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Coastering in SoCal -- Part V

Author: USRoadTripper
Email: usroadtripper@yahoo.com (More Trip Reviews by USRoadTripper)
Date of Trip: September 2006

Tuesday, September 5th

Tuesday morning found us both sleeping in a tad bit since we were both gonna have redeyes home that night. Once awake, I showered, then finished packing up everything into my backpack. Luckily, everything fit since I hadn't overindulged in souvenirs. We checked out, then loaded up the car (which we hadn't even touched in the last two and a half days), and headed out to find some breakfast. On the way to Knotts, we stopped at a McDonalds for some grub.

We arrived at Knotts a little while after park opening, but the park was really dead, so we knew that lines wouldn't be a problem. Since we didn't find a Ralph's with the discounted admission, Kevin got a AAA discount, which was better than full price at least! Before we were even inside the park, I noticed all the trash cans that everyone always talks about! Too funny! But everyone is right, there are way too many trash cans!

The first ride we went for was Silver Bullet since it was pretty much right at the entrance to the park. Since there was no line, I rode in the front row, and Kevin in the row behind me. I quite enjoyed this ride, and really don't understand why everyone calls it "forceless." It had plenty of forces, just not as strong as other inverts. It was a fun ride, but not one of my favorite B&M inverts.

Since it was nearby, we rode Jaguar next. It was a fine ride, though nothing that thrilling. Montezooma's Revenge was nearby, so we headed for it next. There was no line, but we still ended up waiting for quite a while before they would dispatch the train. This is just like the shuttle loop at Kentucky Kingdom, so while it's a good ride, it's sort of a "been there, done that" type feeling.

The park's frisbee was near Montezooma's Revenge, so I stopped to watch it for a while. I'd been wanting to try out a frisbee that was kind of small, and didn't have an insane program on it, and this one seemed to fit that bill. Kevin didn't want to ride, so I rode by myself. I was quite worried that I wouldn't like it because of the pendulum motion, but in reality I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was fun, and not as sickening or disorienting as I thought it might be. Now I'm excited to ride a bigger or more intense one!

Kevin said that the heat was getting to him, so we popped into a candy store to cool down a bit. We had an interesting conversation about Jelly Belly jelly beans with the lady working in the store, and we tried our hardest to get her to sample some of her product, but she wouldn't! When we were sufficiently cooled down, we decided to catch a ride on the sky tower. I really enjoy these type of rides, and this one was no exception. The glass seemed very foggy or dirty though, so none of my pictures came out well :-/

Kevin still wasn't feeling 100% because of the heat, so he decided to sit out on Boomerang and go inside and stay cooled down. The Boomerang had no wait, luckily, so at least I didn't have to waste half my day waiting to get my head bashed in. Good thing Kevin didn't decide later to go back and get that credit, or he'd have been riding solo! We also noticed that Perilous Plunge was open at this point, though neither of us had any intention of riding.

Moving along, we decided to ride the Timber Mountain Log Flume next. This ride had the only significant wait of the day, clocking in at just a little under half an hour. This, I believe, was my favorite ride in the park. It got us just wet enough to be cooled off, but not enough to really be wet. And it had lots of unexpected theming and show scenes inside the mountain that houses the ride. Frankly, I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain!

Next, we decided to try out the Calico Mine Ride. They were only running one train, which would have made for a terrible line had there been many more people in the park. We waited probably 5 minutes or so, and were on the next vehicle that came by. I enjoyed this ride quite a bit too. But Kevin and I both had the question...does this ride count as a coaster?? It's pretty much like a train ride, or a dark ride, but then it's got a chain lift at the end! If you count powered coasters, should you count this ride? I don't know! It straddles the line between coaster and not-a-coaster more than any other ride I can think of!

We were both getting snacky by the time we left the ride, but we knew that we wanted the Mrs. Knotts Chicken Dinner restaurant to be our dinner stop. As we passed a fruit stand, Kevin picked up a container of watermelon and I got a container of strawberries. We went into the nearby Calico Saloon and sat down to eat.

I just never imagined that I would go so crazy over a bowl of potato and cheese soup...but it was truly a fabulous meal! Best theme park food I've had in a long time!!

As I was finishing up, a show was beginning, so we stayed and watched. It was pretty cute...it was the story about a woman who left her boyfriend because he wouldn't marry her, and he was trying to get her back. It was funny, though I doubt I'd go out of my way to see it again. Before the show, Kevin had also purchased a sasparilla, which I didn't even know that they made anymore!

A show time for the Mystery Lodge was coming up soon, so we headed deeper into the western themed area of the park. This area was so cute, and so well themed. Most buildings had windows that you could peek inside and see little dioramas of things going on at the time. Lots looked like bedrooms or offices, while one was a post office, and one was a gold seller. My favorite was one that appeared to be a man sitting in a barber's chair, while the barber nervously eyed a wanted poster with a picture of the man in the chair on it! Those were great little touches!

On the way to Mystery Lodge, we passed a gold mining sluice, and having wanted to try out gold panning for some time, I decided to give it a go. It was $6 and you got a pan full of dirt and sand to sift through. Long story short, I got pretty tired pretty quick, so I asked the man working there for help. Once he emptied out my entire pan of sand, he'd only found one little tiny chunk of gold. So he reached into a bag behind his back and pulled out a few handfuls of what was obviously not regular sand! Every hadful had a few tiny pieces of gold in it, and by the time I was done, I had enough gold to cover the bottom of the vial they gave me. I wish I'd found more, but what I was got was ok too.

Finally, we headed into the Mystery Lodge. The employee let us into the air conditioned preshow early since it was so hot outside, and everyone was pretty much wiped out and laying on the floor. Kevin and I laid down too, which felt great after walking all morning. Soon the show started, and I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed this show! I loved it! I thought the story was so beautiful, and was presented so well! It even made me misty eyed a couple of times! Kevin didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did, but it was my favorite thing in the whole park! I don't know why people don't talk about it more...it was wonderful.

We wandered around a bit more, popped our heads into the teddy bear shop, and pondered having an antique photo session done. We also found an old schoolhouse with some interesting framed items! One was rules for teachers, with rules such as "After ten hours in school, teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or any other good books" hahahaha Another was a list of punishments for things such as "wetting each other during washing at playtime" and "climbing for every foot over three feet up a tree" haha The school also had garters for sale, so I picked up one since I thought it was one of the more random souvenirs I'd seen!

Ghostrider was the last major coaster we needed to ride, and when we arrived, it had no line. The coaster is very pretty...it takes a great picture! But that's just about the only nice thing I can say about it! After my ride, I now have five woodies that are on the lowest rung of my coaster list...the "never in a million years will I ride that pile of crap again" rung. We hadn't even made it 1/3rd of the way through the ride before we were both grimacing and wanting off. The onride photo is priceless though! I wanted to buy a copy, but no one was manning the photo booth. Unfortunately, this ride has a really nice layout...sort of adds insult to injury to imagine just how great this coaster would be if it didn't try to kill its riders.

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