July 26, 2015 was a historic moment for the Carolinas signaling the end of a legend, Thunder Road at Carowinds Amusement Park. Over 160 coaster enthusiasts and thousands of fans flocked into the park to pay their final tributes.
This iconic wooden roller coaster has served many millions of riders over the past 39 years as it flew from South Carolina into North Carolina and back.
Many of us were saddened by the occasion but came knowing this would be the last time we would hear the unforgettable thunder as the trains raced down the tracks.
The station remained packed throughout the day showing how beloved Thunder Road was to all of us.
But let’s step back and pay our respects to our dear friend, Thunder Road.
Grit your teeth…bear the load…enjoy your ride…on Thunder Road
Carowinds was gracious enough to grant us coaster enthusiasts our final opportunity for a close up look at her.
From the first lift, towering nearly 10 stories above
to the sweeping turnarounds
held in place by strong steel cables to handle the enormous forces placed upon her.
None of us will forget the final moments as you crested her lift hill
and stared down her 88 foot drop
and hit speeds of 58 miles per hour.
She offered plenty of hair time (put that phone away)
and drew thrills and screams from all ages
where everybody loved the exciting thrills as you flew over the first hills
then rounded her turnaround for your race back to the station.
You were rewarded with more air time always looking to see if you were ahead of the other train.
The hills got smaller
but the thrills never died.
Until she did, giving her final ride.
The caution tape is staged where her trains will never live again.
Goodbye Thunder Road.