Stratosphere Rides: Die-First Ask Questions Later

Another excerpt from my blog about Vegas.

We didn’t realize how far the walk was to the Stratosphere until we finally got there. Without food (or beer) in our stomachs we were feeling a bit lazy and needed a pick-me-up. Fortunately that’s exactly what we got. We bought our tickets and then rode the elevator up over 1,000 to the top of the Stratosphere and proceeded to indulge ourselves in two of the three rides at the top (the craziest one, inronically named “Insanity”, was closed due to wind). The first one was called “Big Shot” and launched us striaght up a tower to the tippy-top of the needle. Good acceleration, fun, but not scary. You could see the complacency on my face in the picture they took right when we accelerated upwards. Hunter on the other hand looked like he was doing his best to make his head explode by way of straining every neck muscle he had to the max. If I didn’t have such a boring pose I would have bought the picture just for Hunter’s face. The next ride was mild exceleration but RIDICULOUSLY SCARY. Let me preface this ride by saying I have; been thrown from a boat and tube while whitewater rafting, nearly slid down 800 verticle feet of rocks, bungy-jumped the 3rd highest jump in the world, cliff-jumped in Havasu, sky-dived twice, and been attacked by a gang of bullsharks (ok that last one isn’t true) but nothing, and I mean NOTHING has scared me like the X-Scream.

The ride itself looks like a metal teeter-totter with a green slug on one side. Not very scary. Take that ride and put it right on the ledge of the Stratosphere? Extremely scary. You board the ride as the teeter is down towards the middle of the sphere. Not very scary. Then it raises up and the teeter, totters shooting you 20 mph straight off the stratosphere! Luckily for you (me at the time) there is a tiny braking apparatus at the very end of the totter so while it looks like you will shoot straight down to the depths of hell you actually stop abruptly and then hang staring down at the depths of hell. As it teeters back towards safety you thank your lucky stars that the brakes worked and you are safe again. Unfortunately for you (and again me at the time) it totters a second time and you are hurled right back from whence you came. Again you hang, praying to the gods of pneumatics that the brake doesn’t fail and planning on what you would do with your 10 second fall to becoming a human pancake. Finally, teeter and a gasp of relief OH WAIT FAKE TEETER DROPPED AGAIN. At this point you (and luckily not me) are losing you mind along with the beers you drank before and some poor sucker 1,000 feet down is having a very isolated and disgusting rainstorm. Luckily for you (and me) the ride teeters back and just when you think you have been returned to safety it totters a THIRD TIME. At this point I think my heart exploded. I was gripping the tiny metal bar across my lap with my entire body so hard that when I eventually escaped my torture I had to massage my quads to keep them from locking up. By the time that thing teetered back to safety I was praying to every god I could think of in every language I knew (luckily this is only 2 if you count spanglish) that it wouldn’t go a fourth time. Had the ride tottered again I think I may have just jumped to my death to avoid the anxienty. Luckily 3 totters was all the X-Scream could muster and we were sent on our way. Though I wanted to do the “Insanity” ride I was thankful at that moment that it was closed. This meant I didn’t have to look like a wimp by making up some excuse for not riding it and and also that we have another excuse to go back to Vegas. I am posting the link to the rides here so you can see with your own eyes (pics are in the link).

One Response to “Stratosphere Rides: Die-First Ask Questions Later”
  1. tsonoda148 says:

    Hi Kluck………yea, I did the ‘elevator ride to hell’ more than once, and at various levels of sobriety (from kinda to Not Even). However, every time I went up, I went right back down after getting a closer look at those horrible torture rides. Not gonna happen….ever. Glad you had the guts, though. Yea, we need to leave those kinds of rides to you young people who don’t know any better.

    Funny stuff!!! Keep ’em coming.
    Your crazy old fan from Vegas,

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