The Days are Winding Down….

We are now in our last week of full time at Adventureland.  After this week the park will only be open weekends till the end of Sept.  So now we can say….”This is the last Monday….This is the last Tuesday….This is the last Wednesday…….”  The general feeling through out the park is the same.  Were all glad it is going to slow down.   Were all tired.  So I will give you a little up date on what has been going on.  Last week Rich was the Outlaw operator.

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It is one of the big roller coasters in the park.  It is an all wooden coaster, located in the Outlaw Gulch.

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This is the gulch area.  It has a western theme.

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This is Saw Mill Splash which is near the Outlaw.  It is a fun water ride that I would like to ride, but I think were running out of time.

We are only allowed in the park on weekdays free, so this is the last week.  Last Friday, which was our day off, we decided to take that opportunity to do some of the things in the park that we wanted to do.  Top on the list.  Buy one of those FABULOUS “Loaded Funnel Cakes” that walk by us all the time.

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Now picture this funnel cake….put a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle…fresh peaches and strawberries around it….drizzle chocolate and strawberry syrup on top….drizzle glaze over the whole thing….lastly dollops of whip cream over the tops…..All for $9.75..…I was going to take a picture before we dived in but forgot.  We sat down by the water on a picnic table and FEASTED…..MMmmmmm….it was so good….

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One of the rides I had wanted to ride was the Underground.  It is a rollercoaster ride in a cave.  It is the story about Bad Bob the bank robber who hid down in the cave with his stolen gold…..lol…

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This is where you line up 2 in each stall. When the doors open your car is right on the other side.  You can see the animated miner telling you the story of Bad Bob…..It was a fun ride of darkness, skeletons, a train light coming at you….lol

We then left the park and walked back to the golf cart…..Oh the luxury of having it…Instead of walking back to the Gulch area, we rode back on the company access road.  Rich bought some of his wonderful Kettle Corn.

They cook in a huge kettle outside.  So 2 more bags and we got back in our golf cart.

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On this access road, you get a view of the rollercoasters some never see.  This is the Tornado with the Storm Search in the background.  Another wooden rollercoaster.  It is all painted white with blue cars.  They also have a set of red cars they used at the beginning of the season.  Rich will be the Assist on the Tornado this week.

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On the drive up the road, we also stopped on the back road to see the loading zone for the Tornado.  The building on the right with lights on is the load, unload area.  They had just came down the track and rounded the corner.   See the blue blurrrrrrrrrrrr……That’s the cars…lol…

 

Here they are approaching the first and highest hill.  On the side is the employee access road and then the main road of town.  It was approaching nite so some of the pictures are sort of dark.  So that was our trip on Friday.  I was asked about a week ago to do an evening in rides.   So I said sure.  I went to the Rides desk and was given the Dragon Assist.     Another big roller coaster.

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Rich has been an Assist on this one also.  All the coasters take an operator and 2 Assists.  One on each side to load and unload and secure.  Now this was an eye opener for me.  You are constantly busy.  Every 90 seconds the cars are back to reload.  You have to be alert and make sure everyone is safe.  Have everyone in line and ready to go.  Make sure harness and seatbelts are secure.  Always on guard and alert.   The plus side is.  Rides people can bring a stool to sit one during that pause time.   So at break, I went and got one from the commissary.  You have no idea how sitting for 30 seconds at a time helps.  Doesn’t seem like much does it.

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Here is another picture of Dragon doing the loop de loop…..with the Tornado in the background.  Again rides I sure wont be doing.   I would loose supper…..I did enjoy that evening working in Rides and it gives me some thoughts on next year……You just Never Know……In Games we have just been rotating between the 3 areas as usual.   The one game most people love is Bingo….We have a Bingo Room in the Arcade building.  Of course Air Conditioned.   Usually have 2 people running it, one calling and one working the floor.  It is electronic digital bingo.  We have a blower that blows up the numbers and we call them and put them in the slot.  When pushed it turns the number on, on the display board.  They win points on their Arcade card.  Then they go shopping.  It is the place where adults will go when their kids are off running in the park.  They are hot and tired and need a break.  Or some people bring the little ones in, in their stroller so they can have a nap.  Many in wheelchairs or scooters who don’t do rides and just wait for family members to be done……Some can spend hours in their…That is the only AC Games for us.   But it is getting cooler now.  It is so much more fun when the weather is nice.  One of the friends I met here is Carolina (Catalina) like the Island,  and James. They are from Houston.

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Originally Carolina is from Brazil South America.  She is interesting and fun to talk to.  She left Brazil, went to Australia for 2 years and then back home.  Then she came to US and met James.  Not sure how long she has been here but they have been married for 5 years I believe.  The are full time RVers.  They decided it was time to leave.  This wasn’t the job for them.  They are on their way to California to do the Pumpkin Harvest and then sell Christmas trees in Dec. I wish them nothing but…. GOOD LUCK…..I will be following their adventures…… James also has a you-tube video channel…..Wanderlust Estate….He puts out videos of their travels…..I have also found at least 3 other people that have You-tube video channels.  They have all left.  Most of their complaints were, they didn’t like all the rules.  They didn’t like the pay.  Yes, we must have rules.  It is a place of employment of many.  The park has its hours to be open and manned.  We have a dress code.  We have to appear professional.  We can’t eat or relax in the park in uniform.  The one draw back is some of the manages are very young.  As in Games, they are High School age.  So rules are important to keep them in line.  The young managers do a good job, but sometimes don’t know quite how to treat the older people.  I have been fine with them.  They all treat me well.  I do feel respected, but I know their has been issues with others.  Games is an area where mainly kids are hired.  Even 14 and 15.  Some look like little kids, but rules must be strict for that age group, but does cause problems for the older people.  But life has its issues doesn’t it…..Can’t have everything our way…..As far as pay….We have free camping from April 1 – Oct 1…..Pay is $8.50 and hour….End of season Bonus if we stay….$400 to campsite plus .75 for every hour worked.   Now people on SSI already have money coming in.  It is good for us, but those who rely strictly on this to live, it is more of a problem.  Those are the people who are having a problem with this job.  They want and need more immediate compensation.   Their are many people going to the Sugar Beets in the Dakotas starting next month.   It is hard work, 12 hour shifts, all outside.  You will probably be handed a shovel your first year….lol…They say some can make up to $8,000 in several weeks.  Some go to the different Amazon plants.  Their is an Amazon Work Force that does workamping hiring.  You also get free camping of you get your reservation in early.  But it is all warehouse work for the Christmas Season.  You are released on Dec. 24th.  NOPE  Not for us either.   We don’t want to do warehouse work.

  ……….I LEFT THAT  FOREVER…….NEVER AGAIN……

So today is Wednesday…..Last Wed. of work…..YaHoooooooooo…..Ill leave you with an evening view of the

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We Rode The Tail of The Dragon……Rich’s Bucket List…….

We left Chattanooga for New Tazewell Tennessee.  We had to take the back way in the morning as the underpass was still flooded and closed.  We now had to cut across the state of Tennessee catty corner.  New Tazewell is an hour from Knoxville on the other end of the state.  Julie had made reservations for us at the Cedar Lake Marina on Norris Lake…..An Absolutely beautiful area.  She met us on the highway and took us in to the marina. So many boats and house boats…..

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I met Julie back in the 1990s, when we worked at Plano Molding.  Chris was a supervisor on another shift.  We worked 12 hour nites….ohhhh…what a long nite it was assembling tackle boxes and Caboodles.  I could do it in my sleep…lol… Their were 5 of us that were close and we started going camping together….Me, Julie, Tammy, who is in Kentucky now, Dawn, and Mary.  We had so much fun at work, (devious fun)…..lol…and also camping.  Any other place we would have been fired immediately for some of the things we did, but that’s another whole blog….Ohhhhh we were such an evil bunch…lol…Julie and Chris moved to Tennessee over 12 years ago.  Plano opened another branch their and he became plant manager.  We were down couple of times to visit, but its been over 10 years ago.  Way over due for a visit.

The office to check in the campground was out on the harbor.  After checking in, we parked and opened up the slides and went to Julies.  Chris just got home from work.  Julie took us to their house.  We hadn’t see Jennifer, their daughter in so long. We met her husband Travis.  Jen’s family has grown from the small little baby we seen last time, to 3 boys…..We went out and ate Italian and had a good time and stuffed our selves…lol…Then we went back to the RV and had a great visit.  Chris decided the next day we would take bike rides….They have 2 beautiful matching Harleys, a Road King and Softail.  Julie let Rich drive hers as he has many years experience. lol.  She trusted him……

The next morning we went to their house and took off.  Now Chris had decided to take us to the Dragon…..I had NO IDEA where or what it was.  It turned out it was on “Richs bucket list”, but he had given it up along time ago.

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“The Dragon’s Tail” is a stretch of road that runs from eastern Tennessee into North Carolina. The road gets its name from its numerous curves, which give it a similar appearance to the tail of a dragon. Due to its turns, the stretch is known by motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts as a great riding road, but the road also has proven a dangerous stretch. Designated US 129, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel. It is considered “the destination” for thousands of motorcycle and sports car fans throughout the spring, summer, and fall.  Tail of the Dragon consists of  318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road….It brings bikers and sports car enthusiast from all over the USA, and the world.  The nearby Cherohala Skyway is quickly becoming a destination too, with its remote 60 miles of breathtaking scenic mountain highway

Julie said it was suppose to be sunny that day.  It started off that way, but the farther we went, the clouds came.  After couple of hours we finally entered the mountains.  Chris took us the back way up.  First we went through the Cherohala Skyway.

So beautiful….breathtaking scenery….every curve was another gorgeous view.  The smells as you drove were so wonderful.  The smell of cut wood in the lower elevations, where there were homes dotting the country side, and as we climbed to the upper mountain areas, the smell of the forests and the flowering trees.  Its a smell that never gets old.  …..

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.And then the smell of coming rain…..We stopped at an overlook and you could see the rain coming.   We took off and sure enough……it rained….did we have rain gear? ….NO….but it wasn’t cold, so it wasn’t that bad.  We dried up and then it rained again.

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Finally we came to Deals Gap, Home of the Tail of the Dragon…..We were so wet.  Julie gave me a sweatshirt to change to.  We eat lunch of cheeseburgers, onion rings and French fries.  Did some souvenir shopping and finally the rain stopped again.  Deals Gap is a pretty cool area.  You can rent a cabin right by the road, or tent camp. From their you can watch all the bikers and sports cars fly by.

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Their is a tree in the middle of the parking lot called….TREE OF SHAME….It is full of broken bike and car parts, that people have put in the tree, due to crashes.  The road has many accidents and claims lives every year.  Trucks over 30 ft. are not allowed on the road.  Finally we took off again, almost dry.  It had been several years, that Rich had rode me as a passenger on a bike, so we took it rather slow.  It pays to be respectfull of dangerous roads, especially in the rain and when your not on your own bike.

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Well along we went and it rained again.  Pretty much kept spitting rain the rest of the trip in the mountains.

But the views and the ride was so worth it.  We seen 1 accident, a crotch rocket had crashed. When we got their, he was up with his bike and ok, but the front was smashed and smoking.   Lesson learned I hope…..lol….Around 5 times during the ride, they had photograpers taking pictures of you.

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The Cover Blog picture is one that was taken.  I hate my picture taken as you know, but I decided to post this one. They can be bought online….What a great gimmick …..We stopped at the other end of the dragon, and the view was spectacular.  In the distance you will see a dam.

They call it The Fugitive Dam.  It was photographed in the movie of The Fugitive with Harrison Ford.   Finally we ended up out of the mountains, back in the main highways and traffic.  It was at least another hour to the house.  We returned to Julies house around 7:30 after riding over 300 miles.  When I looked at the map, I realized that we were past Gatlinburg and half way back to Chattanooga, where we had been the day before……What an awesome day it was, even though it rained 50 percent of the time.  It was on Rich’s Bucket list and now he has made another check off.  lol…Great Ride…..Great Company….Great Day with friends from the past.  Thanks Chris and Julie for the Great Memories of the day…….and Julie for letting Rich ride your beautiful bike….I have to add…..What a great seat….Wasn’t sore at all….Just a little damp…..lol…The next morning we took off.  We were going to stop at another friend from the past, Anita.   Another Plano friend that I haven’t seen since late 1990s….Anita was busy that day, so hopefully we can see her year another time. We worked together also for over 3 years.  We shared some special times.   Onward we went into Kentucky to see another friend Tammy.

We crossed into Kentucky and went under the Cumberland Gap tunnel which is over 2 miles long.  And guess what happened.

  “‘ ….It Started Raining Again….lol…'”