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Had a great time hanging out with you, James, Craig and Gage that day Mike, I wish I could have stayed longer.


I rode your #600 (Maverick) and 771, Diamondback with you. Wow, You rode 171 coasters in almost exactly one year. That is amazing.


Great pics and great TR as usual. Kayla and I are headed up NYC way in November, hopefully we can meet up with you for dinner or a show.

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The management team, including Brian, also shut down Firehawk to retrieve my cell phone that had fallen out on the loop. Sorry I couldn't hang out longer, Big Mike, but I had to get that back. The workers at Kings Island are awesome, except maybe for Zach


-James Dillaman

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Hey Fantastic Friends!!!!!



I am just about ready to head out to the COASTERS, CANYONS, CORNERS, AND COWABUNGA TOUR!!!!!




Hope to see a lot of you cool people there!!


The response has been pretty good so far!



We tweaked the schedule around a bit, but I am going to post the FINAL OFFICIAL schedule right now. It still may change mid trip depending how we are doing, but this is the main stuff!



JUST ADDED!!!!!!!!!




GETS IN FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




It pays to be a Valuable Big Mike Reader!!!!!



Also, anyone who joins Big Mike during his visit to Schnepf Farms while they are closed midweek gets to ride the coaster on a special Big Mike ONLY coaster opening!!!



All that news is terrific already, but ONE MORE BIG SURPRISE!!!!!!



The brand new, highly desired, 1st edition SOLD OUT, Valuable Big Mike Reader PINS.....


ARE NOW IN STOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They have arrived!


200 Edition 2 pins!





How do you get one you ask???



Every time Big Mike goes to a park, he will attach 5 Big Mike Valuable Reader Pins to his Official Big Mike Road Show T-Shirt!!!


The first 5 people to come up and ask for one gets them!!!! TPR members only for now since we blew through the last batch in less than a few days!!!



If anyone has a seasons pass to Lagoon and can get our whole gang in with a coupon during customer appreciation week, all of us would be happy!!!



OK, here is the FINAL schedule:



Friday July 31st


Arrive Denver at noon

Santa's Workshop at 2pm

Fish N Farm at 5pm

Lakeside at 7pm to close


Saturday Aug 1


Elitch Gardens at opening 10am

Mile High Flea Market at 2pm

Drive to Salt Lake City Utah


Sunday Aug 2


Lagoon at opening 11am

Hollywood Connection at 3pm or 8pm depending on the day.

Cowabunga Bay Water Park at 4pm to close.


Monday Aug 3


Park City Mountain Resort at 11am

Liberty Land Fun Center at 5pm

Drive to Bryce Canyon


Tuesday Aug 4


Bryce Canyon

Wildlife Sancuary

Grand Canyon

Drive to Phoenix


Wednesday Aug 5


Enchanted Island at 10am

Castles N Coasters at opening at noon

Schnepf Farms at 3pm

Funtastics at 4pm

Drive to New Mexico

Western Playland* at 9pm


*The rest of the schedule depends on if I make Western Playland this night since it is only open from 7pm - 10pm each night.


Thursday Aug 6


Oasis Lanes at opening at noon

Roswell New Mexico to hunt for UFO's

*If I missed Western Playland, then it is back to there and Carlsbad Caverns to see the bats fly out at dusk. If I made it the night before, then it is a drive to Albuquerque.


Friday Aug 7


Cliffs Amusement Park at opening at 11am

IT'Z Center at 2pm

4 Corners USA at 6pm


Saturday Aug 8


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park at opening at 9am

Drive to Denver for Big Mike vs. Big Mike showdowns


Sunday Aug 9


Fly home to Big Mike World Headquarters



Hope to see LOTS of Valuable Big Mike Readers!!!



Follow Big Mike on here and on Facebook (mike betzler) to get up to the minute changes in the plans or to hear how the trip is going!!!



Big Mike also gets Facebook and TPR Big Mike Road Show thread posts sent right to his Blackberry, so an occasional post would make the long drives easier



See you in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas!!!!



Peace, Big Mike


Poor Lucky Dog is sad :( I will be home soon :)


Our drive to drop Lucky Dog off at The Pet Suites of Mom and Dads.


Lucky Dog has matching colors to Big Mike's Scandi shirt!



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Be sure to ride the alpine slides at Heritage Square / Fish n' Farm when you're there in Golden today. They are worth the ride down for sure.



Too bad you won't be in Golden next Friday, the 7th, instead because that's when I am going to be there. If I had a car (or the bus system didn't suck), I'd go down to Denver and meet up for the weekend.

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Hi Friends!!


Big Mike coming to you LIVE from his transportation to LaGuardia airport!!


Everything is on schedule!!



Seems like there are 4 coasters that I know are either closed or I can't ride already!


Hopefully I can get the rest.



Peace, Big Mike

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I KNEW you wouldn't Sue!!!


Way to go!!!


I was a little unsure if it would still be there 2 months later, especially hidden outside!


This is great news.



Also great news, Big Mike has made it to LaGuardia in record time!!


With a few hours to spare now, Big Mike is sitting down to a lovely breakfast:


Chicken Parm

Side of Meatballs


Garlic Knotts

And a large fruit punch!


The trip is starting GREAT!



I'll keep ya updated, but the big news so far....


We have another WINNER in The Mikestery Treasure Hunt Card Game.

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The Dorney Park Mikestery card has been found!


Congrats Sue!!!!






BIG MIKE: Keep this in mind..... Arizona does not change their clocks with the rest of the country, and is currently sharing PACIFIC TIME. This means that when you leave UTAH at 10AM, you'll enter ARIZONA at 9AM. Sounds good so far. BUT, when you leave Tucson at 4pm, it will already be 5pm at Western Playland. If your drive is 5hrs, they'll close just as you get there.


PS - We're still very bummed that we can't get away from L.A. to meet up with you in AZ!!!!

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Hey Fantastic Friends!!!



What a loooooong day yesterday!!


Got back to the hotel and crashed and never did get my wakeup call today, so this will be quick as I am out the door to make Elitch Gardens opening and to meet Jeff!



Here are the highlights and lowlights of my first day of the trip:



- Sat on the tarmac for an hour in Laguardia.


- Sat in line for an hour to get my rent a car. (Now 2 hours behind on trip.)


+ Made it to Santas Workshop and rode the coaster!


+ Checked out Pike's Peak.


- Went to Big Mike's Pies and Grinders for a showdown and the place was out of business.


+ Went to Fish N Farm and rode BOTH coasters, even the Miner Mike!


+ Went to Red Rocks Concert area. (Phish was playing, did not go in )


- Went to Lakeside, and here is how it went:


Cyclone closed (knew that, but still sucks)

Dragon closed (said to be down for the year)

Kiddie coaster - no adults, even though it is the exact same coaster I rode earlier in the day.

Wild Chipmunk closed - drizzle makes the breaks ineffective.


My first ever park visit that I went 0 for 4 riding any coasters.



Today has been revised of course:


Elitch Gardens at opening 10am


Meeting Jeff and Jordan and hopefully more.


Mile High Flea Market at 2pm


Lakeside at 3pm


Drive a long way to Salt Lake City Utah!


If I can get the parks done earlier, I will move the schedules up.



See you guys in Utah and Arizona!!!!



Peace, Big Mike



PS - Still did not book a hotel in Arizona Jimmy or in our last stop by Bryce Shawn.

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That's too bad about Lakeside. They already announced that Cyclone would be down, and us locals know that the Dragon never operates (I've never seen it open). I tried for the Kiddie Coaster last year even though I saw only young children riding it with parents standing on the sidelines - rejected of course. As for Wild Chipmunk, you should have waited out the rain as Colorado storms tend to pass by very quickly. Last time I was there and it rained, they got the coaster reopened within a few minutes after the storm passed. During the summer, it rains here about as much as at Cedar Point. Good luck on your second time around today.

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Hey Friends!!!


Big Mike coming to you live from The Mile High Flea Market in Denver Colorado where I just picked up another coaster credit!!!



Special thanks to Jeff, Jordan, Chris, and Mats for coming out to say hello at Elitch Gardens today!


It was a nice surprise to see the GCI guys there!


Thanks to Jeff for buying lunch!!


Jordan, hope you got that throw up off your leg!!



Well Elitch was just as bad as Lakeside yesterday:


Flying Coaster - Closed for good

Boomerang - Closed for part

Cactus Coaster - Denied

Half Pipe - Never opened!


Maybe next Saturday!



I am off for my 9 hour drive to Salt Lake City now, leave me some posts of encouragement for my lonely drive to keep me awake!!!



Peace, Big Mike

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