Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Vicarious Visit to Silverwood Theme Park - Part 3

We've already looked at some of Silverwood's more thrilling attractions, but it's time to slow things down a bit.  One of the park's first attractions was its 1915 steam engine train, which is still a major draw for park visitors.

The train originally ran in the Nevada desert during its early life, but was eventually sold and used as a historic display piece by a couple collectors.  Silverwood picked up the train, refurbished it, and it has since been running along a 3+ mile track at the park, a journey that takes up to a half hour to complete.

And there is plenty to see while on the ride!  The train leaves about every hour, or more frequently if crowds demand.  As you can see above, there's plenty of wildlife along the way.

Near the end of the journey the train stops in front of a fairly elaborate mining set, filled with small details that would take several trips to sink in.  It isn't long before the show starts - yes I said show - see this is the reason that Silverwood refers to the train ride in their live entertainment descriptions.

The pair of miner brothers that call the stop home do a bit of a comedic skit - which has been retooled for this season - but eventually decided to rob the train.  Only makes, sense, right?  The trick is that when they board the train they actually collect donations that are then given out by the park to local charities.  In 2010 alone the train robbery created a donation of $46,000, plus another $12,000 from the park, which went to the Children's Village and the Adult Foster Youth Program. 

The long journey gave our mom-photographer extraordinaire an opportunity to get this shot of the park's latest big thrill ride - Aftershock - from afar.

Aftershock actually got its start at another park, Six Flags Great America, where it was called Deja Vu.  The giant inverted boomerang coaster stands an impressive 191 feet tall, with trains reaching up to 177 feet.  While Mom took a spin on the park's other coasters in the name of fun, she had to draw the line at this one.  I can't blame her - Aftershock is an intense ride!

Trains are lifted at a 90 degree angle into the air, only to be released through the course which includes a vertical loop and giant cobra roll element.  It took approximately 75 truckloads to get the coaster moved, and parts of it were being built in Idaho while some of the ride was still standing in Illinois!

The ride was known for being a pit finicky while at Six Flags, but seems to have a cleaner record while at Silverwood.  Aftershock brought the park's coaster count to 5, when including the kiddie ride, cutely named the Tiny Toot.

That about does it for our vicarious visit to Silverwood.  Since there were so many pretty flower shots that Mom took, I figured it was only fair to include at least one - and I must say this one has a certain ethereal feel to it.  Pretty!

Thanks for reading and thanks to our great momtographer for the photos!