Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bloodcurdling FUN

Michael, Gabi, Piper and I went to Carowinds roller-coaster park, near Charlotte, yesterday.

The gals set off on their own, while Mikey and I headed straight for the Fury 325, which just opened last week and is billed as the tallest ("at 325 feet, 20 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty"), fastest ("reaching speeds up to 95mph"), longest ("over 6,600 feet long and covering 8.4 acres) and steepest-dropping ("81 degree drop from the 325' summit") "Giga-Coaster" anywhere (or so they claim).  I saw it on NBC Nightly News on TV last week, and decided that maybe I'd give it a whirl.

Surprisingly, the line for it wasn't all that long.  We only waited about 20 minutes.

Tho this next photo was taken on our way out of the park, it shows how steep that 81 degree drop is:

Michael says he's only been on three or so rollercoasters in his entire life.  He went on at least five or six today.

I haven't been on too many of them myself, but knew enough to buy a good elastic eyeglasses holder-strap (Croakies), having had my glasses fall off at the acme of one of the loops on Hershey Park's "Super Duper Looper" one time, many years ago.  Surprisingly (or maybe not) the glasses stayed on the floor of the coaster-car I was on all the way thru that particular ride. . . . but I didn't want to even chance losing them on this monster.

The uphill climb looked daunting. . . .

But Michael had no fear. . . .  or tried to appear to not have any. . . .

I found it interesting that they had built this newest record-setting "Giga-coaster"'s entrance right alongside one of the park's older wooden ones. . . .

That first downhill fall was like nothing I've ever experienced before. . . .  and the other falls on it ran very close to it.  My butt rose so far up out of the seat - in spite of the seatbelt and huge hold-down bar - that I thought I was going to come loose and fall all the way, splat, to the ground.  "It can't get any worse than this first fall" ran thru my mind as we dove down it.  But it did come damned close on the rest of the downhills.  I told Michael when we got off the ride that besides the safety belt and bar across your belly to hold you in they really should add some velcro to rider's butts and the seats.  :-)

We met the girls again for lunch, after which I noticed that my '55 Chevy was parked out in front of the "diner" there.  Mine was aqua-green and white, tho.

The 325 foot "hill" of the monster-coaster forms the backdrop for nearly everything at it's end of the park. . . .

After lunch Mikey and I went on that "mild looking" wooden coaster, The Hurler, for a change of pace.  It was a bone-shaker. Fast enough to give a thrill and rickety-sounding and rickety-feeling enough to re-align my spinal column.

Mikey seemed to take pleasure in pointing out to me that the four-by-four beams holding this one together were joined by only a single lag-bolt at each joint.

After the wood coaster he and I went on the Carolina Cyclone, which turned out to be not nearly as tame as it had looked to me.  Two loops and two long additional sections of corkscrewing track that made me think "Now why did I do this?"

Mikey then wanted to try The Intimidator, one that you stand up in, that takes you thru loops and keeps you upside down for a few more sections than the loops besides.  I took a "by" on this one and photoed him getting in.  I tried to photo him - in the front car - as he came to the bottom of the first "hill" of it, but the ride was going too fast for me to get a shot.

After that one, we met Gabi and Piper again and I spent some time at ground-level with them walking around "Planet Snoopy" - the children's section of the park - while Michael went on The Nighthawk coaster. . . .  one that has its riders standing, lying flat on their back and lying prone looking downward for long portions of the ride.  Mike said that the harness and seatbelt were the only thing holding him as he flew along fully prone downwards for long parts of it.  Maybe I'll try that one next time.

Finally, Michael and I went on the park's other wooden coaster, Thunder Road.  It was designed to have coasters racing side-by-side, but only one side of it was open today.  It was bigger than The Hurler, but with just as much of a rickety click-clack feeling.

So out of the 14 coasters at the park, Mike and I managed to go on six between the two of us. . . . .  Without either of us falling splat on either side of the NC/SC state line.

And I got to do a few spontaneous Rebel Yells.  Ummmm, more like forced Rebel Yells.  Well, actually more like Terrified Screams.

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