ACE Preservation Conference: Indiana Beach

It has been quite the summer! The Rock n Roller Coaster Tour across America has taken me from Orlando to the Northeast to middle America and I find myself at my second American Coaster Enthusiasts Preservation Conference. This year we are at Indiana Beach in Monticello, Indiana and Michigan’s Adventure on the Great Lakes.

Michele and I parted ways in Boston. She had to fly home to attend our business and I flew to Chicago for this leg of the tour. It was a slow slog down I-65 to the middle of nowhere Indiana. I checked into my motel at the Pine View Resort that was in the middle of a corn field. I arrived a day and a half early and didn’t venture too far from the motel. I worked on my Master’s courses by the pool and enjoyed leisurely dinners at the local family restaurant. The first night I had a huge three course chicken dinner that only cost $8.95 and could have easily cost 40 bucks back home.

Friday morning was the first day of the conference at Indiana Beach. Who would have known that all of this fun was only 0.6 miles from my little motel! It changes your perspective a little bit when you don’t venture too far from where you are. Its like driving down the interstate and puling off and setting for a Big Mac when at the next exit is the most amazing burger shop in the world that you missed out on.

I checked in and grabbed my name tags and tickets and headed into the park. It is a cool little spot where a lot of it is built on piers that jut out into the lake. We had the day to ourselves with the first formal event being a walk through of one of the rides later in the day. I walked the boardwalk and grabbed a Pronto Pup. Its a corn dog for those of you who don’t know…

I jumped on a cool coaster called Steel hog first. It was fun! It sort of a mash up of a mouse and a corkscrew. It was the first time I have ever ridden one like that. The restraints were interesting. The sort of squish you in like a vise.

Next up was a couple woodies. The premier coaster in the park is the Hoosier Hurricane which is by far the longest and juts out over the lake in a few spots. It is fast but a bit rough. Next was the Cornball Express. It was a lot of fun too.

I didn’t know what to expect when I was in line for an older steel coaster called, Tiger. By the looks on the peoples faces that went ahead of me and the warning by the ride attendant to hold on and brace for the sharp right turns, I knew I was in for a treat. That first right turn caused a cracked rib on the same spot as always. It is never going to heal if I keep this crap up!

The rest of the afternoon I spent people watching along the boardwalk and riding things like the dark ride, the sky ride, the scrambler the little train, and more. I was surprised at how fun Frankenstein’s Castle was! I haven’t been in a walk through haunted house in a long time and this was a good one. It was huge!

The last coaster I rode before we met up for dinner as a group was the Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain. It was a fun one! It has this little elevator that takes you up to the top and then is a mess of twists and turns through a “mountain”. The cars are a super tight fit for four people but it was a quick coaster and everyone was laughing in our car.

Dinner was late. They forgot to make the burgers and by the sounds of it from the grumblings of my fellow coaster geeks, we were hungry! We finished off the meal with a cake commemorating the 40th anniversary of ACE and we got ready for our night runs durning ERT.

It was a fun first day of the conference. I met up with several friends that I met last year at the conference in Alabama/Georgia. It was cool to see them again.

Tomorrow we finish up here and drive north to our next stop at Michigan’s Adventure!

Up Next: Michigan’s Adventure 

Coasters to date on the tour: 24

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