Thursday, July 11, 2013

River Craft, August 1996

I am down to the last few photos from a lot of 35mm negatives given to me by my friend "Mr. X"; the remaining pix are all similar to images that we've already seen, but I still think they are worth sharing.

How can you not love this great photo of the Bertha Mae (I've always liked that faded turquoise color) as she sails past one of Cascade Peak's waterfalls? Just beautiful. Notice that the windows now have ropes across them to prevent a repeat of THIS.

Next we have two racing canoes, a splendid sight. I've always wondered, do the guests really power these things? I would assume that their paddling would be so uncoordinated that the brunt of the work would have to be done by the two cast members. Just think of the muscles they would have after a Summer season of canoeing eight hours a day!

And finally, from a slightly different angle, one more canoe as it passes a different waterfall, as well as the abandoned Mine Train tracks.


Graffer said...

The mature trees around Cascade Peak make it look more like Cascade Mole Hill.

But I still wish it would be rebuilt - with steel this time.

Chuck said...

The guests really do make those canoes move. The cast members did (still do? it's been years) a great job of getting the passengers/paying labor organized and coordinated. And from an hour canoeing with some Cub Scouts a couple of weeks back, I definitely noticed a difference when the two Cubs paddling with me were paddling and when they weren't.

I'd like to see Cascade Peak rebuilt in vibranium.

Nancy said...

I love the picture of the Bertha Mae, really enjoyed this ride at Walt Disney World as well. Why do they take out perfectly good rides? Really makes me sad :-(

I have wanted to ride the canoes, but I know I cant do the paddling! A few years back Rachel and I took the Virtual Jungle Cruise adventure at DisneyQuest in Walt Disney World, and I could not believe how exhausted I was. I am a wimp!

Thanks for the really nice photos today!!

Steve DeGaetano said...

The photo of the Bertha Mae you linked to, and the one shown today, are different (notice the arrangement/size of the shutters).

K. Martinez said...

The canoes are definitely powered by the guests. The cast member in front instructs guests when to paddle and occasionally points out sites of interest while the cast member in back helps paddle some but mainly steers the canoe. That's been my experience when going on the Canoes.

@Chuck - What's your preference? Antarctica or Wakandan Vibranium?

Melissa said...

How beautiful. I can practically hear the water.

Tom said...

Steve DeGaetano brings up an interesting observation: the boats look different. It even looks like the "older" one is bigger. Or were the people on it just 5/8 scale? There's definitely a difference that demands investigation.

Great pics! Love anything that has the old mine train tracks in it.

Chuck said...

@K. Martinez - Definitely Wakandan. I can see the Antarctic variant causing all sorts of problems with the NWRR rebuild.

Major Pepperidge said...

Graffer, my friend who took these photos complained about those trees all the time. See the pine tree in the third picture? He actually called the park and got them to cut it down!

Chuck, what the heck is vibranium?!? I feel as if it is a reference I should get, but I don't.

Nancy, the reason they do anything is MONEY! I think the canoes would not be too much work when you have 15 or 20 people paddling. At worst you will go slow, which just gives you more time to enjoy the scenery.

Steve, I know there are different, but I never know if only parts have been rebuilt (due to rot) or if they are completely different craft altogether.

K. Martinez, I think I have a photo in which you can see the dude in front facing the paddlers, clearly giving them instructions. VIbranium again… if only I knew how to Google.

Melissa, waterfalls are one of my favorite features at the park, they need more of them.

Tom, funny, I thought the "newer" one looked bigger! 1996 people probably were generally larger than 1950's people.

Chuck, it's like you and K. Martinez are speaking Klingon.

Anonymous said...

Well folks, from experience, the CM in the front of the canoe started out each trip standing in front of the guests instructing them on the use of the paddle. And one of our lines was to remember that "If you don't paddle for us, we will paddle you!" Otherwise, it was a fairly plesant job being out on the river, totally responsible of the attraction. After a day or two, the soreness went away and you learned how to use leverage in steering. Of course, you felt like a jock and added a few pounds of muscle. One of my co-workers was Jim Zorn...who became a QB for the Seahawks.

Anonymous said...

@SteveK and Major, the boats underwent a major revision somewhere along the way, I used to remember the dates, but can't bring it up right now.

The older boats were different and the newer ones had more openings, improved sightseeing, I think. I believe that all the boats were replaced.


Chuck said...

Major - naDev 'oH mu'mey Daq vibranium:

Chuck said...

Sorry - that really WAS in Klingon...

Chris Strodder's "Disneyland Encyclopedia" says that the original Gullywhumper debuted at Disneyland on Christmas day, 1955, with the Bertha Mae arriving in March of '56. The attraction originally used the boats that had actually been used in the "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" program on the "Disneyland" TV series. These boats had two windows on each side.

According to Strodder, the wooden originals were replaced with fiberglass replicas in '58, adding an additional window on each side.

Orange Co Native said...

You guys didn't know that the canoes are on tracks and they have a small motor on them.

I notice that no one in the canoes are wearing a life vest in the 1996 pictures. I went on the canoes in June 2012. Everyone needed a life vest.

1996. It seems like yesterday. Almost 18 years ago. Where did the time go?