January 8, 2006
the grin is still plastered on my face
the first time i ever rode the Stateline roller coaster, i was with a bunch of my college friends, driving out to Zion National Park for a few weeks of camping. the ones who had ridden it before couldn't stop talking about it -- how this ride at the California-Nevada state border was the greatest coaster ever, how it even blew away the ones at the roller coster mecca known as Six Flags Magic Mountain, etc. etc. i didn't believe it, really -- i mean, a roller coaster in the middle of the desert? at a casino? come on! when we did pull up to the casino that hosts the "Desperado" -- its real name -- i was still unimpressed. the track that curved over the parking lot seemed pretty flat. there were no spirals, no corckscrews, no loops, no upside-downs. it all looked disappointingly tame. i was so gloriously, completely wrong.
the first drop is about 225 feet, a straight-down plunge to the desert floor. then, for the next three minutes, you can hit up to 90 miles-per-hour speeds, with a few more death-defying plunges. it's nothing short of complete exhilaration. later, i would find out that when it first opened, the Guinness Book of World Records listed it as the world's tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster.
since that first ride, i've made it a point to ride the Stateline coaster every time i've passed it. sometimes my fellow passengers want nothing to do with it. sometimes they love it so much they want to go again (i never argue). it continues to be one of the few redeeming features of a trip to the Neon Digestive Tract of America, aka Las Vegas, where T.T. and i spontaneously went this weekend. he needed to attend a trade show; i wanted to visit a good friend from Okinawa who now lives there. of course the ride was a required stop.
as you have obviously guessed, i am a huge roller coaster aficionado. i love the adrenaline rush, the defiance of gravity, the breathless rushing of earth and sky. i ride in complete silence -- no screaming, no shouting -- with a giant toothy grin plastered on my face. how good the coaster is can be directly measured by how long that huge smile lasts. T.T., on the other hand, is Not A Fan. for him, that rushing of earth and sky is directly linked to the rushing of stomach contents upward. so i was quite surprised when he got two tickets and boarded with me -- that sure is true love! although he did not exactly, um, ride in silence, that man is absolutely my hero. thanks for stepping waaaaay out of your comfort zone, my dear... you wouldn't want to go to Magic Mountain with me now, would you? well, i thought not...
yeah, i'm still grinning! (any takers for that Magic Mountain trip?)
Posted by hadashi at January 8, 2006 11:27 AM
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