Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


A RECENT refurbishment of Disneyland’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye Adventure reminds me of my own Ohio Simanaitis Adventure.


It wasn’t often that such a vehicle became available for full evaluation. Drawing by Bill Dobson,

As noted in R&T, April 1996, Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. is a professor. I used to be in academic life. A small, cluttered office in the archeology department of a Midwestern college? Yes! I taught for a year at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio, in the mid-Seventies. An equally arcane subject too: mathematics. And remember his pet husky? This is honestly getting too close.


Separated at birth? This and other wonderful photography of the adventure by Guy Spangenberg.

At the time, I was pledged to secrecy concerning many details of the adventure. But with the passage of time—and the rat-squealing of others—I feel that I can now tell all.

We had twelve adventurers—eleven in Indiana Jones hats, Patrick Hong in the Mickey Mouse cap for which he had pouted. Shortly after boarding the Indiana Jones Adventure Troop Transport, we were presented in the Chamber of Destiny with one of three different routes.

I was at the wheel, though over the noise Joe Rusz told me this control was a dummy. I misunderstood what he said and didn’t talk to him for a week. But, indeed, the steering wheel was phony and—now it can be told—we didn’t have any choice of direction.

Instead, the walls and ceiling of the chamber rotated to give the impression of a different portal. There was only a single entry.


Above, only the sharp-eyed might see art guy Richard Baron masquerading in the catacombs.


Apparently not everyone felt this was the Happiest Place on Earth.

The slalom was done in a place where the color matched R&T slalom cones. (“I have my sensitive side too,” I observed.)


Slalom runs tested the efficacy of 12,600 lb of road-holding weight.

Around the skidpad in another chamber, there were funny crunching sounds and the test results were mediocre. We reported, “…it’s the last time we’ll ever use a place called the Bug Room for this type of handling analysis.”

Throughout the adventure, a Marabic Decoder Card helped with translations. Alas, these cards are no longer distributed.


The subhead can be translated with the Marabic Decoder Card below.


Finding a Rolling Boulder coming at us proved an exciting finale. This thing was huge, 16-ft. in diameter, and the Transporter abruptly reversed to avoid getting crunched.

Again—Spoiler Alert!—this was Disney Imagineering at its best. The boulder didn’t roll; the Transporter didn’t jerk backwards. Rather, the walls of the chamber jerked forward.

On the way out, Dr. Jones offered selected thoughts, one of them, “Tourists, why’d it have to be tourists?”

However, I recall he recognized me as a kindred spirit and nodded. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2012


  1. Rb
    December 18, 2012

    HA! Good times and fond memories, on every mile!! Thanks for the reminder, good friend…rb

  2. John Sanborn
    December 18, 2012

    Your just a kid at heart. JS

  3. Erin Fleming
    August 6, 2019

    I am guessing this was one for the Rod & Truck April magazine. Bill loved doing the off beat drawings they would come up with for him. I recall a Peterbuilt/Kenworth big rig (I cannot recall which one right now), a hot air balloon, and his favorite … the Iditarod Dog Sled Team. As you know, Bill took his own photos. I remember he took great pride in making sure he got the personalities for the dogs in his artwork. I wish I could find that one now.

    • simanaitissays
      August 7, 2019

      Agreed, Bill Dobson was a special person. The Runyan Racing 20DT (as in “Dog Team”) was in R&T April 1992. Bill Dobson and his Frank Lloyd Wright connection was described here at The truck was a Kenworth (“Innes wanted a new peter built, but we got him a ….”) described here at

  4. Jake Hornet
    June 6, 2022

    Is it possible to do higher-quality scans of these? They are so cool!!

    • simanaitissays
      June 7, 2022

      I recall the images were 300-dpi scans from my bound volumes of R&T. That’s my highest quality.

      • Jake Hornet
        October 31, 2022

        I didn’t think you would reply! Sorry for replying super later.
        I am trying to find the magazine but I don’t know the exact name.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on December 18, 2012 by in Classic Bits and tagged , , .
%d bloggers like this: