Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Own Ride to the Rides

For the past few years, one of the members of ST.N has planned a springtime motorcycle "Ride to the Rides" that originates near Downingtown, PA and takes a nice, circuitous route to Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, PA. That didn't happen this spring. Boo. 

Since this "Ride to the Rides" didn't happen, Chris and I have been talking about doing our own ride over to Knoebels for a few months now. I took a long weekend this past weekend (vacation days on Friday and Monday) and with a beautiful day forecasted for Friday, we decided to make our trek east for a day of rides.

Oh, the traffic in Centre County!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a motorcycle ride!

Oh boy...we're almost there!


YAY! We've made it!!!

We arrived just before 1 PM and after changing out of our riding gear, we headed to Cesari's Pizza for a traditional Knoebels lunch.

Chris picked up a hitchhiker on the way from the house to Knoebels.

We passed the Blacksmith Shop on our way to lunch.

He makes a variety of hooks and hangers.

Tough gig, huh? Blacksmith at an amusement resort? Seems like it'd be pretty fun!

Yay! Lunchtime!!!

One of us is happy it's lunchtime; one of us is annoyed we have to wait in line.
(Check out my Penguins hat and Chris' OR hat.) 

K-nothing's more fun than Knoebels!

After lunch, we made our way to the rides! We started with the log flume.

We put our hats on backwards so they didn't fly off on the downhills.

We were in the back of the boat. In the front was a father/daughter pairing.

Next we rode the Black Diamond Coal Mine, which was basically a haunted mansion-style ride with a few hills and thrills. The ride had major potential, but fell short of my expectations (for a $2.25 ride). But Chris and I agreed that we liked it better than the actual haunted house. Following the BDCM, we rode the Phoenix. Chris snapped some pictures on the ride.

Chris opted to wear his hat backwards, whereas I chose to hold my hat and sunglasses.

After the Phoenix, we walked past the Flying Turns ride which has been under construction for several years. We were SHOCKED to see cars actually moving on the tracks. Could it be that the ride will open before the season ends?!? 

We made our way to the Flyer ride, which is one that I've successfully avoided the past few years. I don't generally enjoy (or tolerate) rides that go around in circles. But this year, I decided to give them a try. And, I lived!!!

Looks like Chris flew this one into the trees!

Waiting in line to FLY!

Do not whip the sails.
(I whipped my sail.)

After the Flyer, we walked over to the Twister, Knoebels' other roller coaster.

Waiting in line for the front seat!

Again, Chris opted to wear his OR hat backwards while I held my Penguins hat and sunglasses in my hand.

And then this happened...

Guess who lost his hat on the Twister?!?!?
And guess who was nice enough to lend him her hat?!?

After Chris lost his hat...I mean, after we rode the Twister (where Chris lost his hat), we headed over to the Carousel. (I should note here that that hat was the second one that I've bought him that he's lost...but that's over 20 one hat per 10 years...I guess that's not so bad.) Anyway, we made it to the Carousel, but we edged out of outer-ring seats (where you can collect rings), so we got interior up&down horses.

The Grand Carousel celebrated its 100th birthday over FOJ Weekend this summer.

After the Grand Carousel, we were off to the Giant Wheel.

Chris relaxes in our PINK Giant Wheel "car."

Now hat-less for your viewing pleasure.

A view of the park.

The Log "Skloosh," which is different from the Flume that we rode.
It's just up one hill and down the other...with a giant splash!

A view of the parking lot.

There's the Sky View ride...we'll head there next!

There's the giant splash!

There's our C14 (with a cruiser parked right next to it).

We decided to ride the Scenic Skyride. It wound up being our final ride of the day. We got in line for the Motorboats, but it was a slow moving line for a slow loading ride, so we bailed. Turns out that the Skyride was a great final ride - 14 minutes of peace, quiet, and park scenery.

Heading up on the Skyride.

Up, up, and away!

We were on car #1 of 71.

Around the big wheel at the top of the line.

Heading back down.

It's quite a ways down!

The ride down provides great views of the entire park!

There's another shot of our C14...and the giant DO NOT ENTER sign we blow right past to get to the m/c parking lot every year! (There's no other way to get into the lot!)

We left Knoebels around 5:45 and decided to eschew a traditional dinner in favor of a stop at the Lewisburg Freez for an ice cream treat to cap off our day of fun!

Crossing the Susquehanna River.

Taking a picture of my shadow self.

Our shadow.

Crossing the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

The Lewisburg Hotel - the destination of our first ever two-up ride on the C14.

Chris is happy with his small hot fudge sundae. Yes, that's a SMALL!

My small (yup, small) Raspberry Dole Whip sorbet.
We left the Lewisburg Freez and headed west on PA 192 past R.B. Winter State Park to Centre Hall. We scooted down PA 144 to PA 45 and made a beeline for home on US 322/I-99 to get home to Oscar.

Passing the beach/lake at R.B. Winter State Park.

There was hardly any traffic on PA 45 on the way home.

The sunsets over US 322 on our way home.

We got home at 8:21 PM, just about 10 hours after we left the house, with 214 miles logged for the day. We had a fantastic day together! We talked about how much fun it was to do Knoebels "just the two of us." But we also agreed how much fun it's been to visit the park with our friends when there have been "Ride to the Rides" events. I guess the common factor in both scenarios is the park itself. Free admission, free parking, pay-as-you-ride or all-you-can-ride options, good food, clean, family-friendly...Knoebels is awesome!!!

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