Back in 1969, a friend of the family named Phil, took me, and my brothers and sisters to Disneyland. I was only 5 years old yet Phil, put me on the Matterhorn Bobsled. I was scared to death but still went. I held on tightly because, I thought maybe I would fall out. There was only a seat belt to hold you in. At 5 years of age, a lot of things scare you. Afterwards, I wanted to go again and again and again.
My mother was in shock when she found out that I had rode the Matterhorn Bobsled, because she invisioned me screaming, and crying on the whole ride. Of course, I did. Then again, I was still afraid of the Pirates of the Carribean and did not like riding. My Mother could not forget hearing me scream, and cry because, I thought the pirates were going to get me. I was also afraid of the Haunted Mansion and did not want to be followed home by some hitch hiking ghost. I didn't like the talking statues.
I overcame my fear of the Pirates of the Carribean, when Phil played dead after the dude on the barrel shot his pistol. At first, I cried, and then I laughed when I saw Phil get up and tell me that the Pirates was not a scary ride. Phil also helped me overcome my fear of the Haunted Mansion by waving at the ghosts.
So I enjoyed the Matterhorn Bobsled before 2 other Disney rides: the Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion.
Later, I started to go to Magic Mountain and rode the Mountain Express, Gold Rusher, and The Revolution when restraints were limited to a single lapbar
When Collosus opened I took a girl from Garden Grove named Julie. The wild ride included an awesome bunny hop, and made Julie scream very loud. After this trip, I was hooked on rollercoasters. Note: This bunny hop has now been removed after a woman was thrown from the ride which did not change my mind about rollercoasters. So I like to live a little bit danger from time to time.
Collosus was featured in the Guiness Book of World Records as the tallest and longest wooden rollercoaster on the planet. Other rides mentioned included The Great American Sream Machine, which had the record previously, and The Coney Island Cyclone which was one of the oldest rollercoasters.
In high school, I did a research paper on rollercoasters, and wrote a boogie tune called Rollercoaster Boogie. At this time, I looked at the new Guiness Book of World Records and found out about the Beast beating Collosus as the longest rollercoaster on earth. I learned of many other rollercoasters across the country including the Mindbender, the first triple loop rollercoaster in the world. In 1980, I told my friend Jim, that I wanted to plan the ultimate rollercoaster tour and he said "How are you going to afford it". I had no clue then but, I knew the time would come that I could.
When I told my Mother I wanted to do this, she worried about me.
In 1996, my Mother passed away, and I decided it was time to make my dream come true. The best way to do this, was driving the whole thing. I calculated the drive would be a t least 15,000 miles. So I was off a few thousand miles.
In March of 1999, my Subaru broke 250,000 miles. Now, I wanted to do something special. At the same time, my current job was selling computers at the Good Guys. When I heard that computers were no longer to be sold at Good Guys as of summer, I had to do something.
Either I could reapply for another job or take a long vacation. My sales at the Good Guys were awesome thanks to a salesperson named Mike, who kept me on my toes. I was the top salesperson for over a year, so I did not like to be beat by anybody. To beat Mike, I had to work harder, which made me earn more money, thus allowed me to afford this crazy an awesome tour.
My last vacation was when I went to Europe in 1990 with my mother for 2 weeks, so I was long overdue for one. I started to look for rollercoaster web sites. This was when I learned about rollercoaster.com.
In April, I asked my mechanic, Ed, at ISR if my car could make a 20,000 mile road trip. He responded "Yes" but had to do some maintenance to prepare the car for the journey.. Now the car was fit to go. I acquired the program: National Geographic Trip Planner 1999 from Comp USA to help plot the trip and figure out the distance that I would travel on the trip. This was when I learned the trip distance was more than 15,000 miles, more than 20,000. In fact the total miles exceeded 25,000 !! My Father worried about me, but gave me his blessing. He asked me to call him, every week or so.
In June, I ordered a few books from Barnes and Noble via the internet. Saturday, June 19, 1999 became my last day at the Good Guys. On that following Monday morning, June 21, at 6:45, I embarked on the Great North American Rollercoaster Tour 1999. Total preparation was only a few hours. Some thought I need more time to prepare, others thought I was being careless. My father only approved because he knew he could not talk me out of it. Once I dedicate myself to something, I see it through.
I dedicate this trip to my Mother, who is in heaven. I have fulfilled my dream. The memories will last forever. From the adrenaline rush on the Incredible Hulk, to the terror of The Riverside Cyclone, to the beauty of New England and the wonderful cities of Montreal and Toronto. This is what dreams are made of. As for the pain in my leg, it finally healed after several months. If I did this again at the same level of intensity then I would consider myself to be foolish.
That's the story, and so now you know more about me, how I got hooked on rollercoasters, and how I was able to afford this awesome tour.
If you do not think I did this trip, challenge me. You pay for the trip and my time, and I will brave this trip again, in the exact same order listed. All I ask is that we start a month earlier, and you verify each ride I take. This way, I can enjoy the trip, while keeping a journal as I did on this trip, without worrying about deadleg set ting in.