Death Valley and Rollercoasters!

Bit of a delay in updating the blog recently, we’ve both been really busy back in NZ and have been too tired to get some more posts up!

Getting back to the trip, we left Las Vegas and decided instead of driving straight to the coast, we’d head north west and check out the vast expanses of Death Valley – the lowest (altitude wise, its as much as 100m below sea level!) national park in the world!

As we approached the valley, we stopped at a lookout, and took some shots of the scenery:

We continued down into the valley, and jumped out near enough to the lowest point.. Its incredible how nothing grows here!

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We continued on to LA (the detour added two hours to the trip), checked into our hotel, and then headed down to In’n’Out, to continue our (fast) food experience in the states. We’ve been told that Better Burger in Auckland is based on In’n’Out – the American version was shockingly cheap, and quite good! Here’s a couple of shots of the restaurant in Santa Clarita where we went, and some of me eating!

You may be wondering why we were staying in Santa Clarita – what’s there to do there? I’ll tell you what – Six Flags Magic Mountain! Check out all the coasters (there’s 11)!

Image result for six flags magic mountain park map

We started down the bottom left corner, on the extreme X2 – on this coaster the seats rotate 360 degrees (parallel to the track) so you don’t know if you’re gonna be upside down or right way up at any moment! It was intense! (Click the links on the coaster’s names to enjoy the video experience)

Next up was the Viper – with seven inversions – another insane coaster, but slightly more traditional with no rotating seats! After the Viper we took a “gentle” ride on the Ninja. It hits a reasonable 55mph hanging below the track.

After the Ninja we queued for a while to go from zero to 100mph backwards in no time at all on the Superman: Escape from Krypton ride – here’s an insta where you can actually see it:

Other favourites include Full Throttle (see below for the launch) and Twisted Colossus, an awesome dueling rollercoaster with a section called the “High 5” – this is where the green coaster is upside down above the blue coaster (you do both tracks once you get on), and close enough to give someone on the blue coaster a high 5! (Apparently, anyway…)

Yes, the Twisted Colossus (albeit now a newer version) is the very same from National Lampoon’s Vacation (Wally World isn’t real – sorry to burst any bubbles)..


Full throttle take off! #latergram #rollercoaster #fullthrottle

A post shared by Tim Gordon (@tim.m.gordon) on

As if a day at the theme park wasn’t enough, we had tickets to go and see Steven Adams’ Thunder take on the LA Clippers at the Staples Center. So off we went, and drove into LA – this drive was the only one where we *nearly* had an accident – traffic stopped suddenly on the motorway (as it is wont to do in LA), and a nice Chrysler behind us didn’t quite stop quickly enough, swerving into the shoulder on our right to avoid the collision. Good driving that man/woman!

And by the way, the Thunder were destroyed. DESTROYED. The Clippers looked the goods. I blame Steven Adams missing the match due to the concussion he suffered in the previous game (how annoying, Kiwis going to an NBA game for the only Kiwi in the comp, and he’s injured!). Was awesome to experience the game though!

And then, after all that, it was back to the hotel for the night, with a quick trip to San Diego the next day!



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