We were filled with great disappointment. The Screamin’ Eagle sure looked like fun. Downtrodden, we made our way toward the roller coaster. It was mediocre at best, but still looked fun. It seemed more promising than Lewis and Clark, and less humiliating than the Screamin’ Eagle. Once we arrived, we decided to rest a moment on a bench directly facing the ride and watch the coaster go by. The people filed into the roller coaster cars with excitement; this was one of the best rides that the park had to offer. After everyone was strapped in, the car went forward, quickly rounding the first corner and setting off on an epic journey that we would never forget.
Up and down the car went, through loops and hills, the people screaming with delight. We looked away for a moment and when we looked back, saw that there was a problem. We looked over to see a worker trying to push the stuck car over the crest of a hill. The people were clearly upset that their fun had been interrupted by this abrupt stop. After a few moments, the worker was able to push the car over the crest and the people once again shouted out with excitement as they continued their path of loops and drops and curves.
About this time, another empty car advanced to the loading zone, in order to load the next group of people onto the coaster. Just as the people in line were about to load in, on our far right the other car rounded the last corner. There was a long stretch of track between the last corner and the loading zone so that the car can slow down. But the car wasn’t slowing down at all! We watched in shock and anticipation. When the cars were perhaps 20 feet apart, the unthinkable happened. The safety belts holding the riders in flipped up! Now there was nothing holding in these riders! As the moving car made hard contact with the empty one, there were many terrifying screams, not only from the riders themselves, but also from the horrified onlookers. The people in the car all jolted forward in one motion as the cars hit, being thrown about. The force from the moving car caused the empty one to lurch forward and begin rolling toward the first corner. But the car was moving far too fast for that corner. The car derailed and eventually came to a stop, half of the car still on the tracks, the other hanging off the edge.
As the people in the car began to shout out in anger as well as pain, a man appeared out of nowhere. This man, not four feet tall, was on a mission. He had to get a first aid kit and get it fast! His awkward walk was a testament to this. Knees slightly bent, elbows up, neck leaning a bit forward, he speed walked off, searching for the kit in a panic. The man returned with his kit and began to tend to the angry riders. Brock and I stared at each other in disbelief, jaws dropped. The car had collided with the other, sending the unrestrained people rocking about, and launching the empty car off the rails! It was unbelievable.
Needless to say, we refused to go on any other ride that night except occasionally a humorous ride through the land of Lewis and Clark. And if at any point we would forget the series of events that had happened that night, we would then spot someone with an ice pack on their neck and a very pained look on their face, reminding us of what had happened and sending us into a fit of laughter.