ThrillRide! Special Features


West Coast Bash 2011 - Part 2
July 10, 2011

From "The Better Late Than Never" Dept. of ThrillRide! World Headquarters, comes the second part of the West Coast Bash 2011 report. Also, be sure to listen to The Season Pass podcast recorded at KBF, if you haven't already; it's episode 160 and it's predictably rad, my participation notwithstanding.

The general crappiness of my photography on this day will keep this update fairly short and sweet; please enjoy, regardless.

Day Two: Knott's Berry Farm

As mentioned in Part One, the weather this year was pretty out of character for Southern California. And as bad as Saturday was, Sunday at The Farm was even more egregious. The rain gods were having some kind of rowdy kegger, harsh words were spoken, someone threw a punch, and it was on. Hate when that happens.

But even when it felt like we were in an episode of "World's Deadliest Catch," it was still amazingly wicked. Because this day included a walking tour of the Timber Mountain Log Flume. Awesome in extremis.

Our crew didn't do a whole lot of riding this day, but there was one coaster that couldn't be missed, and that was Xcelerator, back on active duty after its long, unfortunate downtime. We had to wait a bit as she got back up to speed that morning, one rollback after another. Our patience was rewarded and on the, what, seventh or eight attempt, the train cleared the top and a collective cheer was raised. Welcome back, baby; we missed you so very much.

While this spunky little Rocket Coaster gets lost in the shadows of its big brothers, it takes crap from no one. Would you like a nice gentle crawl to the launch zone? I'm so sorry, that's not happening. Recalls one of my favorite adages: it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. And this doggie goes right for the jugular. (PSA: Dog fighting as sport is a reprehensible crime and Michael Vick and his ilk are bad, bad people. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

Airtime at 200 feet? Yes, please! So much fun.

And rain or shine, no visit to KBF is complete for me without a ride through the Calico Mine. It's a glorious piece of theme park history, one of the world's greatest non-scary dark rides, and if charm were gold, this would be the richest mine ever. I'm ten years old all over again, every time those little wooden doors clank shut.

Chug, chug, chug! Freudian subtext aside, going into tunnels gives me a very big happy.

Cars Land's rock work may blow this ride out of the water, but I'll never stop loving the Calico Mine Ride. Ever.

On the outside, I'm all mature and "Such a great ride. Well, all good things must come to an end." But on the inside? "It's over?! Noooooo! Wanna ride again NOW!" kicking and screaming down the exit ramps.

Ah, Ghostrider... still very glad Knott's has a woodie...

But I do wish it was the ride it once was and still could be. Not bad, but Apocalypse rules the West Coast these days.




© Robert Coker
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