Terry's dad, Jerry, often frequents auctions. He's snagged many impressive deals this way - from cars to his storage sheds and to even bigger and better things. But no one expected a purchase he made in July of 2015: a roller coaster.
Yes, you read right; a roller coaster.
I found a news article that detailed the sale of Boondocks, a 1950s and 60s theme park that operated off of Highway 385 nine miles south of Deadwood. That is where Jerry bought the roller coaster. I remember the day that Terry spent loading the roller coaster. It took all day but in the end it was done and placed in a field at the ranch.
Jerry had some idea that he would put it on the hill above their house, like pictured here from Easter, up beyond these pine trees...
That piece of equipment is a part of the roller coaster.
He changed his mind though and decided to put it behind his northern most barn, pictured below as the barn on the right.
Terry had been talking about helping his dad to put the coaster together but just needed the time to do it. I told him he'd be out there for two days while I was on my trip to visit my sister and he should do it then. Eureka! They finally got started, nearly a year later, on Sunday, May 22, 2016.
While I was smelling roses and exploring the Oregon coast, Jerry, Terry and his neighbors were putting the roller coaster puzzle pieces together.
Jessica, Jerry's neighbor supplied me the following two photos. It appears that her husband, Brenen, is using the force to move the coaster pieces into position. Hang on Terry!
This is Terry's Carnie application photo for the carnival next time it comes to town.
Of course the kids were rather excited...
|Samuel, Sydney, Evie, Noah, Ezra, Carson...and Snap dog.|
I could not believe it when I got the text just a few hours later that they were already done assembling the roller coaster.
The following day they worked on making the roller coaster go.
It was nice to see Samuel riding a tractor with Grampa again. He'd been afraid for a while after he got his finger stuck in the door of one a couple years ago.
On the following day, after we had finished hiking and entered cell service once more, I was once again shocked to see their progress when I received videos of a fully functional roller coaster from Terry. Setting up the roller coaster went so much faster and was much simpler than I had imagined.
Happy faces all around.
In the last year I had told a handful of people that Jerry had bought a roller coaster. Invariably, the first and only question I was asked was, "WHY?!" But really, Why the heck not? Instead I would answer, "I guess he's going for Grampa of the year." I think he won.
Evie and Noah ride the roller coaster
Terry and the kids on the roller coaster