Monday, March 24, 2008

Knott's Mix

Today let's look at three vintage slides from everyone's favorite berry farm. Not Finkelberger's Berry Farm, that place is lame. I'm talking about Knott's Berry Farm!

As a kid I used to dream of seeing an actual erupting volcano, like Kilauea, with rivers of orange and red lava, acres of wrinkled black lava rock (still scorching hot), and of course crowds of people shrieking and running madly for their lives while the gooey inferno overtook them. SIZZLE! And thanks to this magnificent real volcano, that dream finally came true! It really makes you appreciate the power and majesty of nature. That prospector (or scout or whatever) looks a bit puzzled at finding a volcano in the middle of an amusement park. I love the whimsy of this feature, the willingness to be silly, allowing guests to use a little bit of imagination all in the name of fun.

A crowd is just starting to gather around the medicine show. Looks like Doctor Mal De Mer is playing drums to woo his potential victims - er, customers. His medicine was made of the purest oil squeezed from only the freshest snakes, and it cured what ailed you, be it baldness or gout, dyspepsia or nearsightedness. I tried it, and it completely eliminated the cold wobblies.

Great galloping geese! What do you get when you cross a schoolbus a train? You get the Galloping Goose, one of "...a series of seven railcars built in the 1930s by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) and operated until the end of service on the line in the early 1950s." According to Wikipedia, "the geese were painted in black and dark green. In 1935 they were all painted in a silver scheme which they retain to this day." Only the very first galloping goose no longer survives, many of the others are still operational. The Knott's version (their is #3) apparently is still used on occasion, typically during the off season when attendance is low. I've never seen it running, myself. But it's neat!


Daveland said...

Major: I have always wondered what the "lava" looked like - great post! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I remember that volcano vividly. It was about 1966 and we had just come from Lassen Volcanic National Park. I was 6 years old and I was slightly miffed at having to travel the length of the state, only to find the volcanoes there were "dormant". I could have just looked at a picture, cause it was the same thing.

But when I went to Knott's and saw this magnificent specimen of volcanodom, I was appeased... especially when I found the little red devil who turned the crank to an elaborate machine "off stage" that made the volcano work. Science at it's best.

However, Pele was smaller but much more cool.

-Katella Gate

Anonymous said...

I got to ride on "the goose" once. Very cool!