austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

The kind of a son makes a mother feel proud

We'd hoped to go back to the Flying Turns but found that by then --- 9:30, a half-hour before the park's official closing --- they had already closed the queue. This was disappointing and we kicked ourselves a little for playing pinball machines we could, after all, find elsewhere instead of going to a unique roller coaster. To console ourselves we went to the Looper, just beside the Flying Turns. This is ride, now extinct except at Knoebels, in which you and a partner sit on facing seats and rock back and forth until you get to tumbling end over end. Last year we managed despite our skepticism about the wisdom of all this to a pretty good ride including at least four rolls end-over-end in sequence.

This time ... nothing. We could get the car to rock back and forth, and almost to the point of tumbling over, but we couldn't get that last little bit of momentum to to looping. I don't know what it was we were doing last year that we couldn't this. I blame Flying Turns. No, seriously: last year the queue for the Looper included a video explaining the ride's history and how it works. This year, the monitor being used for that was over at Flying Turns, providing a little history of that ride, both the original coasters it was recreating and showing off the history of the ride's construction and somehow avoiding the park's general manager crying out ``told you we could build it! We told you all we could so build it!''. That's nice enough as it is but it did mean we were stuck for advice on how to get the fullest possible ride out of this.

Other people did fine, though, tumbling over as much as they wanted. And someone managed to tumble more than wanted, as they had to do some cleaning-up of the ride platform and riders were advised to exit ``the other way''. It wasn't that bad a scene, at least by the time we got to it.

But it did bring us to the end of the night, sad to say, and the closing off of the remaining ride queues. We went back to play a little more pinball, as I remember it, until we felt like the arcade wanted to chase people out, and then we did some walking around the park, enjoying it by night, at least until they started shutting off even more lights. We noted the location of a place selling coffee, on the anticipation that it'd be useful the next day, and when the park even turned off the lights for the giant Ferris wheel we took the hint and left.

Finding a dinner at that hour promised to be tricky; last year we just grabbed some sandwiches or something from a convenience store. My satellite navigator claimed to know where a Denny's was, and it did at that, although it took us on a long and windy path to the northeast which provoked me to say ``I'm not sure that it isn't guiding us into a Tales From The Darkside episode''. Rather than the unseen-by-most underworld, though, we found a college town. We didn't know anything about the community, but within the first few blocks we just knew it was a college town; it had that air. It turns out to have been Bloomsburg, home of Bloomsburg University, which I'd have sworn neither of us had heard about, although on looking back on my trip report from last year I'd run across their student newspaper's report on new Knoebels mascot Dexter the Raccoon, so they didn't just invent a college town out of whole cloth between the last time we were at Knoebels and this time. We just had no idea.

Also it turns out Denny's no longer lets you get oatmeal in a Grand Slam ordered at like midnight for some reason. This throws my whole build-your-own-slam routine off.

Trivia: In the winter of 1776, Henry Knox, chief artillery officer and later first Secretary of War, weighted close to 280 pounds. Before the Revolutionary War he had been a bookseller. Source: The First American Army: The Untold Story of George Washington and the Men Behind America's First Fight for Freedom, Bruce Chadwick.

Currently Reading: The Battle of the Frogs and Fairford's Flies: Miracles and the Pulp Press During the English Revolution, Jerome Friedman. My goodness but nearly every page of this recounts something wondrous.

PS: Machines That Do Something About Logarithms, as who cares if they're going to just idly think about logarithms? We want them to work. Third mathematics post since the last roundup.

Tags: amusement parks, casino pier farewell tour, knoebels
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