November 12-19, 2006: A Trip to Florida
October 21, 2006: A Trip to the Arboretum
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November 4, 2006
A Day at Six Flags




In early November, Ron Mathis, Jay, Fred and myself went to Six Flags Amusement Park out in Arlington. The deal was that it was a "corporate day," where the park sells cut-rate admissions to three or four companies, and only employees of those companies and their guests can enter the park. On the 4th of November, Raytheon was one of the companies participating, so Ron had got us half-price tickets for the day.

We drove out to Arlington and got to the park just after 10 in the morning, took advantage of the free parking, and headed into the park. The day was overcast for the most part, as it was supposed to start raining in the evening. Actually, we were worried because it was supposed to start raining at noontime on Saturday when we were there, but things got pushed back weatherwise so we turned out to be fine.

I didn't take as many pictures as I might have because the day was overcast and most of the rides were so energetic that you needed to spend all your energy just to hold on and experience the ride. But I did take pictures on a few of them and of a few of them, but certainly not all. One of these days, though, I might try to take one continuous movie on some of these really exciting rides.

The really nice thing about these "corporate days" is that the crowds are usually very light. On this particular Saturday, not only was the weather cool and overcast, but not too many people actually showed up. Had we wanted to, we could have ridden the rides over and over again and only rarely had to wait more than five or ten minutes in line. But I learned my lesson at Busch Gardens years ago that repeated riding of some of the more exciting rides can be counter-productive; I remember getting really messed up at the end of the day that Lowery, Ron Drew, Fred and I spent there, and I remember having to stay at home while they went out to eat afterwards. I didn't want that to happen again.

I've included a park map here, not so much because it is important that you know where each ride was, but more so you can get an idea of where the pictures were taken. I won't bother repeating the map over and over, but I have marked it with the usual numbered yellow stars that I can refer to in the short narratives for these pictures.

So here are the pictures and movies that I took during our five hours at Six Flags.

The first ride we were on was called "Wildcatter," and it is one of those "dropping-elevator" affairs. You ride up in kind of a four-person, open elevator car with seats. When you get to the top, the car is pushed outward and then dropped down. The car is actually riding on rails, and is attached to them at the back. You are actually weightless for a couple of seconds before the track begins to slope and the car begins to slow. When you get to the end, you are actually lying on your back, before the car is pulled backward and down under the track for return to the starting point. When we got off the ride, I got a little ways away and took a picture of the Wildcatter Ride.

Next, we wandered down to the southeast corner of the park, near the lagoon, to ride what was one of the first roller coasters in the park, but also one of the tamest- Judge Roy Scream. I took a couple of photos here, but they didn't turn out well.

The next ride was the parachute ride- The Texas Chute Out (#2). This is a fairly tame ride, as you are raised up into the air and then float to earth on a controlled parachute. I did the ride once, then went again so I could take this picture of Six Flags Over Texas.

While we were in Good Times Square (#3 on the map), Ron and Fred took a ride on "Crazy Legs," one of those tilt-a-whirl rides but up in the air. I tried to catch a picture of the two of them as they zoomed past, but they were almost out of the picture when the shutter snapped. See if you can locate them in the picture here.

Then it was on to "Gotham City" (#4 on the map) and "Batman: The Ride." This ride is like the one that messed me up at Busch Gardens. You are seated four abreast in seats that hang from above. As the ride progresses, centrifugal force slings you one way or the other, and the ride also has a couple of loops and twists so you are not only upside down occasionally, but also perpendicular. All in all, it is not for the weak-stomached. Anyway, once we were done on the ride, I stopped to take a movie of a complete circuit of the ride, and you can view that movie using the left-hand player below.

Our next stop was "Superman- The Ride." (#5 on the map) Rather than describe the ride, which was made rather more interesting for me due to the fact that I was already a bit queasy from "Batman- The Ride," comic book superhero characters not, apparently, being my best overall choices for amusement park rides, I will just show you. First, here is a picture of Ron and Jay waiting for Superman. I realize that the static picture doesn't explain the ride very well, so why don't you watch the movie I made of it using the right-hand player below:

We saved most of the roller coasters for the end. In pretty rapid succession, we rode Shockwave (up at the top of the park), the Texas Giant and Titan on the west side of the park, and finally a bobsled-type ride, Vibora, in the Spain section at the south of the park. Actually, I was a little too rocky to ride Vibora, so that is the only one I skipped. But I did take a picture of Ron, Fred and Jay at the end of Vibora.

All in all we had a pretty good time, and my thanks to Ron for getting the tickets.

November 12-19, 2006: A Trip to Florida
October 21, 2006: A Trip to the Arboretum
Return to Index for 2006