So to round off my travel for the last few weeks, I made tracks up to Lehighton, PA to go to The Woods, which is a campground I visited last October (pictures), but decided to visit again. The reason for this visit is because I have forever heard about attending one of the theme weekends there, and so I decided to go for it.
I left work Friday afternoon and drove straight up there. Thanks to GPS I was able to avoid the hellacious traffic on I-95 and I-83 and make it there in a decent amount of time. I got to the registration desk and the woman there recognized my last name as Italian and therefore after that I was known as "paisan." She also remarked that I needed to grow my hair longer (my DL photo has me with longer hair) but I said I only did that during the winter. She said I need to "winterize it" then. I think I'll stick with my short hair until I have to stop wearing sandals outside ;-)
I got out to the field and got my tent set up. Strangely enough I was actually not hungry that evening so I did not bother cooking. Instead I headed over to one of the sites where I knew that a friend of mine, DB, and the group he had come up with were staying. They had left to go to dinner in town, so I wandered around the campsite and looked at how all of the permanent sites were decorated since last time most people had already packed their things up for the winter. I also took a walk around the lake. Thanks to all the rain this summer, the water was actually coming over the dam and into the creek.
I got back and ran into DB and his crew and hung out with them for most of the evening. We went over to where there was the bonfire and such and chatted with a few folks. I had to stick my fingers in my ears at one point because I could hear someone butchering "Last Dance" over at karaoke. I refuse to let anyone ruin Donna Summer for me ;-) Friday night ended up being chilly with plenty of dew by 10 PM, which made for a chilly tent, but luckily I managed just fine.
Saturday was spent hanging out by the pool for the most part. It both helped and hurt that it was overcast out (storms were going to come along later). Still was enjoyable for the most part. Nothing really to report there except for laying out and having a few beers in the afternoon before heading back to the tent to fry up some burgers for dinner. Afterward I was over at one of the sites hanging out with buds until the thunderstorms started around 9ish. For the next five hours or so it would pour rain and flash lightning. Things looked okay at first, but then the ground ended up saturated and so the water started to run. I was concerned because I was towards the bottom of a slope. However, nothing got wet in my tent, thankfully. I did get to fall asleep listening to the rain.
Sunday most people left by the afternoon, however, I stayed because I had Monday off so there was no reason to drive back towards DC and have to fight traffic with all the other folks who were coming back from their weekend getaways. DB was staying as well since I had my planned trip to Dorney Park, which he had never been to before. I was able to move over to his site by paying the difference between what I paid for the field and what the cost of a site was, in this case a whole $2 since it was a weeknight. I really had to break the piggybank for that one.
It turned out to be a gorgeous day so we headed out to chill by the pool. Towards dinner time we ended up chatting with a few of the perm site campers, and one of them told us to visit his site and go meet his partner. We did so and ended up invited to have ribs with them and play cards since the folks on the site basically do dinner and play cards on Sunday nights. Let's see, ribs vs hot dogs/hamburgers for dinner...which would you pick? ;-)
So DB and I went back and got our S'mores stuff to offer for dessert. The ribs and side dishes were awesome and there was more than enough for all of us. We then started a round of Wizard before going and making S'mores. After S'mores we all hung for a bit before DB decided to head up for bed. I wasn't tired so I decided to stick around for while longer. I eventually did head back to the tent and crawled into bed as well.
Monday morning we got up and I fried up some eggs and bacon on the Coleman before packing up my car and driving to Allentown, PA to visit Dorney Park. Once again it was another Cedar Fair park so it meant free access for me, and I found a discount ticket for DB. The first coaster was Talon, which was a lot of fun. DB didn't ride that one because it seemed like he couldn't quite fit the seat (the arms are a bit narrow) but it turned out later that he needed to slide into it rather than just try to sit down from the top. Anyway, we moved on to Hydra, then Thunderhawk, and then Steel Force. When we came to Possessed (formerly known as Voodoo) I rode that one on my own. The last new coaster for DB was to ride the Wild Mouse. From there, it was a matter of repeating any other coaster rides. We did try going to Talon again so DB could get a ride on it but it broke down right before we got there. It actually stopped on the lift hill, so they had to let everyone off of that. I didn't see it get back up and running the rest of the day. I know in a situation like that it's usually because some fail-safe went off on the coaster itself, likely a problem with one of the restraints for whatever reason. Better safe than sorry, perhaps that's why you don't hear of any major accidents at a place like Dorney Park, plus at least they work on trying to fix it rather than look like they're just screwing around up there.
Anyway, so we repeated a number of the coasters, which is something I love to do anyway. I was reminded of why I like Steel Force even though it doesn't look like anything fancy. It is a long ride with lots of air time from the hills, and even someone who gets dizzy from coasters could ride it since there's no loops or major curves. I also love Hydra because that does have some sick turns.
Late in the afternoon it was time to head back to DC. I knew there was going to be traffic, but that was just how it was. I really need to teach my GPS to avoid I-95 because it seems to try to send me there because it thinks it's faster, even with the traffic delays factored. We took a bit of a scenic route on the Baltimore Pike (US-1) to get past a lot of the traffic crap before finally getting me home to drop my stuff off, and then getting DB to his place so he could drop his stuff as well.
So it was another fun weekend for me, that's for sure. Now I just need to plan when the next roller coasters come up :-D