So with me getting my new tech job, that also meant saying hasta la vista to Walmart. And with that, despite all my traveling, I still had PTO leftover to burn, which had another trip written all over it. Virginia was the obvious choice, given it's home to a shiny new RMC and a wonderful park I hadn't been to since my early teens. At the same time, Connor was actually able to go with me due to Kings Island stopping daily operation but both KD and BGW continuing it. So we made arrangements and went about our daily business until the time came to go! Day 1 Since I was burning PTO, I was able to get the night before off, sort of an oddity for a Jarrett trip. However, I was still coming off of shift work that night so I woke up at 5 am, and the melatonin gummy I took failed to knock me back out. Regardless, Connor still managed to pop up and pick me up early in the morning and we headed out, with him taking the wheel first while I waited for the sleep medication to work its way out of my system. So Connor drove out first, following the unusual route Waze had plotted us out through Point Pleasant (famous for West Virginia's Mothman lore) and into my least favorite state, West Virginia! We made our first driver swap in this gas station, following a sign not knowing it was the most run down Exxon ever. Couldn't even get gas as in this day and age of 2018 and Apple Pay and carrying your stuff out of an Amazon brick and mortar store, they only accept cash. Took a picture as it's obviously a primitive relic of the past. However, as much as I HATE driving through West Virginia, this was good! Stopped at Tamarack, a really nice travel stop that sells creations from local artists and has an awesome food court! These are smoked trout tacos with Caribbean salsa and it was amazing! After this we headed back out, and per tradition, I had picked a new album to listen to on the drive. This trip's was Owl City's new "Cinematic," which I ended up really liking! It's the best feeling ever ripping through the mountains on the highway listening to something that positive! Eventually we flattened out and crossed into Virginia before switching back to him. However, that's when we were getting word from a few local contacts at Kings Dominion that they were getting absolutely nailed by a storm. We switched back once but the early morning and awful night's sleep was catching up to me, so Connor volunteered to handle the last hour of drive. Well when we drove into Richmond, I saw exactly what everyone was talking about! Everyone was driving on eggshells, there was a really nasty rear ending halting traffic as people tried to handle it standing in a literal monsoon on the highway with cars barely navigating around them. But after that, it started to let up just enough for us to have an easy drive into the park. And just out of nowhere, we were at Kings Dominion! First order of business was to find one of my park contacts, an employee who worked a few rides who I believed was on Dominator at the moment. Well walking through the gift shop to climb the exit stairs...my wet sneakers, tread completely worn off from all that time I spend on my feet at work, slipped on the smooth gift shop floor and I fell! Connor pointed and laughed as I landed on my face...prompting the poor merch attendant standing there bored to put out a wet floor sign. But Nick wasn't there so we continued back around the park for something else... Sadly, due to lightning in the area, Hanover Hill was sadly shuttered at the moment. I stood there in the pouring rain looking at the closed RMC, absolutely drenched from head to toe from the rain at that point. However, we then found out another friend of mine was there! Connor and I turned around and met my friend Crystal from my Coaster Crew days, who worked two jobs that were both connected to the jobs both Connor and I worked! So I used a charge of my meal plan to get the driest chicken I've had in my life (good ol' Kings Dominion food right there) and sat and chatted for a bit. While we were sitting and chatting about the park, our jobs, stupid people, typical catching up talk...I checked the app and everything was back up and running despite the rain! Needless to say, we hightailed it right back to the back corner of Candy Apple Grove for this RMC beauty! Well that was a good ride for sure! Had to lock my phone and camera up so no pictures past the queue entrance this time around, but there's some great atmosphere walking up to this coaster, especially in such yucky weather. There's happy, wholesome fifties music playing as you head into this foggy weathered structure surrounded by decrepit equipment, adding sort of a "Fallout/Atom Bomb Baby" feel to the whole thing mixing dreary visuals with happy tunes. After the main infield, however, the theming is just a single random floating tractor (Verbolten has a random floating queue prop as well which we'll get to). But the station is really well themed, they did a great job ripping some of the corrugated metal from the corner and filling the disused space with props, it really looked like an industrialized farming operation had just suddenly stopped, though not sure how the apples stayed fresh all those years. Ride itself! Starts out exactly like Storm Chaser, thought he view of the forest as far as the eye can see added greatly to the theme, especially with creepy wisps of fog coming off of it. The first little lateral hop was a bit of a letdown, lacking the Wicked Cyclone-style ejector pop I was expecting. Overbank is exactly like Wicked Cyclone's, followed by another lateral hop. The first three camelbacks are great, gave me about air as Iron Rattler. Cutbacks aren't my thing but it snapped into and out of it really nicely, which went into a trick track double up a bit tamer than Storm Chaser's (I might guess this was neutered a bit, as it's one of RMC's most complained about elements on Chaser), capped off by two great air hills. The outward banked turn next is incredibly snappy and leads into a fun little hop and a great roll. The final turnaround was turned into two tiny little fan turns laid end to end and that's really violent, which leads into the two strongest pops of ejector on the ride into the brakes. Add in the drizzle we rode it in and you have a very memorable first ride! Definitely as good as the other ten RMCs I'd ridden, plenty of airtime and great pacing. It has very little for dead spots (a theme for making and breaking coasters on this trip), lots of airtime, but it seemed to lack originality. It's an innovative ride, they did some brilliant things with it, but it seemed to lack anything to set it apart from the others. Got right in the very front for our first ride, which should have been out best experience in that low momentum situation, but I couldn't see myself ranking it anywhere above the mid/low tier RMCs I've done. Rode it again after and got pretty much the same result. Decided to put off ranking it for the day and get a few more rides tomorrow... Next up we did Racer 75, from which I got this awesome shot walking up. It gave a much better ride than I was used to, still pretty #RMCitorWreckit but not as rough and got one pop of floater into the turnaround. We only did one side, though, saving the next for tomorrow. Good night, Twisted Timbers! See you tomorrow! After that we talked to a games employee for a bit before heading out and saying goodbye to Crystal. "Go try a local chain," Connor said. "It'll be fun," he said. Our next stop was Cookout, a local BBQ chain known for its massive menu. And boy does it earn that reputation! I felt like a deer in the headlights just staring at this thing as my brain fried itself deciding where to start. Decided on a pulled pork sandwich, corn dog, quesadilla, and peanut butter fudge shake. The food was amazing but boy did I hate life after eating it! After that I needed something to drink in the hotel room and new shoes that weren't worn down to flat soles, so where to go? Walmart! Found a Walmart with a similar layout to mine and grabbed some Angry Orchard (for obvious reasons) and new shoes. Employee discount travels with me in my wallet so I got it slightly cheaper too! From there we headed back to the hotel, changed out of our soaked clothes, and hit the hay. Good night, Kings Dominion! See you tomorrow!