Day 6: Land of the Free and (most definitely) the Home of the Brave

Leaving our condo at about 11:00A.M., we drove up the mountain to Silver Dollar City, the main attraction of Branson.

Every year that we have visited Branson, we have also visited Silver Dollar City for one or two days of the trip. This year we decided to only go on the Fourth of July.

Dad started off the day by buying all of us matching flag hats. I did not wear it… Neither did my brother… Or my mom.

I decided to wear my special sequin headband with my homemade ‘Merica shirt.

Not ashamed

Not ashamed

As we approached the gates, we took a family shot, which we haven’t done in a long time. Throughout the day I continued to force my family to smile a lot for these random photos.


I have never ridden a roller coaster. Like a real one. I’ve been on the huge scary wooden ones only because the passengers do not flip upside down. I have a fear that the safety belts will come loose, and I tend to start imagining different scenarios that put me on edge.

Today, Mom wanted me to ride Outlaw Run. This was the newest addition to the park and was advertised as such:

Outlaw Run features the world’s first and only double barrel roll on a wood coaster, with a 720-degree (double) barrel roll. In addition:

  • Outlaw Run is the only wood coaster to twist upside down three times.
  • Outlaw Run is the world’s steepest wood coaster with a first drop of 162 feet (more than 16 stories) at 81 degrees.
  • Outlaw Run is the second fastest wood coaster in the world, reaching a top speed of 68 miles per hour.


I was terrified.

Especially since I knew my mom would make me ride it with her since no one else in my family had a pear.

This was our first go-to location of the day. As we waited in line, my heart beat at an unsteady pace.

(Last time Mom had convinced me to ride a roller coaster with her, it broke. We literally had just sat down and put on our belts, when suddenly the cart in front of ours had stopped at the top of the steep drop. WHAT IF THAT HAD BEEN US?! I screamed at my mother. Never again, I said. Never.)

So as we sat down in our two-person cart, I pulled the thick belt over my legs. I couldn’t move but I had already pulled it down too far and started to sweat. A moment later, the belt-checkers walked to our cart and said to let go because the belt had not registered in their system. Are you kidding me? Only our cart? We had to reset the belt and then of course we started forward and what little confidence I possessed had vanished.

I gave Mom one last look to say “Sorry, but you are about to hear some language.”

The 81 degree drop definitely looked and felt like 90. Of course, I cherished the view from the tree tops momentarily, but I screamed so loud and could no longer open my eyes. All I could do was keep my head down and hold on to the seat (because who makes handles on a roller coaster anymore?).

All I could think about is when will this be over. I felt the barrel roll and knew it was almost done, so I opened my eyes and praised the Lord.

We came, we saw, we conquered.

We came, we saw, we conquered.

As soon as I got off that ride I knew I was prepared for anything. I laughed at a middle age man who had sat down (to probably heave) and continued to another ride. I took Mom on something a little more familiar to me: The GIANT Barn Swing.

I only wanted to ride this because it was similar to the popular carnival ride Fireball, which I love. Except this huge swing had two swings instead of one, did not twist, and hurled you seven stories into the air. Thrilling.

The GIANT Barn Swing. Scary, right?

The GIANT Barn Swing. Scary, right?

Mom only rode it for me as my payback to her. Little did I know that this would make her not ride anything else the rest of the day. Great. Now I have to ride everything alone.

Well later I came across an old lady who didn’t think I knew how to make a Root Beer float, a wax hand station, Shaggy and Scooby Doo, crazy Christmas ornaments, a swinging bridge, and the my brother and father.


We finally reunited to ride the adorable train. Who doesn’t like trains?


It started getting late so we also took this opportunity to find the water attractions. We rode two major water rides about six times within an hour. I’m serious. Everyone else went home to clean up for dinner and fireworks while we were too busy having real fun.

We left the park drenched and frozen.



... it runs in the family.

… it runs in the family.

During the day, we saw many types of families. Mainly dysfunctional. I also saw a caravan of motor chairs and a group of ASL speakers. I tried to follow them, in their language and in walking, but they were too fast, in both. I was still so intrigued by this that it reminded me that I need to practice my ASL when I get home.

It took us longer to get back to the condo because so many people were trying to find parking spots to watch the fireworks. When we arrived, I walked out the back of the condo and onto the golf course. I walked to find the perfect spot to watch my horizon of fireworks. I was in awe and stayed out there for almost an hour as the various spots of take off competed for my attention.


The next day we packed up to drive home. Nothing too special. Just driving back to the Mississippi Delta.

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