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larrygator's take on the Deep South (Sept 5th-7th, 2009)


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Over Labor Day weekend I decided to make a last minute drive to some of the parks TPR visited earlier this summer on the Deep South Trip. After a 12 hour drive I settled in for 3 nights in Chattanooga as my base camp.

 

On Saturday, September 5th I arrived at Lake Winnepesaukah right at opening. I had a strange feeling overcome me as I awoke, like I was in for a special day. I ended up spending 4.5 awesome hours at Lake Winnie. Then did a little sightseeing afterwards.

 

Page 1: September 5th, 2009 - Lake Winnie

Page 1:Chattanooga sightseeing

Page 2: September 6th, 2009 - Alabama Adventure

Page 2: As Seen on TV store

Page 3: September 7th, 2009 - The Final Stop Dollywood

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Almost forgot, they even had one of these with a wheelchair seat for Adam.

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And I find Jolly, this is the last garbage can topper I found. I had to rush out of the park so I honestly don't know if I accomplished my mission or if I was just hallucinating the whole day.

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Approaching the crest of the Boat Chute, again to get a better view of the park for clowns.

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Not as antique as Jeff Johnson, but probably a credit in his mind.

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I found this clown "doing it wrong" by stopping on the train tracks.

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After ride practically every flat ride I hopped on the train to scour the periphery of the park for missing clowns.

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Even though I had strict instructions to take pictures of garbage can toppers, this pathetic clown pleaded, "take my picture, I'm not cut out for the Little Striker game.

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After a well cooked grilled chicken sandwich (with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce) I explored the rest of the park.

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I snapped this picture even though he said 'I'm BoBoo, don't waste your time taking my picture. I'm no longer a garbage can topper and can not be brought back. I'm just a painted piece of wood, now.

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Exclusive never before seen shot looking into the Castle dark ride.

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Big Bob had been banished to the kiddie rides area, don't know who he pissed off.

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Like Pinky. Don't know what happened, but someone put this baby in a corner.

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The Alpine Way sky ride gives you great views of the park and allows you to see things you might not otherwise see.

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I never got this guy's name, but I'm sure he liked Cannonball, also.

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I was really impressed with Cannonball, great little coaster

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What that's! Another clown, this time Fat Jack

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On the wild mouse I see this sign, but I know the handrail is not nearly as old as Jeff Johnson

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But I'm here foremost to ride, so I take on the Orbiter.

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I still think this is crazy until I run into Sneaky, so I snap his picture.

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Then I hear this "Hey buddy, don't stare, just listen, I'm hiding. I'm Al, it's a cruel joke to be named after Al Jolson. Anyway I'm the Ringmaster's last functioning clown. To restore the rest of Craig Knight's beloved clowns you must take pictures of them all." Then out of nowhere Al vanishes.

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Wacky Worm, Wacky Worm, Wacky Worm. Legal to ride in Georgia.

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More more whirl than tilt, I would rename them all Whirl-A-Tilt

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I tried to chalk up this "happening" to Sweet Tea overload and tried to enjoy this beautiful park. Sure, signs and rides talk to me occasionally, but this is weird.

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A couple of months ago the evil temptress Elissa McNofun passed through here with her gang of rabble rousers and turned my beloved clowns into garbage can toppers. You will be contacted by Al, my only remaining clown. He'll brief you on the mission.

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As I enter the park this guy starts talking to me. "Psst, you. Yes, you with no sleeves. Can you help me out? I am the Ringmaster Craig Knight and I need your help.

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My morning fuel stop.

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^^^Craig - sorry for picking on you and your fear of clowns

 

^^Chuck - since my camera skills (and camera) are weak, I better make the crappy pictures tell a good stroy

 

^Andrew - the rest of the PTR will feature:

Sightseeing and food in Chattanooga

Alabama Adventures

The "As Seen on TV Store" in Pigeon Forge

Dollywood

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After that epsiode with the clowns I decided it was time to visit other sights in Chattanooga. As a kid my family drove through Chattanooga from Orlando to visit my cousin who was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. We were suckered in by the Rock City/Lookout Mountain signs but never did the Incline Railway. I could not let the opportunity pass.

 

For those who don't know Chattanooga was considered a very strategic outpost during the American Civil War and a series of battles occured here. Many historians consider these battles on Lookout Mountain the most important in the Civil War. Lookout Mountain is also home to the steepest passenger railway in the world reaching 72.7 degrees near the top.

 

Enough of the history lesson.

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This place had awesome ribs, but the real star was the Sweet Potato Cassrole. So good, I returned the following night.

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At dinner I got Sticky Fingers.

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But you can visit online!

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Even though they were closed.

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I just had to stop

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Another great tourist sight in Chattanooga.

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View inside the railway

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Coming down the mountain!

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Or real guns

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At the gift shop you could buy toy guns.

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And you can learn why they fought here.

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You can learn about the battles themselves from talking murals.

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You can learn about artillery

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At the top, after taking a short walk you can learn more about the Battles of Chattanooga.

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Right after the trains pass you can see 72.7 DEGREES, not quite as fun to yell as 90 DEGREES.

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The two trains run on one cable, when one goes up the other must come down. It is one track except at the midway point, so that the two trains can pass each other.

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Yes, you need a stinkin' ticket

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The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

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The entrance to

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Seriously the reason for my sightseeing excursion

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Sorry to hear this was under water last week

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No coaster enthusiast trip to Chattanooga is complete without this place.

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As a kid my family drove through Chattanooga from Orlando to visit my cousin who was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. We were suckered in by the Rock City/Lookout Mountain signs but never did the Incline Railway.

 

"Suckered"? Rock City might very well be my favorite (non-amusement park) place on Earth!

 

Anyway, nice TR so far.

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Oh my gosh, since when did Sweet Baby Ray's start putting their sauce in cute little packets for restaurants and other food places to give away with their food?! If I had been there, you better believe I would have stuffed my TPR bag FULL of of those. FUUUULLLL.

 

Great TR!

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Scott - I told you months ago I would be there before Labor Day. You should have cleared you calendar for the final 6 weekends of the summer.

 

10 hours of my life I'll never get back coming up next: Alabama Adventure. Stay tuned, I'll try to have it posted on Monday. No, I wasn't there for 10 hours. I'm including drive time in the 10 hours.

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Alabama Adventure is one of those parks best visited with TPR where you can make your own fun within a large group of friends and pseudo friends.

 

I have been looking forward to Rampage for years, but not the rest of the park. I bought my ticket online and saved $10 and was able to enter the park at opening. The amusement park side was pretty empty (with half the rides not operating), seems like the waterpark is the big draw in the AM.

 

Rampage was awesome for the hour or so that it was open. It was nice that they let you reride if no one is waiting for your seat. However once Rampage closed (after opening late) and stayed closed for an hour I had no desire to stay at Alabama Adventure much longer. The flat collection includes some of my all-time favorites but they didn't run great cycles when they finally opened (I think ride ops were alternating between the flats.)

 

I will give the park props for very friendly employees. They even offered me a free soda because it was going to take 10 minutes to prepare a grilled chicken sandwich.

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As I mentioned in the last set of photos, I ended up back at Sticky Fingers for dinner. Awesome food..

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I stopped at the Super WalMart in Gadsden on the way back to buy stuff to clean my windshield of bugs and saw those delicacies in the bakery department. I looks like somethig Robb would have crapped out after Carrabba's

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Jimmy f'n Page - half DEAD

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Satchmo - DEAD!

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Charlie Watts - ALIVE

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Ray Charles - DEAD!

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BB King - ALIVE

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Elvis - DEAD!

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I loved the artwork on their Musik Express incorporating the greatest living and dead artists.

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Breakdance's are awesome, even when you have to wait forever for it to open.

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One of the best attractions in the park. Seriously!

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I found a gondola that was free of Tyler's spooge and rode this.

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See Rampage is still closed.

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Always a good ride, especially when everything else is closed.

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The Scrambler operated on and off, but when work it just spun around in circles.

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The closed Pirate Ship.

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Although I thought the Space Shot would kill me, I lived.

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Open up you bastard! I want to get out of this place.

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Boomerang #27 for me. YAY!

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Ka Ching

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This is the entrance gate 20 minutes after I arrive. Why am I outiside the gates if I'm running late? Because I forgot Alabama is in Central Time Zone so I'm actually 30 minutes early.

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But that didn't prevent my first stop of the day.

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I left my hotel 30 minutes late as the wake-up call never occured.

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Photoshopped? I can barely take and upload picture, that's how the sign came out.

 

Also, I thought I mentioned months ago that I would be in the area around Labor Day and you expressed burnout regarding parks. Then I thought you were moving to Maryland. Sorry for not following up as i got closer to the date.

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After returning from Dollywood months ago, I mentioned to my friend Linda that I passed a couple "As Seen on TV" stores. Since the local mall only has a push cart of similar products, I promised Linda I would let her know if I was ever in the Dollywood area again.

 

On the morning of September 7th, I called her and she gave me a list of 3 products to buy: a "Bra Buddy", the "Instyler" and a "green thing on a black pole" to clean the windows inside of ones' car.

 

Sounds like a simple task, let's see how I did.

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Continuing on my way to Dollywood, I pass a new attraction being built and my inner Chris Fourmont says: "Is that the real Titanic?"

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The final haul, including the Instyler. They keep them behind the counter because they are so popular.

 

Two days after receiving the Instyler, Linda she burns herself with it. Two weeks later it catches fire and she throws it out. Not a good buy.

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I bought this for myself. Save your money, the product is a sham.

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I'm still looking for the damn Instyler, but found the Micro Touch. I bought this as a gag gift years ago for Linda's husband. He said it was not as gentle on his nether region as advertised.

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Just in case you need an extra lift! I can't believe I just posted a picture that I'm in.

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I haven't seen the commerical in years, but you can still buy the Flowbee. I almost bought one for Piers to make him cringe!

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PediEgg for Men! Who knew?

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Not quite the "Bra Buddy", so I bought two of them in case this is a an inferior product.

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No, thanks! I don't need to scrape off the bottom of my feet.

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Ooh! Ooh! This is on the checklist to purchase.

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Nor did I buy the Mini Burger Sensation That's Sweeping the Nation. I got one for free from Harrah's two months ago.

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I did not buy The Easy Touch, I purchased an early incarnation and it works wonders. Even though I have only opened one can since I bought it I swear by it.

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There are dozens of TVs set up showing infomercials for such cutting edge products as the Egg Genie and the BaconWave. All these monitors create quite the sensory overload.

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I hear that you can buy anything that you see on TV at these places. This is not the largest one of it's kind in the Pigeon Forge area, but it will have to do

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^^^The store is awesome, I just wish I had stopped at the biggest one that was much closer to Dollywood.

 

^^Now Piers, if I had a Flowbee I wouldn't have you waste your time using it on me.

 

^Correct Erik, this "As Seen on TV" store was very close to I-40. Feel free to stop by the larger one and put my PTR to shame.

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I'm going to rush through this posting just like I did with Dollywood. I only had three hours in the park, but since I'd been there before and was getting a Q-Bot I wasn't concerned.

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You normally don't take this tunnel driving from Dollywood to New York. Unless you make a wrong turn and end up taking the scenic route through Asheville, North Carolina.

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Hey Divv!

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And something that only Jeff would call a credit.

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Someplace to see Jeff's immediate family.

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Now my tribute to Jeff Johnson. First, someplace he can never call home, since he won't die.

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This is the Rain Maker. He makes kids wear silly hats and act stupid.

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We call this "theming"

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An even bigger fan of Thunderhead.

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I completed the triumvirate of old water rides with Daredevil Falls. I had never been to Dollywood during the summer before, only for Smoky Mountain Christmas.

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Seat #5. My home for 20 minutes. After sitting down, they halted the ride for 20 minutes. That's 1,200 seconds I'll never see again and that could have been better served drying my a$$ after this ride. This ride is awesome and I felt quite scared.

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He's crafty!

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All Hail! The Almighty Cinnamon Bread.

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Q2Q is the answer to a long line, but could not save me from a drenching.

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At $15 Q2Q is also your friend.

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I'm a fan of Thunderhead

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It always looks crowded at Dollywood, but with so many people here just for the shows, lines are never too bad.

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The Dolly Trolley is your friend.

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