Exploring St Louis

9th June 2003

Exploring St Louis

Today marked our second and final rest day of the trip, and a chance to recharge before six full days of parks. Our destination for the day was St Louis, possibly the best known city in Missouri. The coaches dropped us off in front of the famous arch, a magnificent structure standing some six hundred and thirty feet into the air. Quite a number of us elected to take the lift to the top. Apparently the mechanism was designed and built by Arrow Dynamics, which seemed quite appropriate given that this was after all a coaster holiday. The seating was particularly cramped for us, which made me wonder whether some of the more rotund local citizens would fit in the cars at all.

After returning to ground level we went for a bit of a wander. The best plan seemed to be a river cruise, which we duly booked ourselves in for. It turned out that there wasn't a lot to see from this vantage point, though at least it was possible to get a good photo of the arch as a whole. We also found our way into the President Casino, where I was rather flattered to be asked to show ID to prove my age, something that hasn't happened in quite a while. Adam was the only member of our group to risk his money, and he dutifully amused us by successfully losing $10 in the space of five minutes. Gambling is not something that has ever interested me much; I consider it a tax on stupidity.

We took a trip on the Metro Link to Union Station, a complex featuring a variety of interesting shops. The ubiquitous tacky t-shirt shop proved the surprise hit of the morning, with us spending a full fifteen minutes examining shirts which nobody in their right mind could actually wear. It was tempting to pick up one or two of them anyway, but in the end we decided not to.

 

Six Flags St Louis

9th June 2003

Six Flags St Louis

On arrival back at the coaches we were told that our nominal rest day was in fact to be nothing of the kind; rather, we were to be treated to a night time ERS at Six Flags St Louis. As usual we would be concentrating on the wooden coaster, but we would be allowed one circuit on Batman the Ride (#150) first. A vacancy for a single rider allowed me a front seat circuit, and from here at least the ride seemed to be running far better than the version we rode last week.

The group then moved to The Boss (#151), an excellent wooden twister from Custom Coasters International. This ride has a rather unusual opening; the large first drop leads into a few seconds of perfectly straight and level track, allowing riders to breathe briefly before the twisted layout claims them. The track was sufficiently bumpy to let riders feel that they're on a wooden coaster without being uncomfortably rough. Having said that, the experience suffers due to the awful design of the lap bars on the trains. Riders thighs take the full impact of the lap bar on every corner, and the end result is quite painful. My limit was four rides, which seemed to be about the average. Having said that, some brave souls managed more than ten circuits; it seems very likely that they'll pay for that tomorrow!