Buffalo Bills | Stratosphere, NV
Total Timber Tour 2 Blog Day 21
Hello one and all. Just us two here again for the last full day blog.
Before getting onto today, we thought we’d run down just some of the highlights of the trip for us. There have been so many, if we listed them all we’d end up with 20 days blogs on one page, so here are just a few.
Day 1 – Meeting fellow enthusiast Dan at Lake Compounce and Boulder Dash still as good as last time. Day 2 – 2 trains on Comet at Great Escape and no people. Day 3 Goliath and Monstre better than expected at La Ronde. Got to ride front seats on both sides of Monstre. Day 4 – Behemoth turned out to the best steel coaster of the trip at Canada’s Wonderland. Day 5 – Both woodies at King’s Island running so much better than previous years. Day 6 – Last 30 minutes of the day on Volcano at Kings Dominion. Day 9 – Cheetah at Wild Adventures exceeding our expectations and rain clearing park allowing for 2-hours virtual non-stop circuits. Day 10 – Finally getting Cannonball Run ticked off after our 2008 failure at Waterville USA. Dixie Landing was a big surprise for us and housed one of the smoothest Boomerang coasters we’ve ridden. Day 11 – Graceland being much more impressive than we thought it would be and the aeroplane exhibits simply stunning. Day 12 - Ticking off Little Dipper at Six Flags Great America. Day 13 – Prowler ticked off and tieing with Boulder Dash for best wooden coaster on the trip. Personal back of park tour from Brandon and getting a mention on the Worlds of Fun blog also major events for us. Day 14 – The guys at Kiddie Park going out of their way to meet us and let us have a go on their coaster. Day 15 - Both Texan parks better than expected. Hospitality shown at Wonderland, the Tornado ride quality a big surprise and the after-hours chat with the park owner became the non-riding highlight of the trip. Day 16 – Half hour ERT on New Mexico Rattler at Cliff’s Amusement Park. Day 18 – Dipping our feet in the Pacific to complete the Coast2Coast part of the trip, Belmont’s Giant Dipper ride quality improvement and completing all U.S. woodies on Terminator Salvation. Day 19 – Tatsu at Magic Mountain exceeding our expectations.
A bit about the driving also – while it may seem like a big deal, driving in America is relatively easy, especially on the interstates and between large populations. American drivers tend to be very selfish compared to the U.K. but, once you understand that, it’s easy to fit in with the locals. We kept ourselves amused with 1336 songs (6 GB) on our TomTom satnav. We played all the tunes in song title order to mix them up a bit, going from A to Z. Setting this up prior to the trip was quite spooky. As the songs sorted themselves, those with parenthesis were ordered first and the first song on the list was Do the Hucklebuck by, wait for it, Coast to Coast – FREAKY! Driving to today’s destination, Las Vegas, we were listening to songs beginning with “Y” so the guess work on number of songs required wasn’t too far out!
Why Las Vegas? Well, this was added later in the planning after they announced SKY JUMP was open for business. We had already planned to fly back from L.A. and do Universal Studios today, but the thought of an 855 feet jump meant a quick diversion to Las Vegas for the final night of the trip (well 4 hours and 270 miles diversion). Had we known about it sooner we could have arranged our flights home and car hire return from Vegas, but it was all too final, so we have to drive back to L.A. tomorrow.
En-route to Vegas, we stopped by at Buffalo Bills for one go on Desperado. The seats seemed less obvious than previous years and the ride is still quite smooth with airtime.
Was the trip to Vegas worth it? Of course it was. We stayed “on resort” at the Stratosphere. We had pre-paid and booked the jump before we left the UK. Adrian spent all trip trying to put it at the back of his mind until the day arrived, then spent all of Friday with sweaty hands and feet at the thought of the jump. We checked in for our jump to the question “Father and Son?” – Adrian’s reaction was a few choice words! Our time slot came and went, they were running an hour behind time slots, so more time to sweat. We both got harnessed up and then the big weigh-in and, damn, Adrian was too heavy by 3lbs! We worked out the harness weighs 7lbs, so it would have been better to advise jump weight limits minus the harness, so all the sweat and socks for nothing – gutted. Still, Ian got to go and said it was just fantastic. He’s done one similar in Korea, but this was faster with a later brake on the cable, and the worlds tallest example of the 4 in operation.
Afterwards, a few goes on the rides atop the Stratosphere before our final sleep of the trip.
Tomorrow we fly home, but late in the evening, so a whole day to get back to L.A. and, perhaps, squeeze in a final coaster somewhere!