I am calling this next series of trip reports a “mini series” as there are only two parts. Don’t let the word “mini’ fool you as the trip you are about to read about was far from being just a small trip. This particular segment covers one of the craziest days I have had while being a coaster enthusiasts.
The original idea for this trip was to meet up with great friends Matt Bacoulis, James Raimar, and Danielle Miller. These are the three people I am going to be traveling with later in the year on is what to become the mother of all coaster trips we have done…..well, for the time being.
In December of last year Matt and I talked with the other two about meeting in Columbus. Both Danielle and I live in Columbus. Matt and James would fly into town and we would meet for a weekend. We talked about the possibility of going to Cedar Point or Paramount’s Kings Island but visiting parks wasn’t the priority. We needed to sit down with each other and talk money, hotels, and all kinds of things that are going into our monstrous trip.
Things started to change as those damn folks from the Gravity Group decide to post some pictures of a new coaster they were working on for Mt. Olympus Park in Wisconsin. While it looked freakin’ amazing, I put off visiting the area until 2006 as my traveling was a bit limited this year (yea, right).
I should have clocked it. Really I should have. It took a whole two hours or less after I saw those pictures for Matt to call me with an idea. He thought we shouldn’t be meeting in Columbus but rather the Wisconsin Dells.
So let me get this straight. We are going to Wisconsin to plan for a future trip, and there just so happens to be a brand new coaster opening up. Ah-ha! I can easily see where this was going. While I really did want to meet up and talk about the big future trip, I also wanted to give the new coaster a ride. Soon, we started talking about flights and the reality of going to Wisconsin was looking good.
The only downside to this was I wouldn’t be able to attend Beastbuzz at PKI. I was really looking forward to it but decided to pass this year. I don’t get the chance to go to Wisconsin very often so I took the gamble and told Matt I was in.
Another great benefit of doing this trip would be it wouldn’t cost a lot of money. Our flights would be extremely cheap thanks to Danielle and her Delta buddy passes. We would be saving cost on hotels by staying with one of Matt’s friends who lives in Chicago. The only thing we would be paying for would be for food and admission to parks.
So the trip was in order. Everything sounded like it was going to go as planned except for one thing. The flights. Because we were flying via buddy passes, we weren’t guaranteed a seat on any flight. We were on stand by. I have never flown stand-by so this was going to be a new experience for me.
You would think that I would catch a flight to Chicago and meet up with everyone there. Nope. That’s not the way Matt wanted it. Since he was the one that came up with this idea in the first place, I decided to adhere to his wishes by flying down to Atlanta and meeting up with him there, and then the both of us would be flying to Chicago on the same flight. I would be flying from Columbus to Atlanta so I could get to Chicago. Matt would be flying from Boston to Atlanta so he could get to Chicago as well. It doesn’t sound like it makes a whole lot of sense. Does it? Even I questioned why we were doing the trip this way.
If I would have somehow known way in advance how the first day of the trip was going to play out, I would have never believed it in a million years. Matt called me the night before the trip was to start saying he had a super crazy idea. When I heard this idea I actually thought there was a thread of chance we could pull at least half of it off. I made a quick call and once I got confirmation from someone, we decided to let luck play it out. If things didn’t go in our favor, we wouldn’t be upset. All we could do is see where our luck would take us. If it worked out in our favor then we had an amazing day in store for us.
O.k. Here we go.
-June 11th, 2005-
I did the standard thing of getting myself to airport after I packed a few things to take with me.. I wasn’t able to get any sleep the night before as I worked late and had other things to do when I got home. I dropped off my car at Port Columbus (blue lot) and took a shuttle to the terminal area as I do many times during the year. This time was slightly different though. I had the matter of flying stand-by to get used to. I checked in at the Delta counter and was given a quick lookdown to make sure I was dressed well enough to fly. When flying via a buddy pass everyone is essentially representing Delta. You are supposed to dress nice. I wore dress shoes and slacks as well as a nice shirt. I passed the visual inspection fine and was told I looked “smashing’. Who would have ever thought?
I received my seat request ticket and proceeded to my gate. All I had to do now is wait. The way the buddy pass system works is stand-by passengers are given the all clear to fly depending on the seniority of the Delta employee who has the buddy pass. It also helps a great deal if there are seats available.
I watched as my 6:50AM flight started to fill up. There were only about 7 seats left by the time the flight was about to leave. I thought I would have no problem getting one of those seats but things started to look more unlikely. Three Delta employees showed up and asked if they could somehow get on the flight to Atlanta. They were given permission and were allowed to board. A few other late passengers showed up at the very last minute. Now I thought for sure I was going to be denied boarding. I wasn’t upset but it just meant I would have to take a later flight. No biggie.
My first wave of good luck came in the form of my name being called up to the check in counter. I was given permission to board the flight. I ended up getting the one seat that was left on the flight. Phew. Talk about close.
I attempted to take a nap during the two hour flight to Atlanta but that didn’t work out. Once I arrived at my gate I turned my cell phone back on. I was just starting to walk out of the plane when my phone rang. It was Matt. He wanted to know where I was. When I told him I was leaving my plane, he seemed surprised and said he was doing the exact same thing on his flight. I was in the A concourse. Matt was in E. It took a few minutes to meet up as he had to take a train to my concourse. We eventually met up. It was great to hang out with him again as I haven’t seen him since October of last year.
Matt informed me that the 10:00 flight to Chicago was full and it didn’t look like we had a chance to get on it. We ended up going to a rebooking area and changed our flight to the later 4:00 flight. In a way we were kind of hoping this would happen as we both had a insane idea and there was only one person that could help us pull it off.
I called great friend Robert Ulrich and asked if he was up for spending some time at Six Flags Over Georgia with us. He warned us that Saturday’s in June are usually super nasty and he avoids them. But, since he knew we weren’t going to be spending a lot of time there, he opted to pick us up at a train station and drive us to the park.
Matt and I hopped on a train at the closest MARTA station. The ride was actually pretty relaxing. We needed to relax as much as possible as we knew we had a big day ahead of us. During the ride we noticed how crappy looking the weather was. It wasn’t raining but it sure looked like it could have started at any moment. We were kind of hoping the threat or rain would scare some people away from Six Flags but we both decided we had a bad case of wishful thinking.
We hopped off our train about 20 minutes later at a stop that was fairly close to Six Flags. Robert was running a little late so Matt and I walked out to a parking lot to wait for him. It started to rain but it wasn’t heavy. We noticed a lot of people wearing Six Flags uniforms waiting for a bus. Actually, the bus was there, it wasn’t working though. It looked as if a bus load of Six Flags employees were going to be late to work.
About 20 minutes passed before I almost decided to give Robert another call. Just as I was picking up my phone I heard my name being called from behind me. I saw Robert approaching us. Matt and I were standing in the wrong side of the lot. We didn’t even know there was an other side. Sorry Robert.
We got in Robert’s car and made the quick 5 minute drive to the park. I introduced Matt to Robert and vice versa. When we pulled up to the park Robert seemed surprised to see where they were parking people. The lot that is usually reserved for overflow was being loaded first for some reason. It took a few minutes to get inside the lot as an employee had to come out and remove some tire spikes so we could enter a section of the lot. It didn’t take very long after that before we were parked.
Remember, I was dressed fairly nice. Matt was as well. I didn’t feel like changing into summer clothes once I had landed, then having to change back to my nicer clothes once we got back from Six Flags. I decided to tough it out even though that meant looking like a park executive or something. . Matt on the other hand was very quick to at least change his shirt.
Matt and Robert waited out front while I processed my ultra-cheap season pass (thanks Robert and Sam for the incredible deal). I had no plan on visiting any other Six Flags parks this year besides Great Adventure because I didn’t have a pass. That all was about to change as I soon used my new pass and walked into the gates of Six Flags Over Georgia.
Matt had never been to the park so he was eager to ride a lot of things. We walked over to Georgia Cyclone and were welcomed by a full queue. We opted to rent a standard Q-Bot thanks to another great deal Robert had tucked away. Since we only had a few hours in the park, Matt didn’t have any problem with renting one of these things. I still am not a fan of any line cutting system that requires an extra cost but I was willing to go with it.
As soon as we reserved our ride we were told to come back in five minutes. The Q-Bot will accept riders 5 minutes early depending on the situation. We lucked out and knew we wouldn’t have a lot of trouble using it as we were able to walk right up into the station. It was also during this time that we noticed why the main queue was so long. The park was only running one train for some reason.
Matt wanted to experience the true Cyclone so he asked me to ride with him in the very back seat. I have no problem with riding in the front of the last car but the thought of riding in the very last seat was not appealing. Still, I ended up sitting back there with Matt.
The Cyclone is one of the scariest coasters I have ridden. It still freaks me out to this day. I don’t know what it is. It just scares me. I doubt I could ever become jaded to it.
While we were heading up the lift Matt made a not-so-funny joke and ended up laughing all the way down the first drop. As the coaster tossed us all around and up and down, we couldn’t help but try and make the best out of it despite the fact that we were getting pretty beat up. I am not sure if Matt enjoyed his ride as much as Robert who was sitting in the more comfortable seat in front of us.
It’s only fitting that the most terrifying drop ride I have ridden is sitting next to one of the scariest wooden coasters IMO. We were surprised to see only a few people riding it so we quickly walked through the station house and hopped on without any wait.
I have ridden Acrophobia close to 40 times. Every damn time I get to the top of that tower I get really nervous. I am sure the standing/leaning position has a lot to do with that. Matt and Robert weren’t at all nervous. While I love the rise and fall, I don’t like the stop at all. I knew from riding it in the past that I had to sit in an awkward position so Mr. Happy and his two friends wouldn’t get pissed when we hit the brakes. My riding position didn’t work well this time. Remember. I was in dress slacks. Not a lot of padding going on.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. As we continued to walk around the park we realized there really wasn’t anyone riding. The waits were about 10 minutes long for pretty much everything we saw. We could have done without the Q-Bot but we also realized there was a chance we could knock out at least half of the park by skipping 10 minute waits. Yea, we were that spoiled.
Matt wanted desperately to ride the “key” rides in the park. The only problem with that is there are a lot of great rides in this park and I knew Matt wouldn’t be riding many of them. So we thought.
I honestly don’t know if I got the correct order of what we rode but I will try. I know we passed on riding Georgia Scorcher and Batman as we could possibly Q-Bot those on the way out.
Matt was looking forward to this coaster the most. Once again, the park was only running one train. A second train was needed as the main line was long. Perhaps the other train was being worked on or something. As with the Cyclone, we reserved our ride and were given instant access to ride. This would be happening for the rest of the day.
Robert and I explained to Matt that the front car really offers some nice surprises. Matt ended up getting a double ride as he rode with me one time then was allowed to ride with Robert as Robert was riding solo. The ride was really flying today. The airtime and positive gs were amazing as usual. The new braking system the ride received seems to be working fine with its sideways PTC style calipers.
As we were leaving the ride it started to rain some more. It wasn’t anything major but enough that we could kiss our chance goodbye when it came to riding one rare coaster. Since we skipped on riding Batman we decided to walk to the back of the park. We walked down and up the “valley of doom” before Robert took us on a small detour to check out the new survey marks. He also pointed out other marks near Georgia Scorcher and a location in front of the park. Whatever is coming to the park next year looks to be really big. I know I am already hyper excited for it.
After our small tour, we continued walking towards the back of the park. Matt said he would love to get a ride on Déjà Vu. Robert was quick to let him know that Deja doesn’t run in the rain. We continued our walk and Matt pointed out that the large pulley wheels on the top of Deja’s towers were moving.
Could it be?
Sure as hell, Deja was running. I had to wipe my eyes as I didn’t think I would ever see that thing run again, much less in some misty rain. By the time we got over to check it out the ride crew was letting people enter the line. We could have easily joined the line but we used our Q-Bot to walk up a shorter way. We ended up being sent to the back row for our ride.
I have only ridden two of the Deja coasters in the country. The Chicago version still escapes me even after 5 visits. It took me 4 visits to finally get on the Atlanta version. I do remember this coaster being fun to ride.
I sat in the middle of a row while Robert and Matt sat behind me. I remember liking the middle rows more than the outside seats for some reason. I was expecting a fairly smooth ride but that wasn’t in store for us. While the rise and falls from both towers were fine, the rest of the ride was literally a pain in the neck. Robert even commented on how rough this ride has gotten. What happened?
You would think that after a ride on a rough Vekoma we could go for a break.
I admit. I know I am in the minority when I saw I like Ninja. I don’t consider it very rough and I actually do like the layout even though it reminds me of a non-inverted version of a SLC. We didn’t have to use the Q-Bot to ride as there wasn’t a line but Matt reserved a ride anyway. We walked right on and sat in the back car. As with my previous rides on this coaster, I enjoyed it. I believe Robert and Matt liked it as well.
----Superman Ultimate Flight----
O.k. Now this was creepy. As with Ninja, there wasn’t a line. Nothing. On a Saturday.
We walked right on in to the station (after Matt reserved a ride for good measure). Robert pointed out while we were in the station that there wasn’t a single person walking up to ride. Was the threat of the hurricane really that big of a deal? Did people stay home because of this? I wasn’t complaining.
Matt and I have both ridden Air at Alton Towers and liked it a lot. The only other B&M flyer Matt has ridden is Superman at Six Flags Great Adventure. While he thought it was fun he didn’t rave about it. Out of the three versions of this layout I like the Georgia version the best as it looks great with the added terrain and tunnels. There are only a couple of differences in the actual ride compared to the Great American and Great Adventure rides, but for the most part they ride the same. We opted for a back row ride so we could feel the true force of the pretzel loop (AKA Soul Crusher) I know some people complain that the ride doesn’t offer much but I really do like the layout.
----Great American Scream Machine----
I was really looking forward to riding this again as I haven’t ridden it since I took part in the 30-hour marathon a couple of years ago. We used the Q-Bot again as the line was over 5 minutes long. It was unfortunate that this ride doesn’t have the blend in lines that other Q-Bot rides have. There is a specific car designated for Q-Bot customers. This car is roped off from anyone else riding it. If no one is riding in that car, it goes out empty. It looked as guests were tired of seeing a roped off car so they ended up taking down the rope (or chain) and riding in the reserved car. When it was our turn to ride a ride operator asked a group of people to wait for the next train out so we could ride. As we sat down I heard a couple of lame comments coming from a guy and girl who were waiting for our car. We just ignored them and waited to be dispatched from the station.
Matt said he was surprised at how stiff the seats were. He couldn’t believe I rode this thing 367 times in a row while in these seats. I told him I had brought plenty of foam to make it softer. I couldn’t imagine riding for 30 hours in just those seats without the foam. I am not sure I would have lasted.
The ride wasn’t running as well as the last time I rode it. There were a couple of rougher areas and the ride seemed sluggish but the airtime on the return sections was pretty decent. I had gotten to know every inch of that ride very well during the marathon and riding it again a couple of years later still gave me the sensation of “reading” the track.
We only had an hour and a half to spend in the park before we left. Matt thought for sure we could knock out the other rides. Robert and I weren’t so sure. We knew the front of the park would be more crowded but we weren’t going to hamper Matt’s attempt to get on as much as he wanted. We continued to walk towards the front of the park before stopping at the latest coaster.
----Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster----(#622)
Somehow I have managed to avoid seeing any pictures of this coaster. When I heard that the park was going to install a Chance “kiddie coaster,” I pictured a very small coaster like Chance’s Joust at Dutch Wonderland in Pennsylvania. I was very surprised to walk up and see a pretty big family coaster. The track and trains looked about the same as other Chance junior coasters but the layout was pretty long.
We reserved our ride and walked right up into the station (once again). We hopped in the train and headed up the tire driven lift. The layout consists of a couple swooping drops and curves. It ends with a steep climb into some tire brakes that also work to pull the train up into the station. I believe this ride falls right in between a larger Arrow mine and a kiddie coaster. This wasn’t a bad choice for the park at all from what I could tell.
Speaking of Arrow Mines…
---Dahlonega Mine Train----
We couldn’t reserve a ride for this coaster so we just waited it out. It’s really starting to show its age as Matt and I had a pretty damn violent ride. I told him not too look around while riding so the ending would be a surprise. I don’t remember the ending being as jarring as it was. Matt claimed this coaster was the roughest Arrow mine coaster he has ridden.
Matt was so excited to ride another new-to-him coaster that he took the Q-Bot and ran towards our next ride. Robert and I walked towards the B&M stand-up and pointed out some more survey markings. By the time we had met up with Matt it was now time to ride.
This is easily my favorite stand-up. I love the layout and the pacing. It may not be as large as some of the others but it has enough unique things about it that really shine. Just as we were about to walk into our row, we were told by a ride operator that my sunglasses and Robert’s eye glasses would have to come off. I had no problem with it but thought it was strange as nobody else had asked us to remove anything the entire day. Robert showed the operator that his glasses were firmly attached to his head thanks to a strap. The operator said it didn’t matter and argued with Robert about it. If there is anyone in the world you shouldn’t argue about Six Flags Over Georgia’s policies with it’s Robert. He knows the park inside out and wanted to let the operator know he was wrong.
Matt and I hopped into the train while Robert walked on through. We thought he had decided to not ride due to the argument but instead he walked up to a lead operator and asked what the eyeglass policy was. Robert was correct. You are allowed to ride the coaster with eyeglasses as long as they have a strap. The lead told the clueless operator what the true policy was and Robert joined us for our ride.
The ride packed as much thrill as I remembered it. The far portion curves are smooth yet they have a nice snap. The sideways camel back reminds me of the Stengle Dive found on Goliath in Holland. Matt said he really enjoyed the ride as well and didn’t expect much from it but was surprised.
It now came time to make a choice. We could run to Batman to try and ride the final coaster in the park, or leave. Matt once again took off in the direction of Batman while Robert and I walked slowly to the Gotham City area. Matt came back a few moments later and said the Q-Bot reserve wait was over a half hour. We didn’t have that time to spend so we agreed to leave.
I can’t believe how well the Q-Bot worked for us. We skipped the longer lines and even passed the shorter waits. I still am not a big fan of the system but it did exactly what we needed it to do. For that, I am glad we rented one. I know Matt was really glad as he ended up getting 10 new coasters under his belt.
We walked back to the parking lot. Matt change back into his nicer shirt while letting me used his Axe body spray. I was pretty sweaty at this point since I didn’t change into any other clothes. I didn’t want to smell like a saucy turd on the flight so I am glad I had deodorant and body spray to cover the fact that I had just spent a very muggy day at a theme park in Atlanta in June.
Robert drove us to the airport so we didn’t have to take the MARTA back. This was a huge help as we needed to get back fairly soon to catch our flight to our next destination. Chicago. Our day was far from over and we were eager to start the second half.
Once we said goodbye to Robert, we walked into the terminal and checked on the status of our flight. We went through security but were both asked to walk down a long glass hallway for further screening. Neither of us had a problem with this. The extra screening didn’t take long at all. The people doing the screening were actually pretty funny which is rare these days.
Matt and I arrived at our gate and kept our eyes glued onto the stand-by list that was frequently being shown on a large LCD monitor. While at SFOG, Matt had called Danielle to see how many seats were left on our flight. Danielle said there were about 40 seats so it sounded good.
Sometimes things aren’t what they seem as one by one our chances of getting on this flight were lowered. We watched our names go from the middle of the list, to the bottom, then back up, then down. At one point it looked like Matt was going to get on the flight and I would have to take the next flight. We moved to the very bottom of the list again and pretty much extinguished our changes of getting on this flight. There were about 40 people on stand-by that all had priority over us due to seniority. Just as we were about to walk away, I noticed Matt getting a very excited look on his face. He pointed up to the screen. I looked up and was shocked to see that we had been cleared to board the flight. We were the last two people allowed on. That was the second time of the day that had happened to me. What was even more rare is the fact that the seats that we were given were right next to each other.
We were going to use this flight to catch up on some sleep as both of us had been up for over 24 hours at this point. Right before our flight was to take off Matt picked up an in-flight magazine and literally turned to an article about theme parks. I picked up my copy and we read the article. While the article was interesting, I could barely keep my eyes open and I tried to get some sleep. Sleep never really came so I just closed my eyes and did my best to relax.
Once we arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, Matt called his good friend Shannon who agreed to pick us up and use her truck. We would be staying the night in Shannon’s apartment as well. As we were waiting for Shannon to show up, I called friend Chris Trotter. He answered right away and asked if I was at home. When I told him no he sounded confused. Just by luck he was trying to call me at the exact instance I was trying to call him. We both were pretty surprised by this. I surprised him even more by telling him what we had done the first half of the day and what we were about to do. He couldn’t believe it. Even I had a hard time believing it could be done but we were sure going to try.
Shannon soon arrived and we hopped into her truck. Introductions were made and I soon tried to fall asleep in the back seat but was too tired to sleep. Those of you that have been in that situation know what I am talking about.
Shannon decided to join us to our next park. When Matt told her we had just ridden 10 coasters in Atlanta, her response was so priceless that I can’t type it here. We had an hour and a half drive in store for us. Matt had called friend James Raimar while were were in Atlanta to try and get him to join us at our next park. James lives in Michigan and wasn’t supposed to meet us until the next day. We weren’t sure if he would be able to make it to Indiana this evening but were happy when we got a call from him saying he was on his way. Yaaaaaa!
We continued our drive into Indiana and pulled off at an exit to fuel up and grab some much needed food. Matt and I hadn’t eaten the entire day and were starving. Matt and Shannon went to an Arby’s while I walked next door and picked up a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut before meeting back up with them. It felt strange eating something from Pizza Hut while at Arby’s.
Matt called James and asked where he was. Once again, luck was on our side as Jim just happened to be about 2 miles from where we were sitting. He pulled off the exit, went to Pizza Hut, and met up with us in Arby’s. It was really good to see James again. I had only seen him once since the Europe tour. He is always a blast to hang out with. We were so glad that he decided to make the drive down to Indiana from Saginaw.
Since James drove alone from Michigan, I decided to ride with him so he wouldn’t be bored any longer. During the rest of the drive I was in charge of James’s new 60GB iPod. He had an impressive selection of music so it was pretty difficulty to find something we could rock out to. Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil ended up being the final selection. I haven’t listened to that album in years. It brought back a lot of memories while giving me enough energy to feel as if I had gotten some sleep.
James and I were leading the way. We pulled off at the exit we needed and kept on driving through the miles of cornfields before reaching the small town of Reynolds. We though we had made a wrong turn someplace as we didn’t remember passing through Reynolds before. James sounded disappointed that we were in Reynolds. I somehow though this was funny and got into a laughing fit. James followed and soon we were laughing so hard we had tears rolling down our faces. It seemed funny at the time.
Soon we saw signs directing us to our next park so we knew we weren’t lost. James did make one small wrong turn and we ended up by a nearby drive-in theater but soon were pulling into the parking lot of our next location.
I really love this park. This was the first time I would be able to check out the park at night as it was going to be getting dark soon. We walked across the suspension bridge and purchased our ACE discount tickets. We knew the park would be fairly crowded but that wasn’t going to stop us from having less fun but only had a few hours to spend in the park before it closed so we wanted to make the best of it. There was one coaster I hadn’t ridden as it has been closed during my last 4 visits. I would be getting my chance to finally get on this ride in a matter of minutes.
----Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain----(#623)
I had heard reviews saying this ride is very rough. There was even a sign warning people of the violent nature of the ride. We only spent about 20 minutes in line before boarding the small cars. James and I decided to ride facing forwards for our first ride. Shannon and Matt sat across from us.
We left the station and made our way to the elevator lift. As we were rising up to the top of the mountain I started to get butterflies. I really didn’t know much about the layout of the ride. I know if loosely followed the layout of the old dark ride that I rode at the same location a few years back.
We stopped at the top and were released down a wicked curving drop. I couldn’t even begin to tell you the remainder of the layout of this ride. All I know is we were all liking it. There are many surprises during the ride such as the double down that takes place inside and other ultra-sharp turns and drops. I had no idea the ride was as long as it is. I know of some people that don’t like the ride. I am not one of them.
As we were exiting the ride we couldn’t help but get right back in line to ride again. This time James and I rode facing backward. Talk about out of control. Wow! Even though the cars don’t rotate, I thought the sensation of riding backward felt like the feeling I get when riding a spinning coaster.
We could have easily taken a third ride on Lost Coaster but we decided to walk around and ride a few more things.
James had never ridden this one so we walked over to give it a quick ride. There isn’t much to say about this one other than it ran great. We turned around to check out the view of the rest of the park while going up the lift. Seeing the park at night from above was very cool.
A ride on Double Shot was next. I don’t know what Indiana Beach are doing to this ride but it runs a lot more powerful than any of the other versions I have ridden. It was almost too strong. We also took a few minutes to ride Den of Lost Thieves.
While this coaster doesn’t offer much as far as airtime goes, it does have plenty of speed. Who can forget about the hickey on the return leg? Shannon liked this ride. She isn’t much of a coaster person but that was about to change as we were taking her on everything we rode.
We walked around and purchased some tickets to walk-through the haunted house. I had walked through this attraction plenty of times so I knew were all the gags were. When it came time to scare someone in the group, I simply asked them to lead the way so they could be had. It worked a few times.
This thing never ceases to amaze me. It doesn’t look like much from the ground but don’t let that fool you. As we walked up into the station we ran into a couple of enthusiast friends who I haven’t seen for quite some time. It would have been nice to talk a bit more but we know the nature of this hobby doesn’t allow much time for talking at times.
Shannon got her first real dose of airtime and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think the ending is my favorite part with the last two hills. I noticed the park has added a roof to the transfer track area. I am guessing this was added last year or even this year as it wasn’t there two years ago.
Since the new for 2004 Larson scooters were nearby, we took a quick ride on Air Crow. As I walked up to the ride entrance I noticed a large sign that warned people not to snap the cables. I know that Larson doesn’t recommend it but I did see at least one person trying to snap. I didn’t end up having a snap fest but I did manage to almost rotate my tub around.
Shannon was pretty scared to ride this as she realized it didn’t have any restraints. Even for its old age, this coaster runs amazing. There are only a handful of these types of coasters around. It’s good that Indiana Beach takes great care of their rides like this one.
I took one more ride on Air Crow before we headed over to the best Yo-Yo I have ridden. I have always liked the placement of this ride over the water but it takes on a whole new dimension when you ride with a group of friends. We must have ridden this 3 times in a row before moving on.
We had about an hour left to spend in the park so we walked back over to Lost Coaster and took two more rides. As we got in line for our third ride we realized we were the last group of people to be admitted in line. The ride crew gave us a “ride closed” sign to hold up to let people know no one else was to ride. Before we reached the station the ride went DDM. One of the trains ended up living to the name of the coaster as it never returned to the station. We have no idea where it stopped. The crew told us the ride wouldn’t be running for the rest of the night so we moved on. We spent the remaining minutes we had on Yo-Yo. This was the most fun we had all day and was a great way to end the evening.
As the park closed we made our way back across the suspension bridge and got back into our vehicles. We had an hour and a half drive back to Chicago. I rode with James again while we listened to Throwdown and a couple other heavy bands. James was trying to convince me to stay in the Chicago area for one more day as there were a couple of hardcore bands playing in the area the night after I was to leave.
Shannon’s place is located near downtown Chicago. While it was a small apartment it was big enough for us to crash for the night. Shannon’s boyfriend was at work so we would be able to meet him this night.
Exhausted by the packed day we had, everyone went to sleep very quickly. We would be getting at least 6 hours of sleep which was much needed. The next day would be another busy day (aren’t they all?) I couldn’t even think about it as all I was able to think about was that Matt and I had somehow pulled off riding 9 out of the 10 coasters at SFOG and all of the coasters at Indiana Beach in the same day. I am sure we could have done something even crazier but I certainly didn’t want to think about it at this time.
Underground never felt so good.
Thanks for reading,
Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!
See you around....
But to all the readers out there, this may have been my idea, but I didnt see any of their arms in slings from the supposed twisting I did! And if you all want to know...Mr. Flaharty wanted to blow off IB that night and head out to SFGA just so we could ride Batman, DejaVu, and Superman. Then we could say that we rode those coasters in SFOG and SFGA all in one day. OK...now who is a little tapped?
But as always, Sean, your TR's are simply amazing! Dont worry, I wont correct the fact that "I" did not run to Scorcher to QBot it....It was you...my lazy behind was not going to run from the mine train to Scorcher in June on a Saturday. But it was me that did run from Scorcher to Batman for any last minute hopes of getting in and out of the ride in ten minutes! But definately NO complaints here! We got on 9 out of 10 coasters plus Acrophobia in exactly 3 hours on a Saturday in June!
As for Indiana Beach....the most memorable point of the night (and there were TONS!!!) happened while on line for LoCoSuMo. A nice rotund Indiana woman with less teeth than my 5 day old niece nicely asked Jim if his plugs in his ears hurt......His response...classic...."Its kind of like you getting fat, did that hurt!" My jaw dropped, but to my amazement,(which I really shouldnt have been) his comment didnt even register with the woman! Oh Indiana, I love thee.
When's part deux coming????
I wouldn't have it any other way!
1) pick a day where there's a tropical storm scheduled to hit town (it landed about 7 PM)
2) go on a weekend coinciding with Music Midtown and/or Vibe Fest (2 very large music weekends) -
Both of those options were in play, but it still surprised me that there was not one soul in the Superman queue... at 11:30 AM!
As for the storm that was headed for SFOG, we knew it might scare some people away, but this was just truly unbelievable.
Granted there were some lines but when Acrophobia is waiting for riders....
Well hopefully I can really appreciate the park when I return in Sept and spend more time walking around. I sure that really isnt a possibility since the next day I will be riding a brand new intamin launching coaster in.......JAPAN! (Evil grin and snicker)
Glad you found the WTF pic. I told Matt I wasn't going to include it. I didn't have a good answer when he asked me what I wasn't going to include it. I ended up hiding the link, if you can call it that, in the TR. I have done that to other pictures in the last series as well.
It was cool seeing you at IB. We ran into a couple of other enthusiasts as well. If I remember correctly, you said you were going to spend another day at IB or another park. I hope that went well for you.
One of these days I will run into you at a park. I am sure of it. To be honest, I am glad there are people like yourself that would like to meet up instead of just jumping into a big trip. I learned my lesson the hard way by doing a trip with someone I had just met the day the trip started. It was a diaster.
You are a total nut job. Your welcome?
Just to clarify your wacky illusions, I never wanted to blow off Indiana Beach. I said it would have been cool to ride two Batman coasters, as well as two DeJa's in one day just for the hell of it. Geeeze. You would have thought a nut job like yourself would have understood that. I guess not. I also didn't remember reserving a ride on Scorcher but if I did, there is no way in hell I ran. Are you insane? I was in dress clothes.
I wasn't going to mention what James had said to that poor woman in line for LoCoSuMo. I do remember it (as well as the "acting" you did on Georgia Cyclone's lift) but I thought it would be too much for some folks.
Oh, and thanks for the response. Matt =:^)
Day 2 should be posted by the end of the week.
Just hang in there buddy. I have heard the Texas State Fair is pretty damn good so enjoy it when you can. I used to think the Ohio State Fair was THE place to go in the summer when I was growing up. Now I don't care much for it at all. It is not nearly as large as it used to be.
Nuts? Well, I guess I am considering I did the trip with Matt. I shudder to think what he has planned for later in the year. I honestly don't know much about it. All I know is that I am going to document it the best I can.
Thanks for the info. It all makes sense now. Oh, and i want my Todd Rundgren DVDs back NOW!! (just kidding)
Clint is enough to handle for one day, let alone one big trip. Or would that be vice versa? ;-)
Ah, you know I love ya both! :-)
Thanks for the report and Im anxiously awaiting your views on The Dells
"Would you like to buy a photo of you boys enjoying the Line Ride?"
Thanks. I sometimes question my own sanity at times when I get back from trips like this. It seems pretty natural when doing the trip but once I realized all the traveling and effort that goes into a trip, I have to ask myself, "What am I doing?" =:^)
I have never been a fan of Arby's. I honestly can't believe some of those places are still around as I never see anyone eating at them.
Too bad our "massive trips" to the same country aren't at the same time. Hopefully I'll be posting updates as we go...
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."
That does suck that we won't be able to meet up on the other side of the planet. I look forward to your updates.
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