Glurg, I'm in trouble. I told my sister I would have a new post up this morning, but instead I shamefully finished off the wine and watched Fringe before falling asleep. Having adventures can be tiring, you know.
Last Sunday's tiring adventure was attempting to ride all ten roller coasters at Hershey Park before they closed. Though I went to this park four to five times a summer when I was in high school, I hadn't really been back since. As a 15 year old, my friend and I would ride the "Sooper Dooper Looper" and race one another back into the line to ride again. Due to our master plan (go to the park on a cloudy Wednesday), the lines were rarely longer than 20 minutes, and the Looper line was practically nonexistent.
As a 29 year old, I went to Six Flags here in Maryland on a sunny Wednesday which happened be shortly after someone lost their feet on a ride at a different Six Flags. Perhaps it was the day of the week or the public paranoia, but the park was practically empty, and we found ourselves waiting under 10 minutes for every ride. Unfortunately, my 29 year old self was not as agreeable to the arrangement as my 15 year old self would have been. Ride number three, a magnetic roller coaster that takes off at 60 miles per hour instead of a slow tow up a hill, left my stomach at the starting gate and promptly shoved it back in when the coaster stopped as quickly as it started. We hung in the little staging area before getting off, and I struggled to keep my innies in and my outies out. I desperately searched for and found some motion sickness medicine, available at most drug stores for under 50 cents per dose. The cost at Six Flags? $6 a dose, which I reluctantly paid since the alternative would probably have resulted in careful inspection of the toilet bowls. Apparently, I need the two hour wait for a ride.
Not wishing for a repeat of this experience, my older and wiser 31 year old self carefully packed some Dramamine in her pocket. We got to the park around 11 am. Only seven hours to ride nine rides (water-coaster was closed). We started with the Comet and the poor old Sooper Dooper Looper. This was THE Ride in the early eighties when it first opened and the first roller coaster in the eastern US to have a loop. But it is practically a kiddie ride by today's standards. Despite the name, it has only one loop, and it is only 57 feet tall. Today, the tallest roller coaster is 456 feet (Kingda Ka at Six Flags New Jersey). Incidentally, Kingda also features the longest drop at 418 feet, the fastest speed at 128 miles per hour, and makes me ill just thinking about it. Kingda kinda makes the "I Survived the Sooper Dooper Looper" tee-shirt seem a bit silly (still available in the original lettering) .
Next, we went for the Great Bear, which winds in and around the Looper, and the Storm Runner, another of those 0 to 72 mph "launch coasters". Ugh. I managed to keep my cool and remain unsick, but we decided to ride the very unscary Trailblazer in order to tone down the tummy rumbles, forgetting that Trailblazer's main attraction is not hills but curves. It would have been very embarrassing to puke there, because the average four year old is unfrightened by the 'blazer.
A new feature at the park is a small zoo, and fees are included with the admission to the amusement park. To keep my stomach in check, we walked across the street to find snakes, scorpions, tarantulas, chinchillas, buffalo, prairie dogs, parrots, hawks, elk, alligators, a crocodile, a bald eagle, and wolves, to name a few. The wolves were all eating except for one unfortunate guy, who paced around the grounds generally annoying the other wolves. He then sauntered over to the viewing area, hunched down, and took a nice dump about five feet from us. This was still less disgusting than the giraffe display I witnessed at the Baltimore zoo a while back, but suddenly the motion sickness seemed like the more agreeable option.
We recovered from the poo and went back for more coasters. It was then that I came face to face with the Farenheit:
I did NOT want to go on this, because I really hate facing the sky when being towed up 12 stories. Just a thing I have. But then Adam gave me these puppy-dog eyes, and I decided I would at least wait in line with him. I fully planned to abandon him at the top. But in the end, I sucked it up and went on the ride. Except for the initial awfulness, which occurs in the first 15 seconds (I counted), the ride is actually really fun.
We managed to hit two more wooden coasters, the Wild Cat (which is a bit bone-jarring), and a new one called the Lightning Racer. The racer is actually two coasters "Lightning" and "Thunder" which run at the same time and loop the people in and around one another. It was fun to see the other carload of people racing towards me, then dipping down underneath or around. We rode Lightning (which lost the race). There was no line, and we could have made a run for Thunder, but we were both queasy at this point. We skipped the Sidewinder for this trip - I have ridden it several times in my day, and Adam had ridden a similar one at Cedar Point. He has had unfortunate experiences with the coasters that go backwards and forwards, and I figured I shouldn't push my luck as I was still able to walk upright.
Our adventure was nearly over. We rode the monorail on the way out, and managed to find the car despite paying no attention to where we had left it in the morning. We arrived home after a stop at Lancaster Brewing Company (eh - it was ok). I fell immediately into bed and slept for 10 hours before heading in to work.