austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

He's never nice, he's never scared

We revisited more rides given that we had the time, such as the Noah's Ark, which I walked through more carefully to see more of the stunts and gimmicks this time, and the Ghostwood Estate, which let me see just how packed the ride was with props and stunts if you shot the targets with the laser guns right. I suppose there's something to its interactive nature, although I'd like at least some of the tricks to be triggered by themselves so you can be immersed in the ride rather than hitting the fire button and staring at targets and laser dots.

And we waited for a front-seat ride on Sky Rocket, the linear motor-driven ride that's one of two rides that the Roller Coaster Database credits with having a ``cutback'', where a corkscrew starts going in one direction and then switches back to the opposite. And we took a ride on Garfield's Nightmare more out of a sense of duty to the ride --- it's a Mine Ride, one of the few still operating, and dates back over a century, obviously not in its current theme --- more than wanting to see Garfield strips in which a thing, eg, pizza, is mentioned, you turn a corner, and the thing is presented as a monster. The rumor is that Kennywood will be re-theming it sometime soon. The rumor's been going since they first re-themed it into Garfield's Nightmare.

Sadly, the Dippin Dots stand which last year offered frozen beads of coffee wasn't open, so bunny_hugger couldn't have that for our coffee-hour refresher. We went to the Parkside Cafe, instead; it goes back to 1898 or so, and we had some soda while on the patio looking around and wondering about the row of tables inside the cafe that were dressed with fabric tablecloths and plates and silverware and water pitchers and whatnot. A small flock of older men wearing slacks and dress shirts came over and examined the tables, but didn't sit down. We have no explanation for this phenomenon.

Towards the end of the night, and after some examining candies in the fudge shop, we figured to binge on roller coaster-riding. Racer went nicely, but Jackrabbit had a long line that got to finally not actually moving. It gave us a fair spot for watching the laser and music presentation, which included baffling choices like playing ``I Can't Get No Satisfaction'' while showing video of people riding Kennywood roller coasters (did they not listen to the lyrics?), or laser animation of football players running, but didn't get us any closer to the ride. Finally we realized what had happened --- somehow the train which was out had gotten stopped, and a technician had to come out and do something or other at the launch platform, just like in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. (Apparently in Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 and 2, he gives the roller coaster a good swift kick to fix it.)

Eventually the laser show ended and park closing music started to play; I shuffled around as best I could to suggest dancing with bunny_hugger in the Jackrabbit queue. The sight of my doing the thing I called dancing must have frightened the roller coaster into working again, and the stopped train rolled into the station and folks applauded. We got a late-night ride on Jackrabbit, from the backmost car if not the last seats.

And, we ran to the carousel just in case we might get the last ride of that for the night. No such luck; they were on the final ride cycle as we pulled up to it. Well, Kennywood is beautiful at night, and we lingered, looking around and taking some last photographs and solving the weird locker numbering mystery.

We hadn't had a proper dinner, so went to our traditional Denny's, where we had a trainee waitress so that she was backed up by a more experienced waitress, who did things like have all the salad dressing options memorized. We got through that without our food exploding or any of the other risks of having a trainee Denny's waitress. And there weren't any catastrophes unfolding at work while I was out.

Trivia: The Imperial Yard and Imperial Pound, physical artefacts defining those standards constructed --- after centuries of competing and unofficial standard measures --- for Britain following the 1824 Imperial Weights and Measures Act were destroyed in the fire that burned the Houses of Parliament in 1834. Source: Measuring America: How the United States was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History, Andro Linklater.

Currently Reading: A Stranger In Olondria, Sofia Samatar.

PS: In A Really Big Universe, or, me dipping into cosmology in a mathematics post without any equations involved.

Tags: amusement parks, kennywood, west pennsylvania parks tour

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