For this important announcement:
Yesterday, we all went to see and ride this, the subsequent and much larger rollercoaster designed and built by the same people over the last 6 months (I imagine they will put up a video of the finished project; this is the latest on their channel, and as you can see the cosmetics are not there yet):
Here’s the thing: a bunch of 20-somethings decided during lockdown last year that they were going to build a functioning rollercoaster in the the backyard of the parents of the ringleader. Because why not? Sean LaRochelle, an impressive young man who, at age 29, has married a beautiful woman, fathered 4 children and built his own house, is now finishing up his master’s in architecture, decided if he was going to be locked down, he was going to do something fun.
I had met Sean before, but just barely – our oldest daughter had rented a room from him and his family in the house he had designed and built in Napa. The reason we got invited is that our son in law did all the music – very much Disney-ride-quality music, as you can hear on the videos.
The team of young people involved were equally impressive. Sean’s sister did a whole Old West town in the staging/line area. The team did design, acquiring the materials, bending pipes into rails, welding it up, building frames to hold it into place, then creating a whole Arizona desert look with sheets of foam, spray foam, and paint. They designed and built a launch mechanism; there were waterworks and a light show; they had a booster mechanism halfway through the ride that sped up the car for the final loop; they designed and built the car itself, as well as a system of safety sensors along the key parts of the track to make sure everything was in working order.
My wife spoke to a woman who was cajoled by Sean into doing wiring. Seems she had once swapped out a light fixture – good enough! She told of watching YouTube videos while in the ride’s caves, trying to figure out how to wire something up. Sean is evidently very convincing.
And just the nicest people! Sean’s family threw a big catered dinner just so people could come and ride the rollercoaster and hang out. So while we are justifiably bemoaning the sorry state of Kids These Days, nice to see a bunch of young people any parent should be proud of doing something cool and outrageous in a spirit of fun and cooperation. Rock on!
(There’s also, it seems, a huge overlap, perhaps their circle is completely within the larger circle in the Venn diagram, between this crowd and the Napa TLM crowd.)