May 25, 2008
Because we didn’t end up going to Kentucky Kingdom on Saturday, Matt wanted to stop by on Sunday on our way to Indiana Beach since Louisville was on the way. We’d made plans to meet up with Danny and Patrick, but Rob and Melissa had another hard morning waking up so we didn’t make our deadline for Kentucky Kingdom. Actually, we all ended up being kind of late, then we found out that the Indy 500 was happening that day. This meant we were going to get in to some traffic as we drove through Indianapolis.
After gathering everything up and checking out we stopped across the street for gas and ran in to Brian while there. We talked about the nite before just before we parted ways, with Brian and his gang heading to Beech Bend, and me and my gang heading to Indiana Beach. The drive was long, though it was interstate most of the way. We took the beltway around Indianapolis so as to avoid any Indy 500 traffic, but we did see the DirecTV blimp circling around as we drove past.
After almost 6 hours of driving we arrived at Indiana Beach. We only had about 4 hours, but that would be just enough time to have some fun at the park. This was another park that offered discounts for coaster enthusiasts, so I got in for almost half price once again thanks to Matt. Once we paid and took some pictures we headed out on the bridge to the park. You get a great view of Indiana Beach from here and I loved what I saw. We kept stopping and taking pictures as Matt talked to Craig on the phone. Then we finally made our way into the park. Our first stop was going to be the Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain, however, the line was quite long, they were only running 1 train, and the ride was down when we got in line anyways.
Instead of riding Lost Coaster, though, we headed down the midway. At this point I commented to Matt that I already loved the park, even if I hadn’t rode anything yet. The atmosphere was great and the park reminded me a lot of the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, and it was such a nice day. As we walked over to Hoosier Hurricane we passed by Frankenstein’s Castle. I wanted to go through so Matt, Dan and I went in while Matt told Rob and Melissa to head out and do their own thing instead of wait on us since we had a limited time. Matt was even nice enough to pay for admission for me and Dan.
Frankenstein’s Castle-This was a funky, fun, and funny dark ride. I loved it It was quite a long attraction and much different than I expected. I miss more parks having walk thru haunted houses and dark rides. The chamber with the ‘rock band’ was funny, and some of the scares really got me. Plus it was all air conditioned, so that helped. We even got some pictures inside. Frankenstein’s Castle was definitely a unique walk-thru attraction that I’d most certainly pay to do it again.
After Frankenstein’s Castle we headed over to Cornball Express. There were a few rides closed during the day, most notably for Matt the flyers. I liked how the wood coaster stations were elevated above the midway, this made for interesting visuals. We walked up the steps to Cornball to a nearly empty queue.
Cornball Express–I honestly didn’t have extremely high hopes for Cornball. No reason other than my lack of familiarity with it. We turned the corner and started up the lift. This was the shorter of the 2 major wooden coasters at IB, both in height and in length. According to RCDB, this coaster is only 55’ tall. But that first twisting drop was amazing. Then the next couple of hills had great airtime as you’re twisting and turning in the tight spaces that this coaster comprises. Dan and I rode in the back seat with Matt in the seat in front of us. I loved how it intertwined with Hurricane, and how it circled the area with Tig’rr. After the twists and turns, turning back under Hurricane, and then heading around again, you get the best 2 pops of air from the last 2 hills. This coaster quickly skyrocketed up in my list of favorite wooden coasters.
Cornball gave an impressive rides. Probably more than any coaster on the trip because I was so unfamiliar with its layout. I knew it was well liked, but I didn’t know it was that great. We were pretty close to Tig’rr, so we headed there next. They only ran 2 cars, but the wait was very minimal.
Tig’rr–This was my first Jet Star. They looked like fun, so I was anxious to ride it. Dan and I sat in the front of the car, with Matt behind us. I wasn’t expecting much, but the ride was great fun. It seems really fast and had strong laterals. The first drop was really great, even if parts of it were painful because of the way I was sitting. Tig’rr is another great family ride and I’m happy to finally have ridden a Jet Star.
Matt ‘warned’ me that Hoosier Hurricane was rather tame, even if it did look like a lot of fun so we headed to it next. I was able to snap a couple of pictures of the structure of Steel Hawg, which was still under construction from the station.
Hoosier Hurricane–The line wasn’t very long, but with a 1 train wait it made the wait seem like forever. Then there was some type of issue as we were about 1 train away from getting on the ride that ate up at least 20 minutes of our time. No big worries, though. Dan and I again headed to the very back as Matt sat in front of us. Hoosier Hurricane had an odd lift hill, with an S curve after the lift. The first drop was good, and while the next couple of hills were fun, they were light on any airtime. This felt like a perfect family coaster, and even if it is the biggest one in the park it’s probably the tamest one as well. I loved the turn around, and the run back was fun as well. It wasn’t an airtime machine, however, the coaster was a lot of fun.
We were leaving the station as we saw Rob and Melissa. Matt and I wanted to get something to eat, but Dan decided he’d go with Rob & Melissa for another ride on Hoosier Hurricane. Matt and I walked down the midway and stopped at the famous Taco Stand. On Friday nite at Holiwood Nights I reminded Frank that he owed me dinner since I was able to complete the Clint Challenge of 2007, which meant that I had to get at least so many rides on a roller coaster for an entire year. I won, so Frank gave me cash for dinner. Well, not only did he pay for dinner, he also paid for my entrance to Indiana Beach, so I scored big time. And the Tacos and Pork Tenderloin sandwich with Lemonade I had for dinner was worth every re-ride I took on a coaster last year. Matt had about 5 tacos.
The line for Lost Coaster was really long at this point, so we decided to skip it again until later. Instead we headed to the skyway, which is the best way to get from one end of the park to the other. I loved the Skyway, I was able to take more pictures from above the park and really get to see how it’s all laid out. During the ride Rob called to tell us they were at the Sky Room restaurant ordering dinner and asked us to stop by. We went right by the Sky Room on the Skyway. Once we got off we headed up.
I’d heard a lot about this restaurant, and it was exactly like I’d pictured it in my mind. We didn’t eat there since we’d just had dinner, but Dan, Rob, and Melissa all ordered so Matt and I headed back out to the midway for more rides, going to the Double Shot first.
Double Shot-I’m really beginning to love these short shot towers. Matt told me this one was better than Holiday World’s, and he was right. I don’t know why, but it was more forceful and gave more airtime on both hops. Plus the view was really nice. We didn’t wait a very long time to ride, and I like how the ride was away from the rest of the park because there was nothing around you to give much of a point of reference. Also, this one shot up from a lower point that most shot towers do, no raising the gondola more than a few feet off of the ground before launch.
By this point Matt and I had been up and down the entire midway. And I had more than fallen in love with Indiana Beach. So we headed back down to the middle part of the midway to get the other steel coaster that Indiana Beach had, a Galaxi. I hadn’t ridden one of these since the Myrtle Beach Pavilion got rid of theirs. The line, once again, was not long so we walked right into the station and onto the train.
Galaxi–I love these kinds of coasters. This one was kind of rough, but still a lot of fun, especially since I hadn’t ridden one in so long. The first drop was fun, but Galaxi coasters are really more about laterals and tight drops. No major airtime, but there are some “Oh my Goodness” moments on the ride. I was happy to get another ride on one of these classics.
We walked up the midway and headed to Den of Lost Thieves. I’d heard so much about this ride since it had been built, but really didn’t know much about it. I knew it didn’t look…that great…from the midway.
Den of Lost Thieves-It was weird sitting in the old Sally Dark Ride cars, but equipped with blasters. I was not impressed when we went down the first hallway and up the little lift hill. I didn’t think it was going to be fun at all. In the end, though, Den of Lost Thieves was a nice shooter dark ride. This made like 6 of these I’d ridden. And two in one weekend. The ride was well done and it didn’t seem like the blasters needed calibrated for once. I love dark rides, and this was surprisingly a good one.
There was only one credit left at the park, Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain. Matt and I went over to find the line still very long. But it was the last coaster I had yet to ride, so we decided to wait it out and got in line. Thankfully we had plenty to talk about, and I got a couple of good pictures from the line.
Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain–I vaguely remember hearing about this ride and seeing pictures when it was being built. When it was our turn Matt and I got in the 2nd car of the train siting backwards. He pointed out the heavy padding. I was kind of weirded out by the lap bar, and when I said something, the ride op just kind of laughed. The elevator lift with the skeleton talking to you was a nice touch. When the ride started going, it began very forcefully. I’ll be honest, other than the 2 wolves, I didn’t see much in the way of scenery. It all just went by so fast. LoCoSuMo was an intense coaster, for what it was. I liked both the indoor parts and outdoor parts. But it was a bit rough. I told Matt when it was all over that I wasn’t sure if I liked it or hated it, but I guess in the end it was okay.
Once we finished riding Lost Coaster we headed back over for another ride on the other coasters. Cornball did seem faster at nite, I really loved that coaster. We rode towards the back of the train again and it was blissful. We also hit up Hoosier Hurricane for one more ride. By this point it was pretty dark, so I got my nite ride on a woody by the water. Hurricane was better in the dark for some reason.
Everything was starting to close. They actually closed off the line for Hurricane while we were in the station. We made our way back to the Taco stand for Matt to get more Tacos, and we saw Melissa, Dan, and Rob in line for Lost Coaster. They ended up with the final ride of the nite. I could have joined them, but I was beat. We were some of the last people to leave the park, and we hung out on the bridge for a bit. Then we got in the car and headed out.
Once we were on the road I stopped and filled up with gas again. We had a long enough drive back, so I put on Daft Punk (Alive 2007) and we talked and goofed off and what not. About half way to Louisville, though, I got really sleepy. We stopped at a Steak and Shake for the kiddies to get their shake on, and I gave the wheel to Matt. I fell asleep in the passenger seat all the way into Louisville. We stayed at a Howard Johnson by the airport with Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in the background. If I’d had a season pass I may have stopped by for a couple hours the next morning. Everyone else left early and took a shuttle to the airport. I left around 11 AM, stopped to get gas, and then got on the interstate, ready to get home as I was at least 6 and a half hours away. But that didn’t happen.
Sixty-one miles out of Louisville, and just a few miles from Lexington, my tired died. For good this time. I called for help and the guy they sent didn’t have the tools to lower my spare. And it was Memorial Day, so nothing was open. I had a very nice police officer take me to a Walmart to pick up some Fix a Flat, but that didn’t work either. So my last resort was to have my parents come and fix my flat. I didn’t want them to have to drive over five hours, but they insisted. And since it was all my father’s fault for not putting my tools back in, I didn’t object.
By this point, I had yet to eat or drink anything. Not one sip of water. And I was going to be stranded on the side of the road for hours. I spent the majority of the time sleeping, or trying to sleep. The hours went by faster than I’d imagined they would. Eventually, Mom and Dad did show up, we did fix the tire, they got me gas and food and something to drink and just made everything all better. We didn’t get home until 2:30 aAM he next morning, Dad driving my Xterra for the last hour as I slept. Then I had to get up early to go to training, but at least I made it home.