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In Which I Drive 291 Miles To Get Beat To A Pulp

by Karol on June 15, 2011

I would like to say lots of nice things about the Desperado at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, NV, but it was the most painful, most uncomfortable, most horribly maintained roller coaster I’ve ever been on. They gave me an unlimited ride wristband and I went on it once. 3 hours later I’m still in more pain than I’ve been in since I caught on fire. While I’ve complained about the pain from corkscrews in the past that pain does not nearly compare to the pain I am feeling right now. Vicodin please. 2 times.

But let’s backtrack a bit, because I started the day 291 miles from Deathperado in San Diego at Belmont Park with Anna. Anna is from Brazil and is one of those amazing people who quit a job in surgery because she just didn’t like it anymore and began traveling the world. How many people are brazen enough to realize, even after the years of schooling/residencies/etc a Doctor must go through, that they need a change? Not many.

We rode Giant Dipper, a classic coaster very similar to the Giant Dipper in Santa Cruz, and hung out for an hour before I made my journey to the center of the universe of pain.

I can’t say much about the Giant Dipper that I haven’t said about the other Giant Dipper. It’s a classic wooden coaster, it’s fun, and it’s worth a ride if you’re ever in San Diego or Santa Cruz.

A World of Hurt

Growing up in Metro Detroit I was in a metal band which shall remain nameless. But another local metal band was called World of Hurt. They were a world of hurt on the ears. The Desperado is a world of hurt on my life.

Here’s the deal …

I left San Diego, drove the 291 miles to Primm, NV and got really excited as I was driving up to Buffalo Bill’s. The Desperado is a legitimately thrilling coaster with a 225 foot drop at 80mph top speed. Desperado’s $8 to ride (or $22 unlimited after 5pm, which it was), but I asked for a free ride. :) At first the counter girl said I have to talk to a supervisor, but he was busy, so she just gave me an unlimited ride wristband. I don’t think she liked me very much.

In line at Desperado the problems began. There was some kind of ruckus and they let the coaster run empty. Then maintenance came and looked at it. 2 minutes later they were done doing whatever they needed to do (filling it with enough hate to make Saddam Hussein look like a Smurf?) and I sat down in the first car, third row right.

The coaster immediately starts the climb to the big drop. The drop was fun. And not painful. It’s every single turn, twist, and straight line after that was impossibly malicious. Somewhere in the middle of the ride there was an abrupt twist. My body went left, the coaster went right, and the seat hit me with the might of a record breaking Barry Bonds homerun — post steroid abuse, of course. I let out a FUDGE at the top of my lungs and then cried like a toddler at Disneyland for the remaining 60 seconds of the ride.

I wish I was joking, but I think I need a Doctor. I’ll sleep on it.

More Belmont Park photos here.

More Deathperado photos here.

Tomorrow, assuming I find copious amounts of Vicodin, I’m riding the New York, New York coaster, the The Canyon Blaster at Circus Circus, and doing the rides on top of Stratosphere. Everybody was gracious enough to give me free access. Thanks y’all!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick "Not the Peanut Butter Cup" Reese June 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

Dude – that sucks. Don’t hesitate to see a doc if it keeps hurting. Hopefully the coasters tomorrow will knock it back into place.

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

It’s probably just badly bruised. At least I’ll tell myself that. :)

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Sarah June 16, 2011 at 2:09 am

Awww…. oh no! I hope you are okay! This sounds terrible, and if you are writing about that much pain, I’m certain it hurts BAD. Definitely go get it fixed and see a doctor even if you don’t think you need to. OUCH. Get better!

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

I don’t think there’s anything to get fixed. I feel like it’s a muscle.

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Mark G King June 16, 2011 at 3:00 am

Aw, poor Karol, in pain. I hope you’ll feel better after a nice night of zzzz’s. I rode the Desperado once and I lost my prescription glasses on that ride, first time AND last time. Really bad maintenance. I had to drive to Vegas with my eyes squinted to LensCrafters to get replacement glasses. Really a disappointment. The most expensive coaster ride ever: hundreds of dollars, not $8! Thanks, Karol for reminding me.

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

Oh no! You’re not supposed to wear glasses on these things. :(

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Eric | Eden Journal June 16, 2011 at 7:04 am

I’ve noticed in a couple of posts that you sit in the front of the coaster. Is this always the case? What’s your experience been on sitting in different parts of the coaster? I know on Thunder Mountain at Disney (admittedly a pretty tame coaster) it’s much more fun to sit in the back. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden anything more extreme, but I’m wondering where the better ride is and if it depends on the coaster.

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

I sit wherever there’s an open seat. :)

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Adam Villani June 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

That sucks. I just rode the Desperado about 3 weeks ago and didn’t have any problems; I enjoy that ride a lot. I think I have a pretty forgiving spine, though; I still enjoyed Magic Mountain’s notorious Psyclone that others called a major whiplash machine.

If it helps at all, I find it useful on coasters (at least ones with lap bars but not upper-body restraints) to wedge my lower body in hard so my rear doesn’t get thrown around, but I let my upper body relax as much as possible so that I can roll with the punches. I hope the damage is temporary and doesn’t throw a wrench into your plans.

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I don’t know Psyclone … great name though. :)

I think the problem was I did let my upper body relaxed. Which is why it got thrashed.

I went on The Roller Coaster at New York, New York and The Canyon Blaster at Circus Circus just now. 800mg of ibuprofen and a heating pad on my back, but neither injured me further. Tonight I’ll do the rides on top of Stratosphere.

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Brian June 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

At Belmont and you didn’t go to Sea World and get the coaster credit for Journey To Atlantis? You missed out on a good one.

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Karol June 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I either didn’t realize it was there, or it wasn’t a legit coaster by my definition.

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Brian June 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm

We rode it a few weeks ago, it’s has more roller coaster track and elements than the one in Orlando. It’s a legit coaster, I promise!

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Jared "The Pseudoventurist" June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Yeah, Desperado is a rough ride. It always has been. The front of the train is a lot better than the middle or rear. Still, not a comfortable experience. I wont go on it any more. I’ll stick to their log ride. It beats you up a bit too but not nearly as bad as what you call “Deathperado” (a fitting name I might add). Best of luck where ever you go next. If you haven’t already been to the East Coast, Carowinds in North Carolina has some good rides to look forward to. Just beware, Thunder Road can give you a good jolt too.

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