Sunday, June 26, 2011

Adrenaline Junkie

I'm on day two of my stay-cation and it is already going by too quickly (sob!).  Today we had Dragon Boat practice (not yesterday, as I wrote in the blog post I posted Friday). Practices will start alternating weekend days from here on out and I got confused.

Last Thursday I had off work as well,  and Joe and I met up my sister and clan for a trip to Magic Mountain.

Joe and I haven't been to Magic Mountain in probably 12 or 13 years.  It's kind of a hike from our house (an hour and 20 minutes), so it isn't some place we think to just hop in the car and visit.

Joe loves roller coasters.  The higher, the faster, the better. Forwards, backwards, upside down, he loves it all. I am not as big a fan as he is.  I used to be a huge chicken and wouldn't go on any at all. Over the years he has converted me and now I will go on many roller coasters and enjoy most of them.  One tip he told me is to keep my eyes open.  Whenever I was scared I would close my eyes thinking it would help, but actually keeping them open so I know what us coming up and not be surprised helped me to not be so afraid.  That and screaming at the top of my lungs.  :)  Now I enjoy most roller coasters and will try almost any of them at least once.

The weather on Thursday was forecasted to be hot and it was correct.  I think it hit a little over 90 degrees.  If you plan on visiting the park, keep in mind that they don't allow any outside food and drinks.  Not even water bottles.  This is such a crock.  I get that they need to make money.  However, not allowing you to bring your own water in and then charging you $4.00 a bottle for it inside is just highway robbery.  They do, however, have drinking fountains with very cold water so you could buy one water and then fill up your bottle at the drinking fountains for the rest of the day, which is what we ended up doing after I ran out of my stash.

Not knowing their food policy, I had brought 3 water bottles with Crystal Light in them and one bottle of Gatorade with me, along with some snacks.  They made me throw the snacks away but when they tried to take my water and Gatorade away I played the sick card. I told him I had Kidney Disease and the water bottles had vitamin supplements in them (hey, desperate times call for desperate measures) and they let me keep them.

I don't usually do well in hot weather (something about the way my body processes electrolytes because of the kidney disease) so I was kind of worried this trip was going to be too much for me. As it was, I drank one bottle of water per hour and took lots of rests and I was fine. But boy was it hot!

I'm so glad I brought those bottles with me because I ended up drinking around 7 or 8 bottles of water and I used the bottles I brought to fill up at the drinking fountains.  If I had to buy all that water it would have cost me like $32!  For WATER.  Insane.

The first thing we did when we got in the park was hike up the hill to the coasters at the top.  We started with Viper.  It was fun but boy was it hard on the body.  It really hurt my back, especially coming out of some of the loops.  It has a lot of loops and curly Q type of movements (if that makes sense).

It's fun.  A little painful, but fun.

After Viper we rode one of their older coasters, Revolution. It is the very first looping roller coaster in the world.   It was pretty mellow.  I  liked it.

After that we took a break and went on the Log Ride where I got so wet even my underwear was sopping and it took me 2 hours to dry completely.  At least it was hot out, and it did feel good, except for the itchiness of having wet jeans on.

It was lunch time by then so stopped and had lunch before we headed over to Goliath.

Their description:  Got a need for speed? Goliath has your answer. Towering 255 feet above earth, this massive steel superstructure hits speeds of 85 mph, making it one of the fastest and tallest roller coasters around.  Enjoy a 3-minute, high-speed adventure over 4,500 feet of steel track. 

The first drop is a killer

I'm not sure what our thinking was to head on such a major coaster right after lunch. This ride is hard core.   The first drop is near vertical and 61 degrees.  It hits 85 miles per hour at one point.  It is intense.  I enjoyed most of this ride. There were a couple of parts where the G force made me feel a little sick but overall I liked it.  Somehow we talked Grace into riding this with us (and she was tall enough).  She was NOT a happy camper afterwards.  She is very brave though, for going at all.  I'm not sure she knew what she was getting into. LOL.

Next we headed over to Scream.   Here is a description of Scream from their website:

Scream sends you racing at intense speeds while strapped in a "flying chair."   Its unique floorless train design gives you the feeling of soaring in air with no track above your head, nothing below your feet. Scream through seven 360-degree inversions and twists-and-turns for a three-minute rush.

This one was FUN.  You would think having your feet dangle and the track above my head would scare me, but I loved it. I wanted to go again.  Loved it.

The we headed over to a classic,Colossus:  

I love a good wooden roller coaster.  They have another wooden coaster "Apocalypse" that we wanted to try but we ran out of time.

After Colossus,  Lisa and the kids went on Tidal Wave, which is just basically a means to get soaking wet.  Since I had only just dried out from the Log Ride, Joe and I sat in the shade and took a little nap.

Next we hiked back up the hill to go on one of my favorite rides, Ninja.  

From the website:

Jump in a jet-black car and ride into a steel free-for-all.  Ninja is the black belt of all steel roller coasters, delivering high-speed thrills and 180-degree, side-to-side swings through hairpin turns and spirals at speeds up to 55 mph.

This ride is SO  fun.  You have to wait a little extra so you can sit in the front on this one.  It is a pretty ride through the trees and I don't think you can see that from the back.  We always sit in the front.  I would have liked to have gone on it  again, but it was getting late and Joe and I wanted to try one of their brand new coasters before we left.

And this brings us to our next ride, which was Tatsu.  Also known as the ride that made me cry.

The reason I don't like (or didn't used to like) roller coasters has nothing to do with the height, or the drops, or even going upside down.  No, my biggest fear about roller coasters is that something on the ride is going to malfunction and I will fall off the ride and plummet to my death.

Don't laugh.  This is an actual fear that I have.  You should have heard me.  On every single ride we went on I turned to Joe and said "Check your harness".  "Make sure it is latched securely".  "Push it down one more click, just in case.  I don't care if you can't breathe.  Just do it".  I said this on every.  single.  ride.  I drove Joe crazy.  At one point he told me if I would just trust that the safety measures were going to do their job, then I might actually enjoy every ride.  He is totally right.  The rides that I enjoyed the most were the ones that  had a harness that comes down from the top and clicks into place.  Even better if there is also a lap belt that goes across your waist as well.  I think it is one of the reasons I like Ninja so much.  I feel totally safe in that little car.

I did NOT feel safe on Tatsu.  Here is a little description of it from their website:

Get ready to fly at the speed of fear. Soar on the tallest, fastest and longest flying coaster on Earth.

3,602 feet of blazing track. 62 miles per hour. 263 feet in plunges. Ready to take on Tatsu?  Aboard the wings of Tatsu, you'll fly at speeds in excess of 62 mph through deep plunges, huge spirals and sharp dives that send you flying through the Park's mountainous terrain.  

The unique thing about Tatsu is the way that you ride.  They tilt you forward so it is essentially like you are laying down on your stomach.  Because the track is above you, there is nothing but air below you.  It truly is like you are flying.  At least that's what I was told afterward by Lisa and Joe.  I wouldn't know because I had my eyes closed the entire time, while simultaneously screaming "IwantotogetoffIwantotgetoffIwanttogetoff!!!"  over and over and over.

Here is a picture of what you look like on the ride after they tilt you forward:

I was very nervous while waiting in line for this ride.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride, but we were already in line and if I decided not go now I would have to step across the ride to the exit and everyone would know I was scared and I didn't want to look like a chicken. Plus my 9 year old nephew was going on it, so how scary could it be?

Let me answer that question right now.  It was SCARY.  I was terrified.  As soon as they tilted us forward and all of my weight was on that harness I just knew it wasn't going to hold me and we were all going to die. (Over dramatic much?)  Seriously, I did NOT feel safe on that ride.  Perhaps that was what they were going for, as it adds to the excitement for some people.  Not for me.  There were actual tears in my eyes when it finally ended and I could not WAIT to get off of it.  

Here's another picture of it:


Oh yeah, and here's one more:  I think I caught a glimpse of this when I opened my eyes for one split second before closing them again and screaming some more. I did not take the "keep your eyes open" advice on this one.  I did NOT want to see what was going on.  I just wanted it to end!

I won't be riding that ride again.  No thank you, you go right ahead.  
Once in a lifetime is enough for me.

After that I was pretty much DONE.    Joe had been looking forward to riding Superman all day, but I was done.  Cameron did somehow talk Joe and me into going on Viper one more time, which we did, and it hurt my back twice as much the second time, but after that we called it a day and headed to dinner.

There were a few rides we didn't get to go on, and Joe still has a hankering to ride Superman, so we hopefully we won't wait another 13 years before we go back this time.

Overall it was a really fun day.

Any other adrenaline junkies out there?  What is your favorite roller coaster?


Kathy said...

You are one brave lady. Me, I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and hold all others belongings while they enjoy these crazy rides. that is my main job, pack mule and holder of all. Glad you had a good time. Hope your back is better after some rest.

Anonymous said...

I am too old for that shit.

Brenda said...

Unbelievable, Michelle. My favorite would be the NO-COASTER!

Anonymous said...

I used to love roller coasters, but I haven't been on one in a while. I've had issues with my back since last year, and I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to do them anymore.

Good for you for getting your water in. $32 is ridiculous.

Kelli said...

Um, I am nauseated after reading your post! My queasy stomach and bad back make rollercoasters next to impossible for me :(.