austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You'll look so good that you'll be glad you decided to smile

Next to the Bella Musica carousel is the Roller Skater. It's a junior roller coaster, with a height of nearly two feet and with a pretty cute roller-skate-themed car big enough for bunny_hugger or me to fit in as long as we leave our legs in the station. A pack of teens in the group ahead of us screamed as though terrified at this and I don't presume to say whether the loudest screams were from someone very roller-coaster-averse and at the limits of her endurance or if they were just doing it ironically. It's hard on the knees of a grownup. If you're going to ride, keep yourself well-braced.

Then on to T3. This was formerly known as T2. It's a grown-up coaster and one that shows there really isn't a storm theme to their roller coasters except by accident. We knew the ride, though, as it's the same model roller coaster as Thunderhawk at Michigan's Adventure. This was a rather better ride, though, because the Kentucky Kingdom edition has a better restraint system. The one at Michigan's Adventure has posts around the head, which mostly serve to batter the ear when the ride goes through a barrel roll or a sudden turn. Kentucky Kingdom's got over-the-shoulder restraints, sure, but relies more on the vest style restraint and trusts the head to batter itself. So that makes for a much more pleasant ride.

And then we got back to Lightning Run, the roller coaster we'd hoped to start the day with before the weather took it out. It's an attractive ride, with sharp-looking green and purple trains and a deep blue track and as I remember a rather nice, smooth, swoopy ride. It's nearby the pedestrian bride over the parking lot road, so we were able to see that there wasn't any traffic anymore. It was getting on in the day.

We don't go to parks just for roller coasters and carousels, though these are the higher priority rides. Kentucky Kingdom's got a Tin Lizzies ride, complete with a strange sign written in the first person (``as we stepped into the Stutz Bearcat it was as if we stepped into a time warp'') and if that wouldn't be appealing by itself, Cedar Point's loss of one of its antique car rides made it more so. The park also has a Breakdance, which bunny_hugger hasn't seen since visiting Coney Island (New York) with her brother years ago. This is kind of a cross between a Scrambler (the ride even your mom who hates rides will go on) and a Tilt-A-Whirl, with cars set on rotating spokes on another set of rotating spokes, with the cars themselves able to spin around. Our balance in the seats wasn't very good, though, and we didn't get enough spins or, better, the reversing of spins that make the ride one even veteran riders will get sick on.

We paused for a snack, pretzels, and noticed a bird's nest built on one of the park speakers. I'd noticed the bird going to it, first, and then saw baby birds peeping out from there. It's reliably wonderful seeing nature carrying on despite all this un-natural stuff going on.

This took us to late enough in the day we had time to go to one more thing, and we picked Thunder Run, the wooden roller coaster. We hadn't got to ride any of the roller coasters enough, but a wooden one's always going to be special. We were able to get front-seat rides to it, too, on the last run of the day, all the more choice. And that closed the day.

We took the long way out of the park, stopping and photographing all the scenery we could amidst the dwindling crowds. And we stopped into the gift shop again. I picked up one of the King Louie plush dolls, which I figure to send to one of my nieces as part of their collection of dolls that are clearly licensed by nobody they ever heard of. bunny_hugger bought a park penant, which the cashier helpfully folded. While the cashier was working on my purchase --- her register crashed, or something like that, in the midst of it --- bunny_hugger quietly swapped that one out for a pristine penant.

And outside, the parking lot was empty. We knew there wouldn't be many people around, since the National Rifle Association convention was over, and we had spent something like a half-hour after closing in the park. But this really emphasized how much parking there was, and how few people were there yet. I quipped that our car would be easy to recognize since it would be the lone car in the lot. I was too hasty. There were two other cars there, although one of them, the driver was sitting in with the motor revving.

We drove back to Tell City, gaining an hour from the time zones and wondering what we ought to get to eat. That would be Taco Bell, since it was just across from the hotel and we don't know what else there is in Tell City, Indiana, to eat around 9 pm on a Saturday night. We'd already gone to the Mexican restaurant the night before. I double-checked with my sister about getting together the next day and we settled in for the big Sunday meeting at Holiday World.

Trivia: France offered Pope Pius IX asylum when the Revolutions of 1848 in the Papal State produced a short-lived Roman Republic. He did not take it. Source: 1848: The Revolutionary Tide in Europe, Peter N Stearns.

Currently Reading: Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight, Paul Hoffman.

PS: Why Stuff Can Orbit: Why It's Waiting, a holding action on my mathematics blog. Plus Kant!

Tags: amusement parks, kentucky kingdom

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