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Monday, June 3, 2002 4:56 PM
I normally don't do TRs, but HW is certainly worthy of one. My 3rd SRM began Friday afternoon with Rideman (Dave Althoff, Jr.) as he taxied john peck (John Peck) and I to Cincy, where we acquired the Mayor of Coasterville himself (Dave Bowers) and continued towards that magical place in southern Indiana. I was overjoyed to see so many people at SRM this year, and all the great TRs hint at an even larger turnout next year. We arrived in time to get our shirts and funvelopes (my term for the HW envelopes that are always full of great things), and got a lap on each of the world-class woodies. Rideman and I then joined the dinner. After waiting a year for free drinks, I finally got my first of the event! Ahhhh.......not to mention the fantastic pizza and fudge (which gave me WAY too much energy!). We caught up with many people we haven't seen in awhile, as well as those we bump into regularly. The great thing about events is the chance to meet new faces, as well as chatting with those that you only knew as a screenname! Cbuzzers, ACEers, GOCCers, RRCers, URCers, and everyone elseers made for a great time. The park industry provides such a great and diverse range of individuals......designers, engineers, operators and enthusiasts (of all ages) come together to share this wonderful event. And when it happens at a great place like HW, it can only mean that we are in for a time to remember.

Saturday began with a "splash", and even though I didn't try ZOOMbabwe out, I had a blast watching others shoot out of the tunnel upside down, sideways, inside out, etc. I took advantage of the stairs and climbed to get some great views of Legend's spiral drop and double up. I would have tried the slide if I had planned to spend a few hours in the waterpark alone. And when SRM is only once a year, and 5 hours away, I am careful with the precious time I am given for Legend rides. Raven and Legend performed very well, though I must hand the "upstops on strike" award to Raven for the way it behaved. It instantly surpassed any ride I have had previously which I thought was impossible. On Saturday Legend had pushed the bar a bit higher, but it wasn't until dark that it seemed to really let go. And let go it did. We let go too, except for those hanging onto their precious little glow sticks as if it was their lucky rabbit's foot! Sorry kids, but that won't scare the Horseman away! LMAO....last year it was glow in the dark squares all over the woods. Now we had mini-lightsabers of all colors streaking across the blackness. I enjoyed many rides Sat. with Rideman, Coasterville and the other enthusiasts that joined our group throughout the day. John left us as usual to apparently pursue a girl (not that I blame him, but doesn't he have one already?). A break was taken to try the Air Hockey table, which seems to have lost its umph. The food was good, and though I didn't participate in the Frito Taco (available at Alamo) I shall try one on my next visit. We caught Paul D. during a Flyers ride and swapped stories for a bit. I skipped out on the walkback, only because I had done it last year, and my camera didn't want to take any more pics. Ugh! I then enjoyed meeting and riding with Robert Coker (the man behind ThrillRide and the great coaster book that was for sale at SRM) and friends. What a great guy! Too bad I had already taken the book out to the car.... 45 Dr. Peppers, 20 bell rings and 4 Legend laps later it was picnic time!

After nearly 230 coasters, The Legend still remains my favorite of all, regardless of type, size, speed, location, theming, or anything else. It possesses so many inhumane characteristics that one is left wondering how man can derive such a ghoulish device of a thrill. And it beckons for a re-ride with each fantastic screech at the brakes......leaving your senses in a vortex (OK so my fav. steel had to get in here too!), and your pulse out of control. I am drawn further into the Headless Horseman's unforgiving world each time I board that beautiful purple train, and I still cannot get over the amazing combination of speed, airtime and laterals that are woven into this wonderfully paced layout. The station, though now bearing a barn-like effect with the screenwire at one end, still has the charm of an innocent schoolhouse. Filled with the greatest coaster crew anywhere, a chalkboard with wedding wishes and greetings to fellow clubs, and a bell that won't stop ringing (LOL!), it is very deceptive of the ride it was built for. I'm normally not a fan of other rides cutting through or overlapping coasters, but in Legend's case it works. Frightful Falls carries the Halloween theme and gives us a chance to wave to riders who may have survived the dark tunnel! ZOOMbabwe, on the other hand, adds to the headchopper effect in an otherwise fairly open area. Did I mention the great shots you can get of Legend's spiral drop from the top! The tunnels are now painted externally, and fortunately they used a nice earthy tan which blends nicely with the rest of the ride. I ended Saturday night with my 50th Legend ride since 2000, which isn't too shabby considering how often I can visit!

I also really enjoyed Pat Koch's graduation ceremony. The band sounded great, even though the drummer wouldn't let me sit in on a number! I guess Rush was a little inappropriate for the relaxed evening! I was glad to see everyone bring Pat something to congratulate her. I presented her with a little model coaster on a homemade graduation hat. The coaster cars each had a letter, and the whole thing spelled "CONGRATS PAT". It was more of a way of saying thanks for everything she has done for the park and for each guest she has blessed over the years. The Koch's are a very special family, and it shows in everything they do. Pat has been through a lot lately, and to see her receive a degree in the midst of all this is quite impressive. May the vision she and her late husband have brought to the park live forever. Thanks again to Will, Paula, Pat and all the staff for another weekend of great memories. I'll be back in Sept.

Sunday was spent heading back to Ohio, and so a stop at SFKK seemed logical. We arrived around 3ish and ended up leaving when a brutal storm set in, but that was ok with us. The woodies ran very well, with Thunder Run blowing everything else out of the water. We didn't even bother with cha-Chang, though we did give T2 a chance (it sounded incredible from the ground......we were wrong). The bucking and rocking was a hidden surprise, as we certainly didn't notice it listening to the unusually smooth sound of a Vekoma hang and bang! We even tried the Rainbow, which operated with a minimal load (it struggled with the 10 or so people it did have). Quake was parked in an awkward position, SBNO as always. Hey, at least its never in the same place twice! LOL We did hit SFKK favorites like Roller Skater and the Flying Dutchman, but still longed for one more TR ride.

Overall, I met quite a few buzzers; too many to list I might add! Thanks for not bashing this Cbuzz veteran's favorite company too hard! They will always be responsible for landmark, classic innovations in my book. And speaking of classic, now it's time to celebrate the re-opening of GAAPALL! (You may substitute "Americana" for that hideous but fun to say abbreviation!) Of course the busy schedule of work, Coastermania, Fun Spot and CbuzzCon will push my visit back a week or so. All hail the Eagle, the best stand up coaster in Ohio! See you on the tracks....

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Brad Sherman
Soon park benches will have seatbelts!
Model coasters and rides
(Edit to fix some funky characters that automatically replaced quote marks & such.....very strange!)

*** This post was edited by Arrow Guy on 6/5/2002. ***

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Monday, June 3, 2002 7:52 PM
Great TR! How close is SFKK to HW?

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X-Flight World's Only flying coaster!
Batwing World's only flying coaster!
S:UF World's only flying coaster! Don' you love SF ?

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Monday, June 3, 2002 8:16 PM
Kentucky Kingdom is about 1 hour east of Holiday World, located at I-65 and I-264, right by the Louisville airport.
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Brad Sherman
Soon park benches will have seatbelts!
Model coasters and rides
+0

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