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Coasters & Lamps

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  1. I'm 44 now. I was referring to my first 33 years being spent on the family farm. I moved out after my mother died from pancreatic cancer back in 2010. I've managed to keep myself busy, but I've also developed a very cynical view on the world over this past decade. It's just based on personal experiences. Attending events would be easier if only I was able to drive. Actually, everything would be so much easier if I was able to drive. The environment around me is a bit caustic, but I think it's the surviving members of my family, mainly my father, are who're keeping me here. I live an hour away from home and I already don't see them enough as it is. And with a lot of my cousins scattered all over the country, it's just my father, and the surviving aunts and uncles who still live in the Peoria area. Most of my family have their own lives and my father and I don't always see eye to eye, but they're all I got. My father is 67 and his health is starting to act up and he wants me to move back closer, so I'd feel guilty to move even further away, but I'm just not living up to my full potential here either. It's a catch-22 situation. This is one of those years where I could use a road trip. I lost another uncle last week who was 65 years old. It appears the bowling alley I've helped maintain for nearly 2 years for hopes of a re-sale will get torn down, especially since mold finally started in it a month ago, literally weeks before an interested buyer finally came along. I posted a hail Mary to Facebook since time is running out and while there are a ton of people who want to save it, there were a few ungrateful brats who wanted a lanes of gold who started putting the place down. It's always fun to read those comments, not. I've stuck with the owner when nobody else would and volunteered so much of my time there. And he basically lost his life savings and over half of his retirement running the place. Since he gave me a job, I've been one of the only people who has stuck around to continue helping him with his properties. And I went with him to drop off 2 lawn mowers and 2 chain saws for repair. That was April and they're still not done. In fact, we can't even reach the store owner to retrieve them. And the city fined Art for letting the grass grow too long. If he buys a new lawn mower, like he did last year, someone will bend the shaft, as with what happened last year. There's no guarantee that individual wouldn't use and ruin the next one, so you fix what you have. I'm lugging the bowling alley's mower everywhere and I was moving for someone who hasn't paid me since May. I was invited to to go Adventureland by someone I ran into at a store a couple of weeks ago. I didn't see his message right away, but when I finally responded, he totally ignored me. I sent 4 different messages that were all ignored. All of this drivel has a point. These are examples of what I'm dealing with in this area. I'm tiring of the locals here, especially post-COVID. I really hate the idea of going into another long winter without being able to take a road trip to clear my head. I'm about to the point of saying: "Calgon, take me away!" LOL I am hopeful that things wills start to change in the next few years. One of my reasons for joining TPR was to find like-minded people, but my posts are oftentimes out-of-sync with the general flow and that causes me to hide away most of the time. With the bowling alley saga finally getting behind me, maybe I could move to Bloomington/Normal, which would be an hour in the opposite direction of home. It's a bigger area and probably closer to Chicago and St. Louis than the beer-guzzling and pot-smoking town that Galesburg has become.
  2. Closeted gay from Mississippi...I mean...downstate Illinois. After spending my first 33 years on the family farm, I never really developed the social skills to really become relevant outside of my staunchly-conservative family, hence the reason I never came out, and the reason I come off as so ignorant when I comment on these forums. I searched for years but he never appeared I gave up looking a few years ago. And now middle-aged, I'm too set in my ways to even consider a relationship. That part of my life is in the past, just like finding people to visit amusement parks with. I can't even get to Indiana Beach or Adventureland and it has been 4 years since I've been to SFGAM, KI & CP. The mentality around here is bars and pot. And people around here think that people are too hold to ride roller coasters once they graduate high school. I'll probably be giving up on the whole damn amusement park thing too if I stick around here too much longer. My family members are now dropping like flies, so soon I won't even have them.
  3. It just hit me. Indiana Beach should stick with their Midwest theme and name this coaster "Corn Dreier". I've never had the pleasure of traversing a Swartzkoph loop, so I'm feeling the suspense in awaiting its completion. Though I'm not surprised it has taken that long with all the work that is potentially needed. Unless something else comes up, this will be my very first visit to Indiana Beach.
  4. I just saw a video on Youtube about a lot of their attractions being closed due to half of their staff not returning after furlough. This makes me wonder if this is why Cedar Fair has decided to open their parks late this year. If so, than Cedar Fair is smarter than people are giving them credit for. After all, they are in better financial shape than many other park chains. The bowling alley I worked for, which was closed in 2019, is now in the process of changing ownership and I'm going to help them get the operation back up and running again. There were times when our operations were severely hindered by unexpected employee shortages. One day, we couldn't get a lane man. And on another day, there was nobody there to run the scoring system & front counter. It's a nightmare scenario and a public relations disaster with cranky customers, and it can be very costly. I just never thought I'd see the day that something like this would happen to a Busch Gardens, but these are unprecedented times. Here's hoping they can return to smooth operations sooner than later. I'm also looking forward Pantheon opening so they can start getting their ROI. Both Busch Gardens are on my bucket list, though I probably won't make it to either park this year.
  5. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to experience it by 4 years. But when first rode it back in 1994, people were commenting about how the wheels would come of the tracks. I couldn't quite tell, but it all make sense now. Maybe they were referring to earlier times before this hump was removed. It was the coaster I had ever rode after the Ninja and I loved it anyway. When it comes to the up-stop wheels being in constant use on a wooden coaster, I can swear that was the case in 2015 when I rode Cedar Point's Blue Streak for the first time. It felt like the train was coming off the tracks and slamming back onto the tracks on every hill. But I think it just felt that way. We all looked at the stats and initially wrote of off as a kiddie coaster, riding it just for the sake of a credit. Were we ever caught off guard! Of the 2 people who came with me, it ended up becoming the favorite of the one though all 3 of us thoroughly enjoyed it. We were so glad that we were able to give it a chance. We brought a bigger group in 2016, hyping up the Blue Streak before hand, but it underwhelmed us that year, probably because of the hype. But it seemed decent once again during our last trip in 2017. I'm sure it rides better on some days than others, but I think hype and expectations vs lack thereof are what made most of the difference between our 3 ride experiences.
  6. Adventureland is about 4 hours from me, along with the Six Flags parks in Chicago & St. Louis. Even at that distance, it's hard for me to get to them. For someone used to SFGAM, CP & KI, Adventureland was never on my to-do list until they got the Monster, and when I finally got a chance to go there in 2019, I was blown away by now neat and clean the park was. It also has a certain vibe to it that you don't get with the Six Flags or even the Cedar Fair parks. I'll certainly be going back there again someday. I actually didn't mind the Dragon. It certainly didn't have much going for it, but roughness in coasters doesn't affect me much. I agree though that the Dragon Slayer will be a step up, and I know the general populace will love it. Adventureland has really become aggressive at improving their lineup over this past decade. I don't know if I'll be back to Adventureland this year as Indiana Beach will be my priority for this summer. And if I make it to Indiana Beach, it will be my first visit. Indiana Beach was also another park that I skipped over until it was almost gone last year. And given the enthusiasm of the current owners, next year will be the perfect time to visit it, especially to ride the Swartzkoph triple-looper. They are a little further from me than the aforementioned parks, but not by much. P.S. I must note that I enjoyed the first drop on Adventureland's Tornado. I read all the negative reviews and went into it not expecting much. And when you do that, the ride ends up becoming better than expected. The Monster absolutely blew me away!
  7. With Kentucky Kingdom's Cancellation of their RMC raptor, and no further updates on the South Dakota raptor, I now wish even more that Adventureland would have opted for a raptor first. For someone who lives in Central Illinois, there is no raptor anywhere close and SFGAM already has an S&S free spin. But between the two, the raptors appeal to me much more. It sucks that KK came so close to getting one and had to cancel. Here's hoping that project will be reborn in a few years despite Hershend's strained relationship with RMC. If not, maybe SFSTL will end up with one someday. But I'm not complaining. The Free Spin will still be a popular ride that I'm hoping to try out someday soon. And occupying only part of the Dragon's footprint, maybe they could install an adjacent raptor in the future. My only reservations about riding a free spin is the fear of nausea, which is effecting me more and more as I get older. though strangely enough, I never had any dizzying problems on the 3 spinning coasters I've ridden, which includes the Phoenix at Adventureland, Pandemonium at Six Flags St. Louis, and former one at SFGAM, but flipping upside down may be a little different. I still want to give one a try. The Joker was brand new during my last visit to SFGAM. But we ran out of time and didn't get a chance to ride it, unfortunately. So, as of this date, I've yet experience a free spin.
  8. I'm divided when it comes to COVID. If a state is going to have restrictions, at least do it right. Illinois is allowing water parks because the chemicals in the water have been found to kill COVID. Okay, so is the vapor rising off the water going to kill ALL the virions by an infected host before they have a chance to land the dude he sneezes on, who is sitting right next to him? Of course not! It has already been proven that COVID doesn't spread nearly as efficiently outside as it does inside, especially in warmer, moist air. So I still can't see why the water park was allowed to open while the dry park wasn't, especially in the middle of summer. Either close them both or open them both. I don't know how people can rationally pick and choose one and not the other. With all that being said, I am all for taking precautions to prevent the spread, especially after loosing my grandfather to COVID last November. Half of my family are of the IFB persuasion, and therefore they believed every right wing narrative that comes along without question. Most thought COVID was the sniffles, and at least one still thought it was a hoax as late as last summer. When I went back to the family farm to see my father and grandfather last June, my cousin and her husband were also visiting my grandfather right after they had just got back from frolicking on Florida's beaches. No precautions taken. Once I mentioned something about COVID, my cousin's husband simply said "you can't live in fear". My aunt arrived later that visit, and all she could do was take pot shots at the governor and complain about how it was a violation of her rights to be forced to wear a mask anywhere. I received word at the end of that month that they had all packed into my grandfather's tiny home for his birthday. This is 2 conservative aunts with 10 children between them. And each of these 10 children have children of their own. Add to this a few of their church friends and there were easily 30-40 people crammed into 720 sq. ft. of space. No masks, no social distancing. I knew that one of them would eventually catch COVID and give it to him. Well, fast-forward to early November and I received a message from my father that my grandfather had been hospitalized and on a ventilator after testing positive with COVID. My father, who lives next door to him, had to rush him in on Halloween In addition to the COVID pneumonia, the virus also attacked his kidneys, and fluid built up around his heart. He was in peak physical health before this and still active out on the farm, so his heart was strong enough to withstand the pressure of the fluid, and his vitals remained stable for over a week despite his constant laboring for breath and the damage the virus kept doing. Finally, he started to become less responsive and weaker after a week. On the 12th of November, when it was apparent that the damage was too extensive for him to even make a satisfactory recovery, and the ventilator was on the cusp of causing complications of its own, his 5 children held a zoom meeting and decided to pull the ventilator. He passed away that afternoon...after 13 days of laboring for each breath. While I knew he he would eventually get it, I surely never thought he'd die from it due to his perfect health. Prior to this, he had not spent a single night in the hospital since his appendix burst sometime in the 1960's. He fought off occasional bouts of FLU with no problems and as recently as 2 years ago. This is man who broke his finger a few years back and discovered that his wrist was broken and healed some time ago and he didn't remember when it could have been. I did work with a boxer's fracture and that bad bad enough. He was a hard worker, I don't know how he managed to continue his farm chores with a broken wrist and have it set back up while not being aware the entire time. He had been widowed since 2014, so it became routine for his 5 children to check up on him. His 2 daughters were warned all summer long by the rest of us, but they wouldn't listen in time. And since he seldom left the farm after giving up driving a decade ago, we know damn well that it was one of the said family members who were playing with fire. My blood is still boiling over this. Not only did their ignorant behavior result in the death of my grandfather, but they also put my father & step-mother at risk as well. Luckily, my father didn't get it. Attribute that to mask-wearing or luck. I flew on a plane to visit some friends in South Dakota last August and quarantined for 2 weeks before coming back to the farm in September. I was also planning on visiting Indiana Beach as soon as I got back from South Dakota, but those plans fell through and I had my first year without a roller coaster since 2014. I'm still hoping to get there this year, especially with the new Scwarzkoph they're getting, but I still plan to wear a mask and social distance wherever possible, and I may still quarantine before coming around older people. I doubt I'll make it much elsewhere next year. It is my fervent hope that the vaccine effects will continue to exceed expectations and COVID will be a non-issue, but with the new variants, who knows. There's no easy answers to it. I have an uncle who works at Caterpillar with a couple of co-workers and some of their family members who died form it. There's no easy answers. I just know I want the virus gone.
  9. I recently watched a video about who would want to buy the Six Flgas parks if Six Flags were forced to dissolve, or be forced to sell off. This Youtuber posted a scenario where they only kept their 3 largest parks. And Six Flags St. Louis was one of the few parks he didn't have an assumed buyer for. In the comment section, someone commented that they didn't expect SFSTL to survive past the 2021 season. I certainly hope there's no truth to any of this. Though it has went somewhat downhill over the last decade, it would still be a tragedy to see SFSTL get the Astroworld/Fantasy Island treatment. It was the first amusement park I had ever visited. The St. Louis metro is certainly big enough to sustain an amusement park. And I was under the impression that they were indeed profitable enough to sustain themselves indefinitely. I had always wished that Six Flags could have treated SFSTL like Cedar Fair treats KI. Though they keep KI second tier to CP, they have still made it into a wonderful park that compliments CP, especially with the combo tickets. I had always wanted Six Flags to issue SFGAM/SFSTL combo tickets. Instead, Six Flags seems to be building one destination park while seemingly hoping for the elimination of it's nearest sister park. Isn't isn't so much about the current state of the park, but taking the rumors into consideration as well. Not that I'm putting much stock into the rumors either. I'm just wondering what other people are thinking.
  10. I'm glad to hear that Indiana Beach may be saved after all. Maybe they can shoot over to Galesburg and buy Northgate Lanes while they're at it. LOL Since the owner is the only one of my friends left in the area who is interested in going to Amusement Parks, I'll pretty much be paralyzed from attending any parks until it sells.
  11. I've wanted to visit Indiana Beach, but never got to . I lobbied to make it part of our itinerary during our 2018 journey around Lake Michigan. I was most intrigued by the airtime of "Cornball Express" and the POV of Hoosier Hurricane looked great. I wanted to ride those 2 coasters if nothing else. I fear Denver's Lakeside Amusement Park and Adventurland Iowa could also suffer the same fate some day. I'm not even sure if Adventureland would draw as many people as Indiana beach, does it? The Indianapolis Metro is bigger than the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids & QC metros combined. Plus Indiana Beach would have some of Ft. Wayne & Chicago to draw from as well. I was glad to see that Adventureland was still looking good, and they are making some nice new additions. But they were totally dead when we were there. While the Monster is hard to bead, it sounds like Indiana Beach's wooden coasters were leagues above Adventureland's woodies. I wished I would have had the pleasure of visiting. Hopefully someone would come forward now that there will be a public outcry, but I'm not optimistic. Our bowling alley, which had been for sale since May, was forced to close unexpectedly in August. The owner lost his life savings and his retirement bled into it. And the debt grew so big leading to the state pulling his license. Since August, there has been an outcry, but no new buyers. When were were forced to raise prices, the league bowlers would complain and some even quit. Open bowlers would complain and quit coming. As the place started falling into disrepair with declining attendance & revenue with rising overhead cost, they would blame & crucify the owner. Over the coming week after the closing, in addition to him loosing a nephew to cancer, he couldn't get on social media without seeing everybody, who have no idea of how to run a business, taking pot shots at him. I don't think the individuals of Apex are in this dire of a condition, but the fact that this happened so abruptly makes me wonder if they were unexpectedly forced to cease operations? Both of our areas are shrinking, but you'd think that both of these places could still have enough people to support them. However, so many people just don't care anymore. That being said, and given my personal experience, it is hard for me not to blame the people. The owners don't always make the soundest of decisions, but people can't be expecting them to give everything away for free and keep the place running. It doesn't work like that. It is hard for me to see people who refuse to go to a place, refuse to spend a dime, and later refuse to go because the place is "not good enough" for them. And to ultimately blast the owner when the place finally fails due to lack of attendance that was partially their own fault. But in the end, everybody looses. I can't help but feel some satisfaction in knowing that our bowlers are not liking having to drive several miles on rural roads in the middle of winter. Many wanted our place to close, and now they got their wish and they don't like it. The open bowlers who forgot about the place are now sorry it is closed. Only now do they realize how important is was to our community. So my message here is to get people to wake up and support their local venues and stop taking things for granted.
  12. I had been wanting to get to Adventureland since they debuted "the Monster" back in 2016. On 15 September, I FINALLY made it there! It becomes my 8th amusement park visited after Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Great America, King's Island, Mt. Olympus Theme Park, Cedar Point, Lakeside Amusement Park & Michigan's Adventure. To make a long story short, my die-hard roller coaster friends have disbanded and moved on after 2017 which made 2018 my first "off-year" in 3 years, as far as visiting amusement parks goes. But I was able to talk another traveling friend, who isn't overly fond of amusement parks, into visiting Michigan's Adventure during our trip around Lake Michigan. Though small, I was a beautiful park and It gave me my coaster fix of 2018. Shivering Timbers really delivered! There was talk of my friends returning for this year, but I was skeptical. And come the first of September, nothing had changed. And I was getting increasingly frustrated that I could not find anybody else to go anywhere with. I had saved up a lot of money for summer trips and it looked like nothing was gong to happen. But I was finally able to find one person who cared and was willing. We both worked in the pool hall of a bowling alley. But since the alley had to close in August, and since he was in debt, I had to pay his way. He's also not the best driver, so I choose Adventureland since it would be the easiest park to get to. From Galesburg, it is on our side of Des Moines. We'd have to go through or around Chicago & St. Louis to get to the other parks, thus more traffic. Adventureland though small, was the perfect way to save this off-year. So we get there and I was instantly blown away by how perfect the landscaping looked. All the grass was cut and all the bushes were trimmed. It was absolutely beautiful! I'm sure a lot of that is due to the fact that many of the employees are older and are therefore more likely to care about it's appearance. Raging Riverr was a prime example of the landscape beauty. It was 88 degrees that day and that was the only ride that had had a line (30 minute wait). Since regular rides make me dizzy, I came exclusively for the 6 roller coasters. The Raging River was a bonus. The dragon turned out a little better than I had thought. All the reviews talked about how torturous it was. But I know how to hold myself in those restraints and I didn't have any pain whatsoever. It is a short ride, but fairly decent for what it is. The Monster, as expected, was the big winner here. The short trains allow it to zip up and down those hills in ways that larger trains can't, creating some serious g-force. Since I'm loosing upper body strength, the g-forces that pulled me to the right were almost uncomfortable at times, but very smooth and well worth it! Unfortunately, my friend chickened out on the roller coasters and only decided to ride the Phoenix, and that was while I was riding the Dragon. He said it scared him to death, so when I rode it alone, and I felt a little underwhelmed due to his review. It was smooth and decent, and a great addition to the park, but I had no idea why he would have freaked out so much. I thought the underground would be lame, but it was actually much funner than the POVs makes it out to be. There are also surprises that the POVs don't show, such as getting misted by water. It was the only coster we rode together and we both liked it, especially the air conditioning. LOL Behind the Phoenix, the Outlaw was the only other coaster that didn't meet my expectations. I was expecting pops of airtime, but I due to limited time, I sat in the middle of the train. I will defiantly ride it in the back if I make it over there again. So my review of the Outlaw doesn't really count. Tornado, on the other hand, actually exceeded my expectations! I read all the reviews about it being mediocre. And there is a feeling of compactness, but it was actually pretty fun. I rode it in the back and I was actually not expecting that much airtime on the first drop. Maybe it's just me, but it seemed very strong and sustained for being under 100'. Also, they let us ride it multiple times without having to get off. You almost never see that at a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park. I made myself get off after the second time though because I din't want my friend to wonder what had happened to me. We went to an Ice Cream store where I got a dipped waffle cone with 2 scoops of ice cream and my friend got an ice cream cone. Though still expensive, our total was still under $10! The price would have been double at Six Flags or Cedar Fair. The only incident was with my friend (who has a handicapped sticker on his windshield). When we went back into the parking lot for lunch, somebody had taken a tray (presumably had chicken nuggets), wrote a nasty note on it stuck it on his windshield, allowing barbecue sauce to run onto his car. This instantly set him off! On the note, it talked about him being handicapped and needing to learn how to park. However, he wasn't even using a handicapped space and we were parked perfectly! It was just bigots, and that was uncalled for, but so was the way my friend would soon handle the situation. He took the tray and stuck it on the car next to him, assuming it was put there by them. And on our way in, he said he was going to demand a refund on his ticket. He immediately talked to the lady who said she would refund him if he didn't ride any more rides and left soon. But since he threw the evidence on the car next to us, I already knew he would not be getting a refund. So I insisted that I wanted to at least finish my 6 roller coasters, which is what I had went there for. Unlike Michigan's Adventure, which slow dispatch operations that kept is there the entire day, Adventureland's operations were pretty fast. Perhaps it was due to the time of year we visited? 90 degrees so late in the year may have pushed some people away? Anyway, I wrapped up 2 hours after the incident! I had a blast! And we were ready to leave by 5PM so that he get home before dark. And sure enough, that's when they denied him his refund. Even though he didn't ride another ride since talking to the lady, we still stuck around another 2 hours. And that was all moot because they checked the area for evidence and didn't find the mess on his car. He got into a heated argument with her which made me turn deep red with embarrassment. I sat there with my face down as people walked by. I was afraid to approach him for fear of making things worse, and wondering if my ride was going to end up in jail. So I let him blow off steam for a while in hopes he'd come to his senses. They even offered to clean his car for him, but that wasn't good enough for him. Eventually, I stared speaking up, urging him to let it go, and he eventually did. I went back and apologized to the lady as he was walking toward his car. The ride home was certainly an Adventure of its own. He got frustrated because he didn't know how to get out of there, so he impulsively sped over a boundary that found ourselves in the resort parking lot. I was slumped way down in my seat with embarrassment and fear that we'd end up in trouble. But we soon made it out. He had no turn signal and sped up to 95 mph at times. Drowsy for his first hour, he nearly fell asleep a couple of times. He eventually stretched, got coffee, and was good the rest of the way, though continuing to be a bit reckless. I knew full-well that no amusement park, in their right mind, would give somebody a refund due to what some idiot in the parking lot did to them, especially if they investigate and find nothing there. I found it amazing service that they were even willing to do it earlier in the day. Other places would have laughed at him. At the bowling alley, we had customers demand refunds over stupid and crazy things all the time. And sometimes, we'd still grant some of those ridiculous requests in order to try and please them. Its all a part of the reason why we eventually ran out of money and had to close. I don't mean to totally through my friend under the buss. He's younger and not overly educated. He also has a limited understanding of how things work, but he has turned out well considering the family he came from. And he does have some disabilities, and a temper, which doesn't help his issues either. Despite behind a bull-headed, he has a very good heart and means well. We love him to death. He wasn't particularly interested in going to Adventureland, but he wanted me to be able to get there. And in his mind, he was trying to save me money especially since he only rode a total of 3 rides, but I know that's not how it works. You pay for admission and I had no qualms about paying them. Their tickets are quite affordable and they deliver quite a wonderful park for having a smaller metro to draw visitors from. And I do find it a trifle frustrating that everybody around me has to have issues. Where have all the normal people gone?And as much as I'd love to re-visit Adventureland, I won't be going to any amusement park with him again. The Amana Colonies, various apple orchards, etc. are more his cup of tea. I have no problem going to those places with him. But to summarize, Adventureland is a charming park that I'd recommend to anyone! The Monster alone is worth visiting the park and it delivers a world-class coaster experience! The staff are very friendly and accommodating. The food is affordable and the landscaping is top-notch! Most Six Flags, and even most Cedar Fair parks don't match the atmosphere and cleanliness. It is definably a gem in the middle of Iowa. It was also the first park where I could see cornfields from the view of a coaster. And they bend the rules in ways the bigger chain parks won't. Running multiple roller coaster rides without making the people run back through the line, is one prime example. He wanted to do Sawmill Splash at the beginning, but after getting wetter than he had expected on raging river, we ended up skipping it. In hindsight, I wish we wold have rode it too. I'm sorry to have written such a long story, but my ordeal was certainly an event with a lot going on.
  13. It really is a small world. I grew up in Orion and my grandpa lives down in Galesburg still. (Pretty much all my family lives in the Midwest.) I'm shocked to hear about the bowling alley as that place always was busy in the evening. I remember when half the thing burnt down a while back. (Well mainly the attached restaurant.) Galesburg is certainly a slow place minus railroad days and the Stearman fly-in. Back on topic, that is certainly a shame. Do you live in Galesburg or nearby? Do you mind going to parks by yourself and transportation is what's hold you back? It is a small world after all! It's nice to see somebody on this thread who was actually from around here. I live in East Galesburg, along Lake Rice to be exact. Around 2012, I officially moved here from rural Glasford, (Glasford is a small village of 1,000 located on the southern tip of Peoria county.) The bowling alley caught fire in 2010 and the insurance screwed us over. To make along story short, we have struggled ever since. It does okay in the winter with some loss each year, but the dead summers are what are really killing us. I have done Railroad Days and the Stearmen show. They are fun, but this city used to have a lot more going for it at one time. "Art in the Park", "Cafe in the Park", the Threshwood's cookouts, and the bicycling events have all come to an end. I don't mind going by myself. Sometimes that would be best anyway because some people in a group don't want to wait in line, and some just want to hit all the overpriced food places, or blow their money on the games. And some just chicken out and refuse to ride some of the rides. I'm all about running from coaster to coaster! But yeah, transportation has been my main sticking point and I don't mind going by myself. Yeah I'm familiar with that option, especially for Cedar Point. It is just a matter of getting over my jitters and doing it. I have never rode a train before. But I may very well do this soon for Cedar Point. I chickened out last year though.
  14. I would have loved to see Astroworld. I remember being extremely shocked once I found out it was turned into a vacant lot. And I know I will have regrets if I end up pissing the rest of my 40's away without another visit, and that will happen if I just sit and do nothing, which is something I'm trying to avoid. LOL And other thing, I'm starting to get dizzy on some of the rides, which is probably because I didn't get to ride them enough prior to 2012. The longer I go without doing those g-forces, the dizzier they will make me as I get older. The body's inner ear adapts to inactive lifestyles. I don't have a husband or a wife, so it will have to be me, a group, or Amtrak.
  15. I hear you there. Unfortunately, I can't drive, so that makes me almost entirely on others or alternative transportation such as trains. Yeah, I used to make a public post to my 800 Facebook friends to see if anybody wanted to go, and I tried to sweeten the deal by saying I'd pay all the gas expense, but I wouldn't get a single response year after year. So I finally wised up and won't even bother to do that anymore. And when I sent an event invite to the remainder of the one said group to go to Adventureland last fall, I received the similar silent treatment. I won't even bother to mess with them again. I have no idea what the problem is with people in Central Illinois. I did a search of Galesburg, IL and the city has only been mentioned twice on this entire forum, and both times by me. Even Peoria has only been mentioned on here 10 times, and the majority of the references are for the one in Arizona. I run the pool hall of a bowling alley and it seems like 99% of people just want to blow their spare time, and every time, in bars, or they want to go to extravagant parties and smoke weed, and trash the places to the detriment of their landlords. Most people around here are of a cookie-cutter mentality and very cliquish at that. And the few who do go to these parks are also cliquish and would never consider inviting me along. I just don't fit in any of the local cliques. I guess I'm either too responsible or I know there's more to life than wild parties and bars. Heck, the people in Galesburg can't even visit their last remaining bowling alley to save it from going under. And there are nights where my pool hall has 0 visitors. So I'm not rich by any means, but at least I can save some money only most of the people around me. I may come off as ranting, but some people just don't know how lucky they are. I probably will end up eventually taking trains and doing everything myself. But if there is anybody on here, especially if they live near me, who also wants to find people to go with, I'm certainly open to a new group. I know I can't blame the others for moving on to better places and I can't just sit around awaiting their return because life goes on.
  16. I must say that I really envy those of you who get to visit several theme parks each year. I wished I knew how you do it. It seems that those with jobs don't have the time to travel, and those without jobs don't have the money to travel. I grew up in a family who had no interest in traveling. That being said, I was 17 before I got to visit my first amusement park. That was 1994. I had to wait until 1998 and 2002 for my second and third visits to any amusement park. And subsequent visits were limited to single visits in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011 & 2013. But from 2014 onward, I became very lucky and stumbled across 3 separate interested parties which resulted in 2-3 visits each year until last year. The first party was the most coaster-crazy of the 3, and without this party, I would never have made it to Cedar Point, nor would I have ever made it back to King's Island. Unfortunately, they disbanded late in 2017 after the leader moved to South Dakota and the rest have all went their separate ways. I tried to regroup them last year for a trip to Adventureland, but was largely ignored. Though I'm the one who got this group into coasters, I can't duplicate the leader's charisma and motivate them like he could. The head of the second group is naive and thinks there's no place better than SFGAM, and turned down a few invitations to go to CP/KI with the first group. But that didn't happen last year as he got a different job, and it doesn't appear like he will be available this year either. Also, he has a baby now, so things have certainly changed. The head of the third group is almost 72 and was never too thrilled about amusement parks, but was willing to do an amusement park secondary to a road trip, hence the reason I was able to visit Mt. Olympus Theme Park in 2015, Lakeside near Denver in 2016 & Michigan's adventure last year. Hard financial times have strapped him for this summer, and probably even next year. And out of all the other people I know, people are just not interested. I don't know if it is part of the downstate Illinois mentality or what. My step-mother berated me this spring and flat out said we were too old for roller coasters, which is funny because some of the people I have went with aren't even 30 yet. I've also heard others say we're too old. Maybe we are. So for me, it looks like the beginning of another amusement park drought and I'm not getting any younger. It sucks, but it is what it is. And for those who were wondering, I ended up not going to Cedar Point last fall. I just wasn't about to chance the train, especially on that short of notice.
  17. With a couple of friends, I visited Michigan's Adventure back in June during a trip around Lake Michigan. It was my first time there. It becomes my 3rd Cedar Fair park visited and my 7th park visited after Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Great America, King's Island, Cedar Point, Mt. Olympus & Denver's Lakeside. I knew it was going to be smaller, so I kept my expectations low and figured we's only spend about 4 hours there. Thunder hawk was our first coaster ride. I was expecting the usual Vekoma head-banging, but it was fairly smooth for a Vekoma. I actually enjoyed the ride and it was the favorite ride of my one friend. Second coaster was Shivering Timbers, the one I was most excited about. The loading operations were quite efficient and the waiting went fast. And as expected, this became my favorite coaster in the park. So much airtime! 2 of us rode Wolverine Wildcat. Since my other friend is 70 years old and cursed riding the Boss at SFTL back in 2013, I told him that he may want to set this one out. Unfortunately, I we had no idea he'd be sitting on the bench for over an hour. It rough as expected, but we still liked it. I think my friend got banged up more than I did. It would be nice if it had a second train, but that probably won't be happening at this point. 4th coaster was the Corkscrew, which was one of the smoother Arrow coasters I've ridden. And given it's shorter height and duration, and slower speeds, it became my older friend's favorite. It was a bit short and tame for the other 2 of us, but still fun to ride a classic. 5th was the Crazy Mouse ride, which broke down earlier in the day just before we were able to board. Wild Mice don't do much for me, but this was a must-ride given its record size and the fact it was built by Arrow. Again, my older friend sat out for this one based on a previous experience had had with another Wild Mouse years ago. It was pretty fun. The ride is fairly tame, but those final bunny hills had more airtime than we had expected. After riding the Wild Chickmunk at Lakeside, you never know what you will get from a Wild Mouse. LOL We rode it just before close and it would have been a disappointment had we not been able to ride the world's tallest Wild Mouse while in Rome. In between coasters, we rode the ferris wheel which was only using 5 carriages at a time. We have no idea why there was a weight restriction, but it provided a nice view once we finally got on. And they kept us on for a long time. We also hit the miniature golf course, which is in need of TLC, but provided the shape it was in also provided a good challenge. My younger friend rode some of the flat rides, but I opted not to because they oftentimes make me dizzy and I could just ride those at any local carnivals. I searched my phone for a food place that would still be open and came upon Mr. Scribb's pizza. The pizza was among the best I ever had. I get the many others have stopped there after visiting MA. Yes, we ended up staying the entire day there. I thought it was a beautiful and clean park. It doesn't have a huge amount or coaters, but it was nice to visit while we were passing through. Since this is an off year with no visits to any Six Flags Parks or the Ohio Parks, I was going to try to hit Adventureland in Iowa as well, which would also mark my first visit to that park. But any efforts to rally friends to visit that park have failed. With the leader moving out of state, the other members have sort of gone astray. It is too bad as it is only 3 hours away and yet I can't even get them to do that much. But with the awesome trip around lake Michigan, I can't really call this an "off year". We went up through Wisconsin and saw Rib Mountain before lodging in Marinette. In the UP, We also went to Pictured Rocks national Lakeshore and boarded a hight-speed catamaran for a cruise of Lake Superior that lasted 2 hours 15 minutes. Lodged in Municing and saw Municing Falls, Miner's Falls, Sable Falls and the massive Tahquamenon falls on our way to Petrosky. Even Crossing the Mackinaw bridge seemed special. In the mitten, we visited Mackinaw Trail Winery, where we sampled and bought several wines before lodging there for the night. The next morning, we did the "Pirate's Cove" miniature golf before starting our drive down to Muskegon, lodging 2 days there. Day one was Michigan's Adventure/Mr. Scribb's Pizza. And on our last day, we Climbed the 139 steps of the 109' Little Sable Lighthouse. Visited the town of Holland. I even ran up "Tower Hill", a 260' sand dune at Warren Dunes state park, without having to stop to catch my breath! (my younger friend had to sit down halfway up). We were ready to wade in Lake Michigan once we were done. It was 5 days of fun, adventure and exercise. And one of the most beautiful states in the union!
  18. It isn't like I've never made a stupid post, but people have really been hating on King's Island. Since they already spent $15,000,000 on Mystic timbers last year, I knew they wouldn't be doing something huge next year. To my knowledge, the dumbest amusement park-related Facebook comment I've seen this year was from an Ohio lady in regards to Cedar Point. I no longer remember it verbatim, but went something like this: "Steel Vengeance = epic fail. New trains don't make it a new ride. It is still the same old bumpy track" Not to be political, but I went to her page and discovered a meme that read "Here's to us deplorables" below her own caption above that read "we won". I really let her have it! I have no idea how people get off talking crap about that which they know absolutely nothing about. These people belong on the Jerry Springer Show. She obviously had no idea what RMC was about.
  19. It isn't like I've never made a stupid post, but people have really been hating on King's Island. Since they already spent $15,000,000 on Mystic timbers last year, I knew they wouldn't be doing something huge next year. To my knowledge, the dumbest amusement park-related Facebook comment I've seen this year was from an Ohio lady in regards to Cedar Point. I no longer remember it verbatim, but went something like this: "Steel Vengeance = epic fail. New trains don't make it a new ride. It is still the same old bumpy track" Not to be political, but I went to her page and discovered a meme that read "Here's to us deplorables" below her own caption above that read "we won". I really let her have it! I have no idea how people get off talking crap about that which they know absolutely nothing about. The obviously had no idea what RMC was about.
  20. Haha okay. I wasn't actually serious about walking the causeway, that was a joke on my part. But I was serious about walking most of the way from the station, and I've since ruled that out today. I'm not that short on money this summer, and I'm just not familiar enough with those parts of Sandusky to be taking midnight walks. I'm actually surprised to hear of others actually attempting to walk the causeway though. LOL That takes guts...or stupidity! I couldn't do it.
  21. Someone on the USA trip used an Uber 2 weeks ago, so it's available. You might have to wait for a bit but it's available. You also seem like someone who's never used it before, so if you need a referral to get a free $20 credit PM me. Thank you! I'll let you know if/when I decide to head out there. And you're right, I have never used those services before. I'm sort of a midwestern Crocodile Dundee.
  22. Thanks for your suggestions! Uber it is! First off, I am totally aware of the gravity of the situation. And I have this mental picture of how totally STUPID I would look, walking across the thin, rocky shoulder of the causeway, or even the back way and up to the kiosks. And if I actually pulled that off, the employees at parking lot would probably be talking about me for the rest of the season. I've walked all over the Illinois cities of Galesburg & Pekin, and my bicycle is my main form of transportation. I've actually never Taxied or Ubered yet. So that is why I was briefly considering the option. It has just been my way of life. But I know Sandusky, though smaller in population, has killer thru traffic. Even walking to the ferry would be impractical, especially as I get nearer to Cedar Point. Since I have never ventured out alone before, this trip is going to make me jittery. Screwing up my itinerary can mean a homeless night in Sandusky, I'm a little too careful for that. I'll probably wait about a month to make this move in hopes my group is able to miraculously reassemble in time and pull off another trip this year. Though I'm a bit off topic, I must give said group a salute. They are probably about the only group of true friends I have ever had, and I have really missed their prescience this year.
  23. Since I may not have anybody to ride with this year (and maybe from now on), I do want to get to Cedar Point to ride Steel Vengeance at least one more time. I was going to skip this year, but who knows what the next year will bring. I also can't drive, but there is an Amtrak hub in my city. So I'm considering taking AmTrak there. The Sandusky station is less than 5 miles form the park, a distance I could easily walk on foot. The only problem is I have never ridden on a train, which makes this kind of a bold move for me. I would also have to figure out lodging. And I'm sure I will have to have a Taxi or other service to drive me across the causeway. There didn't seem to be an area that was made for walking across. I would appreciate any tips from anyone on here who has Amtraked to Cedar Point. Please and thank you!
  24. From time to time, I have seen people wishing and hoping for SFSTL to be bought out by Cedar Fair. It's funny because I have also seen people clamoring for Six Flags to buy Cedar Fair's Michigan's Adventure as well as some of their other small parks. The grass is always greener on the other side. In June, I visited Michigan's Adventure for the first time and it does have its charm. It is a nice looking park with an open feel. Shivering Timbers is phenomenal and they do have the world's tallest mouse coaster. However, SFSTL is packed with more ride choices, and a bigger coaster selection. I believe Six Flags does a marginally better job of giving TLC to their neglected parks, but a transfer of ownership of one of these parks from Cedar Fair to Six Flags or vice-versa will not make much difference whatsoever. Even though SFGAM can not be an equal to Cedar Point, I really wish SFSTL could become the King's Island of the Six Flags chain. The Cincinnati market isn't any bigger than the St. Louis market. I'd gladly pay $75 for a SFGAM/SFSTL combo ticket, but that's just me. These parks aren't quite as close together as CP/KI. I'm pretty easy to please either way.
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