Carnival and (even more) Coasters

We’ve said it before, but these Six Flags season passes turned out to be great for our first circuit around the U.S.! For around $70 per person we got 14 months worth of entry to all Six Flags parks, including free parking (which is usually $20-$25 per visit). As we continued our journey back to Virginia our next stop was for some more coaster action at Six Flags New England, right on the Connecticut and Massachusetts border.

But first, we discovered a problem with Rover at our last campground: two broken nylon glides that support our main living room slide. We did some research and figured out that while a DIY repair would be possible, we didn’t really have the right equipment to do it (we’d need a way to jack the entire slide up an inch so we could remove the broken glides and replace them). We found a Tiffin repair shop about 90 minutes from our Massachusetts campground who could squeeze us into their schedule, so we headed there first, camped overnight in their parking lot, got our repairs and our 15,000 mile oil change taken care of, and headed to our campground.

Parking overnight for some minor repairs.

Parking overnight for some minor repairs.

Our timing worked out so that we were in the area for the last few days of The Big E, also known as the Eastern States Exhibition. It’s the fifth largest fair in the nation, and includes representation from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. We met up with our friends Gray and Cindy who live in Rhode Island, and spent the day literally eating our way across the fair! Besides the main outdoor part of the fair, with games, rides, and food, each state has its own big building with displays, vendors, and food from that state. The maple cotton candy was Kathie’s favorite treat of the day, but there were so many good foods and snacks. Since it was a pretty chilly day, I sipped on some hot spiced cider as we walked around and explored.

Arrival at The Big E.

Arrival at The Big E.

Since the fair has a heavy agricultural focus, we also saw (and smelled) plenty of farm animals throughout the day. We watched an expert sheep shearing demonstration which was pretty fascinating, and included a lot of history about sheep and wool. One of the more odd displays we saw was a 600-pound sculpture made of butter. It included informative facts like “Butter contains a lot of healthy saturated fats” and the all-important “Butter is delicious!”

Piggie pile!

Piggie pile!

Over the weekend we went to Six Flags New England and had a great time as usual! The park wasn’t too crowded so we made it onto all the rides we’d hoped to, and were happy to check off another Six Flags from our list. Since we’re mainly interested in the coasters, not the shows or kiddie rides, we usually make it in and out of the parks in half a day, unless there are big crowds and long lines.

Bizarro at Six Flags New England.

Bizarro at Six Flags New England.

Believe it or not, our next stop was… wait for it… yet another Six Flags! Driving south on I-95, Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey was just a half hour off the interstate, so of course we had to fit it into our plans. We visited it last year shortly after hitting the road in Rover and really enjoyed it, so with our new season passes another visit (for free this time) was a no-brainer. We camped for the weekend at Turkey Swamp Park, a great, heavily wooded county park not too far from Six Flags.

Rover tucked into a wooded site at Turkey Swamp Park.

Rover tucked into a heavily wooded site at Turkey Swamp Park.

Since it was Columbus Day weekend, the campground was full with local campers out for the weekend, and Six Flags was much more crowded as well. On Saturday we met up with our friend Mark and his family and had a great day riding rides, eating, and catching up. Since the lines were pretty long, we opted to come back Sunday as well (have I mentioned how great season passes are?) to catch the rides we didn’t make it onto the first day.

El Toro, Kingda Ka, and Zumanjaro.

El Toro, Kingda Ka, and Zumanjaro.

While we were in the area we also took a day to drive into Philadelphia to wander around and do some more sight-seeing. We visited the Liberty Bell and learned all about the symbolic nature of its history. For lunch we had to go back to the Reading Terminal Market, an amazing indoor market with every kind of food you can think of.

20151015-IMG_0001

The Liberty Bell.

So many choices at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market.

So many choices at Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.

We also found a huge fenced dog park about half an hour from our campground. Since we haven’t been hiking recently, Opie hasn’t been getting much exercise, or much interaction with other dogs. We took him to the dog park twice and he loved every minute of it. It’s great to see him running, playing, and swimming until he’s about to drop.

Opie says "can we stay here all day?"

Opie says “can we stay here all day?”

Next stop: an extended stay in Northern Virginia, to visit and catch up with family and friends who we haven’t seen in over a year. We can’t wait!

Michael Fischer

After a high-tech career spanning software development and systems administration to leading hundreds of engineers across cities and continents, I’m now slowing things down a bit. Traveling full-time in an RV with my awesome wife Kathie and our two big dogs Max and Opie, I’m now pursuing smaller personal software projects while seeing North America up close.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *