We already had decided to go to Dorney Park in Allentown during the first weekend in November, because it’s included in our Cedar Fair passes, still open for Halloween festivities, plus we were on a quest to get Chooch to 100 coaster credits by the end of the year. This was a pretty easy one to convince Henry of, because Allentown is only about a 4 hour drive.
But you know what’s only another 3 hours away from that?
LAKE COMPOUNCE in Connecticut!
My reasoning was that we were already going to be out “that way” so why not tack on a second park!? Henry was like, “THEY ARE NOT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AT ALL.” But I just kept nagging and harping and whining and then I had that really Bad Halloween which wasn’t even really that bad but you know me, Queen of Hyperbole.
Finally Henry declared defeat and so we went to Lake Compounce on Saturday, yay!
I’m a spoiled brat!
The reason I wanted to come here is all because of one roller coaster – Boulder Dash. It always comes up in various lists for the best wooden coasters and everyone knows wooden coasters are my favorites. But then Chooch apparently watched a video about Boulder Dash on his own, so he started to bug Henry about wanting to go here too and Henry was convinced that I put him up to it (I didn’t, but that’s definitely not something that’s beneath me); sorry, Henry, you live with two coaster enthusiasts. You lose.
Anyway, we rolled up to the park about 30 minutes before they opened at 5:00pm and there were only about 20 other people there. This was our first time ever coming to Lake Compounce, so I wasn’t sure what kind of crowds to expect, but as it turned out, it never really got very crowded as the night went on and most rides were a complete walk-on.
Some young guy in line with us had on navy pants imprinted with sail boats. Oh, Connecticut.
Chooch wanted Boulder Dash to be his 100th coaster, so we had to go on two other coasters first. Phobia was first on the list and we were the very first ride of the day! And we were the only people on it too which was creepy. This coaster was pretty much exactly like Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and I forgot how terrifying it is.
Even Henry rode it because I think he’s going through some sort of midlife crisis where he’s trying desperately to be more a part of our lives and less of a bench-sitter? I mean, he even has his dorky safety-strap for his glasses just so he can ride coasters with us, what a team player.
Ugh, the second coaster of the evening was Zoomerang, the park’s Vekoma boomerang. We were also the first people to ride this one, and Chooch and I were the ONLY ONES ON IT which made it all the more terrifying. Henry sat this one out because he knew it was going to be a rough one, and boy was he smart to do so. This piece of shit was so rattly and jerky that I was honestly unsure if we were going to make it around for our return trip to the station.
I posted this on Instagram and my friend Veronica was like, “Girl you know it’s true” and a more perfect comment has never been crafted.
But yeah, there’s a fun fact for you guys! Who knew?!
OK, finally it was time for Chooch to snag that #100 so we ran over to Boulder Dash which was honestly the only ride in the park that had any semblance of a line that we had to stand in. Chooch and I immediately got in line for the back row because back row is the best row, le duh.
This was a bucket list coaster of mine and I couldn’t believe I was getting a chance to ride it! Boulder Dash is famous for being a terrain woodie – the lift hill is flush with mountain. On the way up, you have beautiful views of the actual boulders that dot the terrain, and the rest of the ride is practically a collision-course down and around the side of the mountain. Hence the name Boulder Dash, y’all.
I definitely felt out of control on it, and the train seemingly jumps the track through the entire ride so the danger-factor is there in full force.
This wasn’t my favorite wooden coaster but it’s definitely earned a spot in my heart for being unique and just flat out wicked!
The sun was already starting to set so it was hard to get any pictures of Boulder Dash, but you can see part of the track on the hillside over there.
We rode it 4 times that night – twice in the back, once in row 5, and I think the longest we stood in line was probably 25 minutes when we wanted to sit in the front seat. I always recommend the front row for night rides, because there is really nothing like seeing an expanse of utter darkness whirling past you, totally throwing off your orientation and bearings.
I think the peak ride for me was when Henry and I rode together in the back at night and the climax of Zedd’s “Clarity” was playing in the station when we came back in. I was so pumped!
Also freezing. It was very cold in Bristol, Connecticut on that November night and I needed approximately 4 more pairs of socks and to swap out my cute-yet-thin cow-print jacket with an Alaskan parka.
When Chooch and I were in line for the front, he decided TO TAKE OFF HIS JACKET to prove to me that it wasn’t that cold and I was like “YOU ARE CRAZY AND ALSO EMBARRASSING” because it was fucking knit-hat weather that night, you guys. I was kicking myself for leaving my gloves in the car (Henry said I wouldn’t need them!!) and here’s my weird kid flexing his hot blood in line for a roller coaster. Everyone there was bundled up but then I stupidly pointed out that some kid who was currently in the train waiting to go was only wearing a t-shirt, so that inspired Chooch to ROLL UP THE SLEEVES OF HIS SHIRT SO IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS WEARING A TANK TOP. I can’t with this stubborn kid. I just can’t. He kept his shirt like that during the entire frigid ride in the front seat too.
Anyway, here he is on his 100th coaster! Also, I was too cold to put my arms all the way up. And could Henry look any angrier?
One of the times Chooch and I rode without Henry, there was a young couple in front of us in line and the girl said to the boy, ‘I appreciate you” and then was trying to get him to wear her gloves because she was so concerned that he was too cold. I remembered this last night and was telling Henry about it.
“I was like, ‘WTF is happening right now.’ It was so weird.”
“It’s called LOVE,” Henry spat and then gave me his signature “what is wrong with you” look that, now that I think about it, everyone seems to keep in their back pocket, ready to slap on, when they talk to me.
Chooch thought the left seat of the fifth row was the best for some reason, so he rode there alone while Henry and I waited for the back. I don’t know what he’s doing in this picture – pantomiming putting on exam gloves?
The only other coaster at Lake Compounce is Wildcat, a smaller, family-friendly woodie. It was….OK. Not as rough or painful as I thought it would be, but it also didn’t have us running back in line either.
Henry thinks he’s so cool.
I really liked Phobia a lot, and it was a walk-on every time we rode it (one of the times they let us just stay on). But I think Boulder Dash was just wonderful and it was a solid, classic #100 for Chooch!
Going to amusement parks became so much more fun once Chooch finally came around to the idea of keeping track of his coaster credits. Now it’s like a game, one that even Henry likes to play!