), an 8 lane racing slide, a flow rider, and a giant dumping bucket and play area.

If you are a skier, Camelback is a good ski resort. I can actually see part of the mountain and people skiing during the day from where I work. If you are in the area, you should check it out. It's only about 5 minutes off of 80. But the hill to get there in the winter is pretty brutal.

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