May Long Thrills

Panic Plunge at Silverwod Amusement Park    One of my favourite perks of living in Kamloops is the climate.  Us citizens are lucky enough here to enjoy mild winters reflected by exceptionally hot summers.  But not even this city is immune from an occasional outburst from the elements outside.

Spring in the tournament capital of Canada has indeed seen an abundance of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-20s. Unfortunately, such delightful weather has been mostly limited to the common workweek, transforming into charcoal clouds and rain for my days off. With the approach of May Long, the forecast speculated yet another dreary weekend. So my wife and I, along with a couple of friends, skipped town and headed for the sunny boardwalks of Coeur d’Alene.

Lakeside lounging with a bucket of strawberry infused booze certainly made for a serene Friday night sunset, but it was actually a nearby attraction that had drawn us down to Idaho: Silverwood Theme Park. We awoke Saturday morning with resolve to conquer as many rides as the day would allow.

Among the newest and most intimidating of the park’s rides is The Aftershock, complete with two loops and downward-facing, 90 degree plummets reaching speeds of 65.6 MPH. After completing its course forward, the ride then repeats the entire motion in reverse. To our dismay, however, the epic roller-coaster was closed due to inclement weather. This was a definite shame, though thankfully there were other adrenaline-inducing attractions to (almost) make up for it.

Tremors, with a top speed of 63 MPH and steep descents of up to 103 feet, boasted thrills intense enough to warrant the sale of new underwear in the adjacent gift shop. The nearby Timber Terror was a rickety wooden coaster filled with dips and sharp turns, while The Corkscrew sped through dual loops of twisting steel tracks. Elsewhere in the park, Panic Plunge released passengers from scenic heights above the park for a terrifying 120 foot drop that was enough to pull stomachs up alongside screaming lungs. Each of these amusements was a joyful rush to us.

Between rides we filled up on carnival food like candy apples and fried potatoes seasoned in a spiral on a stick. By the time the park closed down, we had been well-fed and thoroughly thrilled. We resolved to return one day to sample all the rides that shortage of time had kept us from, as well as to check out the adjoining water park, which was not yet open for the season.

We shall meet again, Silverwood. Next time, I vow to conquer the Aftershock. Inclement weather or not, it damn well better be open!

– Cory Stumpf


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