The motto means "Never forget," but I don't remember what we weren't supposed to forget.
Yes, Clan Campbell! Famous for the triumph of Robert the Bruce over the English--and infamous for the Glencoe Massacre of the MacDonald's (“Aye, laddie, there were nary a Big Mac or McNugget left once we finished orderin' at the Glencoe drive thru!”)--gathered in Ohio to play the pipes and storm the ramparts of Cedar Point the weekend of May 17-19, 2019! Yes, another milestone in Scottish history!
Except that there were no pipes and no storming--and only three Campbells. Still pretty epic, I’d say.
My niece Leslie (aka “Les”) had just finished her engineering Ph.D. at Purdue, and her dad, Ward, was going to help her move. Les and Ward were intrigued by Cedar Point, and Les’s boyfriend, Matt, hadn’t been there in years (his last visit predated Maverick). Ward rented a cottage at Lighthouse Point, and I flew to Cleveland to act as tour guide. (This was my third visit to Cedar Point, and I finally have the lay of the land there.) The weather was great too, so we didn’t have to endure the park’s infamous rain shutdowns.
But we did get their huge Saturday crowds, which we tackled without Fast Lane; Matt and Leslie were on a starving grad-student budget. Still, we managed to get in the major coasters, and we had “Early Entry” privileges.
What did they think of “America’s Roller Coast”?
Great rides they loved: Steel Vengeance, Maverick, Millennium Force, and Valravn. Not much of a surprise there.
Good rides they liked: Raptor and Gatekeeper. Matt had been a Raptor fan since he was a kid, and Gatekeeper was the first B&M Wing Coaster for Ward, Les, and Matt. Even I had to admit a night ride on Gatekeeper was fun.
Crazy ride they liked with some trepidation: Top Thrill Dragster. “Er, are these rollbacks a serious problem?” We had to wait about an hour and saw it roll back twice.
Odd ride they thought was hilarious: Magnum. Who else? Bumpy, clunky, and hilarious to Les, Ward, and me (Matt skipped it).
Weird ride they didn't think was hilarious: Rougarou.
OK ride: Blue Streak. I made sure they avoided the wheel seats.
Cramped, painful ride: Cedar Creek Mine Train
As for the park itself, everyone agreed that Frontier Town and the Frontier Trail were quite nice, but that the Midway needed a lot more shade.
We ate pretty well, too, at Melt and Famous Dave’s, and the cottage worked out perfectly. All in all, a successful long weekend.
Hmm--this looks a wee bit like the place I stayed at last year, only not as close to Steel Vengeance.
“OK, what’s that really big ride?” “Which one?” “Any of ‘em.”
This was our Early Entry objective.
I was hoping that all these folks would run to Skyhawk or Gemini after rope drop, but I was disappointed.
I think Les is ready. Unfortunately, Steel Vengeance wasn't, and our Early Entry was eaten up waiting for them to finish testing.
Ward is upset that he can’t bring his basketball on the ride. Well, he would be if he had a basketball. It’s the principle of the thing!
We will all be reduced to dribbling idiots here without basketballs, anyway.
What? Nobody told me this ride did that!
OK, I figured it would do something like that.
You would definitely lose your basketball here.
“Huh? I didn’t notice that Maverick did that while we were on it,” said Ward as we walked by on our way to Millennium Force.
You see that big blue thing? Just head that way.
I stunk at taking pictures of Millennium Force that day, but this one is kind of, well, . . . here.
Our quest is at an end. God be praised!
What’s this all about? Does it have anything to do with that “Forbidden Frontier” thing that opens next weekend?
You hombres ask too many questions.
Well, I guess we shouldn't have expected a Shakespeare festival.
Er, Matt? There’s a zombie truck behind you. Thought you’d like to know.
“You will kneel before me, Optimus Prime!”
“Go ahead. Wave something red in my face, gringos. I dare you!”
Tonight on SyFy: “Mega-Sharknado: The Truck.”
Time to experience “Macho Overcompensation: The Coaster.”
“Sure, Chuck. We’ll be happy to stand here in the blazing sun while you wait for a train to launch. Don’t mind us standing here getting all sun burned. Are you sure the ride hasn’t broken down?”
We witnessed two rollbacks while we waited. This was not one of them.
I shudder to think how much a trainload of typical coaster enthusiasts would weigh.
There were a bunch of food trucks in the park. This one was suffering through an identity crisis.
We decided on this one.
The empanadas were pretty good.
Hmm--either I’m drunk, or this hat is. More to come.
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