Jim is a real roller coaster fanatic. Brendan thinks they're pretty great, too. Vanessa can be coaxed onto certain coasters, but isn't thrilled with those that flip her upside down.

So we didn't take her on Portland, Oregon's only coaster at Oaks Park...

  Their million-dollar "Looping Star" coaster weighs 143,300 pounds, is 1200 feet long, and 36 feet high. It has three cars each holding four passengers, and was manufactured by Fratelli Pinfari of Italy.

Click the picture on the left for a more detailed view.

  According to Mark Thurow ("Oaks Park Coaster Guy"):

"It's a fairly intense ride, with that small-radius loop... The ride seems to be about the same general size as a Galaxi or Zyklon, but the ride is much better, and not only because of the loop!!"

Personally, I think the ride is a bit like the comment of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): "...nasty, brutish, and short." But it is local, so I ride it while lusting after "Top Gun" in Santa Clara.

Oaks Amusement Park is in Sellwood, right on the Willamette River, at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge. Their phone number is (503) 233-5777.

I make periodic pilgrimages to coaster parks all over the United States. So far I've had the most fun at Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA, and at Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, CA. Someday I hope to make it to Cedar Point in Ohio, where some of the world's tallest coasters live!


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