We made the Hampton Inn in NW Grand Rapids in two hours, checked into a nice room and walked to Cracker Barrel for the Friday fish fry, and were back on westbound I-96 by 3:30 pm. A few miles down the road, the dreaded orange signs appeared. "Road work ahead for the next 12 miles". We pushed on until traffic came to a near standstill two miles before the noted shift from two to one lanes. TheRealCP suggested we take the next exit and navigate our way on the back roads.
If you've followed my previous trip reports, you'll remember The RealCP has very keen navigation skills having helped by pass a 20 mile backup on northbound I-75 last year. Since she was also very familiar with the area, having friends living in Newago, I trusted her implicitly, and explained this to Ian who seemed a bit skeptical. After several left and right turns, always keeping on the west/north track, we made it in very little time to M-46 which is a straight, westbound shot to 31. Imagine our complete chagrin when we turned westbound only to see a huge lighted construction sign that read "Construction on M-46 for the next __ miles". Fortunately, it appeared to be a road resurfacing project and had likely just been completed.
We made Michigan's Adventure by 5 pm, a bit later than originally planned, and apparently very late according to Brandon in guest relations. Most of the attendees were there by early afternoon. I contended we were there well before dinner, and planned on staying most of the following day, so we were in plenty of time.
Of course, our first stop (after the restroom!) was Shivering Timbers. TheRealCP, who had been listing The Beast above Timbers in her wooden coaster category, began waffling again after our first ride. (How much do you want to bet she'll waffle again after Beastbuzz next week?). Needless to say, Timbers after it's had all day to warm up is an airtime monster.
A few Timbers rides later, we rode Wolverine Wildcat, Tilt-a-Whirl with a skeptical Donna (not entirely sure she wanted to take the chance of getting motion sickness so early in the trip, but came off the ride just fine), Logger's Run (with Donna in front again to take the brunt of the water), Wild Mouse and Corkscrew. We ran into bholcomb near the Mouse, who met me with a big bear hug before telling me how sick we was feeling. ARGH! If I catch his cold before our trip to Holiday World, he'll never see another homemade cookie from me again!
It was getting nigh on time for dinner, so we went back to the picnic pavilions. We were all unsure of how much we'd eat, considering we'd stuffed ourselves at our late fish fry lunch, but the chicken looked too tempting to pass up, and the fresh veggies and fruit convinced TheRealCP and I to indulge. The offered brownies were TINY, and the ice cream cups had to be eaten with a spork.
The sky looked threatening, and it began to sprinkle just as ERT on Timbers began and our first two rides were met with a few stinging drops, but by the third ride, the rain stopped and we were treated to a rainbow directly over Timbers. I was happy to see Jay was back as ride op for the event, who always makes the event more fun. He began turning off the station lights except for unloading/loading to help reduce the voracious mosquitos, and when we got in line for our last ride, he announced the parking lot lights were going to be turned off to cheers from the gathered.
We opted to hold off our last ride by waiting for the front, and the lights were turned out for the train before us making for a fast and dark final ride. We got a total of 15 rides on Timbers, another ride on Wolverine Wildcat, and nearly eaten alive by mosquitos, but had a grand time! Although TheRealCP and I didn't purchase an on-ride photo, Ian and Donna had a great one:[url=http://www.webtechnik.com/ebony/Coasterpics/timberskiss.htm
If you've ever ridden Timbers before and know where the cameras are, you'll understand how difficult it can be to get a shot like that.
We left the park at 11 pm and took 46 to 37 back to the hotel to avoid construction on 96 and crawled into bed with plans to be up in time to catch a bit of the complimentary breakfast and be back at the park before 10 am for morning ERT.
We got a bit of a late start with four people needing a shower, but were back at the park by 10:30, enjoyed 30 minutes of Timbers ERT before moving to Wolverine Wildcat just as the general public was let through the gates.
We rode the Dodgems (man those things were unpleasantly slow!), Zach's Zoomer, the carousel, and walked to the far north end of the lake to ride the Swan Boats while munching on Bavarian Almonds. Yum!.
I'm very pleased they moved the Swan Boats from Cedar Point to MiA. They roped off a very large area of the lake and fit in so much better in their new setting even though life jackets are now required. We had to chuckle when the ride op mentioned we could paddle near the fountain, but to please avoid hitting it. "We used to have two" she said.
Afterwards, we had some fun playing mini golf, losing only two balls in the lake, and holding up those behind us in our ineptness. Out of a total par of 42 for 18 holes, our scores were 67, 68, 69 and 70. A very close round, with yours truly ending up the winner. I'd better get some practice in if I ever hope to compete in the Red Cross Tournament at Cedar Point!
*edited in* I thought I should mention the park was pretty well packed by the time we left, and although it was a little cool for the waterpark (IMO) people were flocking to it. Even the Corkscrew had a line.
We were back on the road by 2 pm, stopped at Bennigan's in NW Grand Rapids for lunch, and were home by 6 pm.
Next stop, Holiday World.
*** Edited 6/20/2004 4:31:45 PM UTC by CPLady***
The turnaround has some nice laterals and the run back after the trick track has a bit more ejector air, not as sustained. What finishes it off so nicely is the helix. It's one of the fastest I've been on.
Legend and Raven still top my list, but like TheRealCP, I have a hard time deciding where to put Timbers in relation to The Beast.
Miss you, by the way. :)
oh...and yes. Legend is God.
There's just something so 'pure' about Timbers. You gotta love the thing.
Timbersfest @ Michigan’s Adventure - June 18-19, 2004
This was the first leg of our Coaster Odyssey, sending us to Western Mich. to Michigan’s Adventure for the annual event, Timbersfest. It was a coaster club-only event that kept the park open late (after closing time) to ride the world famous Shivering Timbers. Rather than a complete play-by-play, I’ll offer a highlights list of some of the most memorable moments:
* We survived the crazies on the expressways.
* I was able to navigate the back roads of Western Michigan to find an alternate route to Michigan’s Adventure.
* A good dinner at Timbersfest!
* A grand total of 15 rides on Shivering Timbers! :)
* Safe travels!
* Early ERT on Shivering Timbers Saturday morning.
* Instead of having to pay $20+ for a Timbersfest t-shirt, I got one for only $5 on Saturday morning. Yay!
* We had great laughs while playing putt-putt at Michigan’s Adventure. Only 2 balls went into the lake. ;)
This is just a quick summary to describe a great two-day trip! It’s so easy-going and relaxing doing a park with CPLady, Ian & Donna. “What do you want to do next?” We’ll all shrug then someone will name a ride and off we go - it’s so relaxing!
And, I hope I didn't make you sick Linda... Those cookies were really good.. hehe
I thought Timbers ran really good on Friday Night... Sure it was a little cold and didn't run as well as it has for me in the past, but I thought it ran pretty good. My favorite part of the whole trip was my ride on the FROG HOPPER though! http://www.bholcomb.com/Timbersfest2004/13.html
I had a real blast at my first Enthusiast event, though!
Y'all did a great job too! Thanks so much for being there. :)
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