Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coasting Through Life

The thrill seeker in me has always enjoyed been obsessed with roller coasters. I grew up about a six hour drive from Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Not sure if you've ever heard of it, but it's kind of a big deal. Cedar Point calls itself "America's Roller Coast". It's actually really clever, or cheesy depending on how you look at it, because the park sits on the coast of Lake Erie. Roller coasters + the coast = America's Roller Coast! I actually experienced my first roller coaster ride at Michigan's Adventure,* but we won't go into detail about that place. Let's just say I was hooked from my very first ride, and it's been all downhill, and uphill, from there.

* When I was in 8th grade I broke my ankle on a water slide there, and I ended up needing surgery to fix it. The words Michigan's Adventure sort of leave a bad taste in my mouth now, but I'm not bitter. No.

This is really embarrassing, but growing up I had a VHS tape consisting of front seat rides on the best roller coasters in the country. So what. I'm an only child, and I had a really great imagination. I actually thought I might want to be a roller coaster engineer at one point. Then I realized that engineers need to know crazy complicated math, and then I didn't want to design coasters anymore. I would rather ride them. However, I digress. The 3-D video tape really made me feel like I was there in the front seat. Don't judge me. After watching my incredibly thrilling 3-D roller coaster tape, I had the itch to ride these roller coasters in real life! Only makes sense right? Let me tell you the rides are much better in person than from the couch, or chair parked in front of the television, in your living room.

Desperado Roller Coaster at Buffalo Bill's Casino in Primm, Nevada

Over the years though, in real life I've ridden roller coasters in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Colorado, California, and Nevada. Basically if I am anywhere near a roller coaster, I try need to ride it. Pretty simple.

While in Nevada last week, I asked my husband begged relentlessly to ride the Desperado roller coaster at Buffalo Bill's casino in Primm, Nevada. It was one of the coasters on my VHS tape, and I have always wanted to ride it. I mean I grew up "riding" this ride already. Let me tell you this was a serious life goal, and I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to get on that Desperado and coast! We hopped in the pickup and drove the almost 30 minutes to Primm. Upon arriving at the casino, we find that the roller coaster was shut down due to high winds in the area. We had driven past dust devils and massive dirt clouds on our way to the casino, so it shouldn't have been a surprise. Finding the Desperado, my dream, temporarily closed was one of the biggest disappointments in my life! Maybe I'm a little dramatic, but there was no way I was going to leave the state of Nevada, for possibly quite a long time, without riding that roller coaster! No way.

Instead of sitting around the casino waiting for the slight possibility of the Desperado reopening, we did what any defeated young and adventurous couple would do. We put on our game faces and took off for the Hoover Dam! I mean, the next best thing to a dream roller coaster ride is a tour of a massive dam made of concrete right? I think so! More on the Hoover Dam tour later though. That's a whole post of its own.

For good measure and bragging rights of saying we were in California, I asked my husband if we could drive across the Nevada/Cali state line before heading to the Hoover Dam. Score!

After touring the Hoover Dam, it felt like the wind had died down quite a bit. It crossed our minds my mind to call Buffalo Bill's casino and see if the Desperado had reopened for the evening. After some number punching to speak with a human on the 800 line, we found out that the roller coaster was indeed open for the night. Although, in the same breath the woman said that if the wind picked up again it would close. My husband decided it was probably in his best interest to get me on that ride, so off we drove again to Primm! Let me tell you this seemed like the longest ride ever. I kept hoping the wind would stay calm, because it would have been heartbreaking if they closed the Desperado due to wind again. A girl can only take so much heartache.

We arrived in Primm, parked the truck, walked/ran (guess who was the one running) to the front doors, rushed through the casino to the ticket booth, bought Desperado tickets, waited for a few endless minutes, and boarded the roller coaster for our ride. Let me tell you, I will never get enough of that "clink, clink, clink" as the train climbs the first hill. Then most everything was downhill from there! We laughed/screamed/cried (happy wind-blown tears), and we had an exhilarating ride to end our fun filled day. Hopefully I'll get more opportunities to coast my way across this country, because I, Ashley, am a roller coaster addict.


  1. Aw! What a good story! I on the other hand am nothing like you! I am an hour or two from Cedar Point, and I've never been. Too scary. I've been to Michigan Adventure 2 or 3 times now and even those coasters scare me (although I've been dragged on them enough... lol!)

    Your pics are really pretty, too! I love the coaster against the dark night sky. Gorgeous!

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend, Ashley!


  2. I saw my first dust devil when my Mom was driving me out to school in Utah four years ago. I was pretty excited when I saw my first tumbleweed...haha :)

    my first giveaway :)

  3. loveeee this story girl!! that's SOOOO crazy haha! great pics too! xo

  4. Dust Devils are so bizarre. Saw one for my first time last summer traveling through the southwest. Pretty dang neat if you ask me. :)

  5. We went to Cedar Point every summer when I was growing up! That where my Pilot first told me he loved me (on top of Power Tower!). I've also been on the Desperado AND had that 3-D video!! So much fun!

  6. Aww, how fun! I love roller coasters too! We took a family trip to Disney World when I was little, and I remember throwing a nice tantrum because I was too short to ride the rides - hey, I was 5 ;) However, it has been a LONG while since I've been on one. Time to hit the amusement parks!

    Great pics, hon!

  7. Did you happen to go shopping while you were in Primm?! shopping I've ever done is there! Hubs and I LOOOVE their mall! Such amazing deals!