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The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

For the last forty-five years the large K on the top of the Sky Cabin has been a Southern California landmark.  If you were headed to Knott' Berry Farm; for one of their legendary chicken dinners or a visit to their theme park to ride Montezoomas Revenge, seeing this K on the horizon meant your travels through the sprawl that makes up the greater Los Angeles Area was almost at an end. 

From my childhood I have a vivid memory seeing the Sky Cabin from the balcony of our hotel room across the street from Disneyland during my first trip out west in the summer of 1980.  On that trip my Dad told us tales of driving across the country with his parents in the late 1940's.  On the drive he kept a glass jar of water with him for fear of getting stuck in the desert and getting stranded.  He kept that jar near until they arrived at Knott's when he was so amazed by the sight of the Ghost Town which was filled with cowboys , a sheriff and gunfights that he dropped the jar and it broke on the ground. 

He didn't need the water anymore anyway as at Knott's Berry Farm they have something better...

...boysenberry punch.

Unfortunately despite my fathers childhood memories and my begging he didn't take us to Knott's Berry Farm on that trip.  What we did get on that trip was five days where my sister and I were able to head across to Disneyland and play all day long while my Dad was at a seminar for work and a day at SeaWorld.  Still each night when we got on our balcony to watch the Disneyland fireworks I'd look across at Knott's Berry Farm in the distance and wonder what it was like.

The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

The view of the Sky Cabin stuck in my mind and it took me a further twenty-one years to finally make it to Knott's Berry Farm for my first visit and it didn't disappoint.  Unfortunately with the massive distance between my Midwestern home and Southern California it has taken me another eighteen years to make it back for visit number two. 

The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 really was the perfect event at the perfect time to get me back out here.  After three days across town at Six Flags Magic Mountain the final two days of the con were at Knott's.

The Ghost Rider Rollercoaster - The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

With Ghostrider towering not only over the park entrance but Grand Avenue and Knott's parking lot it pulls you to the left as soon as you get through the parks gates.

The Ghost Rider Rollercoaster - The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

Ghostrider was a longtime dream for the Knott's family.  I guess before diving into too much about Ghostrider we should dive into the history of Knott's Berry Farm.

The Ghost Rider Rollercoaster - The American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con 42 at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

Knott's Berry Farm began just like the name implies as an actual berry farm.  In the 1920's Walter Knott; a talented farmer, started selling berries from his farm by the side of the road.  One of the most popular berries that brought people from far and wide to Walter's stand were boysenberries.  They are a mix of four different strains that were created nearby by Rudolph Boysen.  Walter heard about the huge and tasty berries and found that Boysen had left farming and all that were left of his creation were a few barely surviving vines.  The vines were transplanted at Knott's farm, brought back to life.  As a result boysenberries turned into one of Walt's biggest selling crops.


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Paul B. Drabek