Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: family, special events, Taylor

Yesterday was a wonderful day… beautiful weather, incredible rides and a full day of fun with my niece Taylor and sister Jen. It’s was our annual adventure to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ilinois. My cousin Kim was supposed to come with, but she was instead bed-ridden with a back injury. Probably not the best idea to taunt the injury with jostling on some roller coasters?!

We arrived early before the rides open. They allow you to enter the park, but the actual lines don’t open until 10:30am. So there was plenty of time for a few “glamour shots.”

We considered several different roller coasters for our first ride of the day. Taylor was being a little cautious, so we ended up back on “The Viper”… her favorite wooden roller coaster from last year. Lots of bumps, twists and hills that make you fly out of your seat. Okay, she’s right… it is a pretty great roller coaster!!!

Of course there are the prerequisite spinny, twisty, going-around-in-circles rides that Taylor loves!!! Jen gets a little squeamish on these spinny rides, so it’s just Taylor and I taking on the challenge… again… and again… and again…

We didn’t quite make it on “The Demon.” A little too “bouncy” and not quite as smooth as we would like. Taylor did it last year but wasn’t too much of a fan. Too much head shaking & jostling around. But I did get a great shot of it while we were waiting in line for another spinny ride!

Next up was her other favorite roller coaster… “The Whizzer.” It’s one of the original rides form when Six Flags opened thirty years ago. It’s not the tallest or fastest, but it does give you a great view of the rest of the park and its many roller coaster!

And yes, for the record…
Every roller coaster does have a sign that clearly states cameras are NOT permitted while on any of the rides. It also says that arms & legs are to remain in the car at all times. Ha!!! But if we all followed the rules, we wouldn’t have great pictures like this, right?! I rest my case.

After several roller coasters and a lot of spinny rides, it was finally time for lunch. And who doesn’t love huge corn dogs & cheesy nachos?! Not the healthiest of options, but… when in Rome…

And then it was back to the spinny… maybe not the best idea on a newly full stomach?!
I’m sure some good Dippin’ Dots will settle that back down!!!

We took a calming “diversion” to settle someone’s stomach and recharge in the calming & air conditioned Sky Trek Tower. It’s a very slow, revolving elevator that gives you great views of the park.

Front to back… “Raging Bull”, “Giant Drop”, and the original classic “American Eagle”…

“The Whizzer”…

“The Viper” on the right…

The classic carousel at the entrance…

Another great shot of “The Viper”…

And “Hurricane Harbor Water Park” that we never quite make it too.

After our refueling ride up the tower, it was finally time to tackle some water rides!!! First up, “Logger’s Run.” Another Great America classic that has been there for thirty years… and you can tell.

And once you’re wet, you might as well go for another water ride… this time it was “Roaring Rapids” where we all got soaked!!!

What better way to dry off than another trip on Taylor’s favorite “The Viper”???

And Taylor’s nemesis… “Raging Bull.” It’s my favorite of all the roller coasters, but Taylor was NOT a fan last year when she went on. I think it was far too open on the sides, and only has a lap restraint – not the full over-the-shoulder-lock-you-in-contraption as some of the newer ones. So the closest we got to it this year was walking under it as we were in line for “The Viper”… again.

Sunset shots of “The Viper” and “Raging Bull.”

And what trip to Great America is complete without a couple funnel cakes at the end?! I mean if you’re going to go, you might as well go all the way, right?! So I had them add ice cream & hot fudge to mine! Taylor chose the classic powdered sugar route… but obviously was left wanting more!

After the funnel cakes, our day came to an end back where we started. With a beautiful view of the iconic Great America Carousel. And the conclusion to another great day at Great America with Taylor & Jen. Sorry Kim… maybe next year?

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