Beech Bend
Dec. 16, 2007

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   Beech Bend opened at 5 p.m., so it was dark by the time we got there. To start, you drive through the Christmas lights set up in the campground. They're pretty cool. The best part was driving through the 12 days of Christmas. The lights are set up beginning with a partridge in a pear tree, followed by two turtle doves and so on.

   After winding through all that, you come to the race oval, which is the parking lot for this event. There's a hay ride or a shuttle that take you to the park. We took the shuttle because it was freezing outside.

   We (Doug, his friend Andy, Christy and I) got off at the park and walked the long way around the pond to Kentucky Rumbler. We'd never been here before, so we just wandered around. We bought our tickets in a gift shop next to the coaster. We got enough tickets for two rides each on Kentucky Rumbler. Off to the coaster!

   Christy and I sat in the back car, and Doug and Andy sat in the car in front of us. This was going to be cold. The ride hosts waited for a few more people to board. They went to the front of the train. We handed the ride host our tickets, and off we went. There's a short prelift run that drops into an airtimeless bunny hop. The lift hill's quick, and the turn before the first drop rules. I like it because it's really quick, and there are some good lateral G's in the turn.

    The first drop has pretty good airtime. It's really abrupt. The rest of the ride is a blur. My hands and face were freezing, so that's what I mostly focused on. But I did notice that the airtime is better than Thunderhead's. It's a lot quicker, and there's more of it. But this ride didn't really have the total out-of-control feeling Thunderhead does. Not that it matters. 10/10. It became my No. 5 wooden coaster.

   We rode twice. We switched seats for the second ride so Doug and Andy could ride in the back row. This ride was just as freezing as the one before. Oh, how I torture myself. It was probably about 27 degrees. Ouch. My exposed skin hurt.

   Two rides was enough. We didn't want to die, so we went over to miniature golf. We rode Bench: The Ride first, then we grabbed our stuff for mini golf, which is free. We played half a round -- nine holes. It was freezing! The course was set up with Christmas decorations.

   We finished that before we froze to death. We sucked, but that's usual for me with mini golf. I didn't see the par on any of the holes, and the score card didn't say. Whatever. It was too cold to care.

   We stood by one of the many fires set up around the park so we could warm up. After that, we got back on the shuttle and into our car. We got our coaster credit in, nearly froze to death doing it, and we played some golf. It was a fun, quick day. The lights set up around the park were cool too.

   I'd like to visit Beech Bend sometime during the regular season. I'm sure Kentucky Rumbler really rips it up when you're not worrying about your hands and face falling off.

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