the breakdown tour   by  jerry

towjob number3
tow job number 3 for dan, number 1 for me. thank goodness for AAA


Dan from fullpipe.com was on his way to nor cal, via denver when I hopped in his safari van. I was a lil hesitant because his van (we'll call it the blue bitch from now on) broke down twice from ohio to denver. I thought how could it get any worse? He already broke down in kansas. So i changed my super busy schedule to take the ride to california, a place I've never been...


strawberry pool
id rather be swimming than looking at something that cost $20 to skate


The blue bitch was great at first; 10cd changer, room to sleep while the other drives, fast- alright, im smiling all the way to tahoe (even though it took 19 hours to get there, same distance as from denver to louisville). First stop, the strawberry lodge. Doubt I'll ever go back there. The new owners wanted $20 for a membership plus $5 to skate- yeah right! Ok, next first stop is what im gonna call the tahoe pool (don't ask for directions). It's a permission pool that a crew reworked fantastically. The shallow had to be jacked a lil to make some rideable tranny, pool coping was added, paint was splattered, and now its gotta be one of the sickest spots in nor cal. We had a good sesh with the locals and some cats from seattle. Thrashed, beat, and stinkin; lake tahoe was a revival bath.


who
he's the one who gives the permission


That nite we headed for humbolt county, but the blue bitch conked out near sacto, and I ended up sleeping in an annoying lil bur field. Next day dan gets bent on skating pools, so we rent a car, hit a lil pool and head to fresno. As we drive to the vagabond, I wonder if we'll get arrested, beat up, harassed by bums... I have no idea except I saw some pics in concussion of shit on the deck to skate. Turns out the vagabond is a great place to skate. The bums were cool and had no problem with skaters (in fact it seemed this lil society of skaters and bums was oddly perfect). I couldn't get over how clean the place was, it was cleaner than a skatepark. The big surprise was the whole courtyard evolving into a skatepark with all sorts of ghetto cement obstacles. Gnarly stuff too, reminded me of fdr. Oh and the pool- its sick, but im sure most know this already. Dan and I got to skate all afternoon/evening without a big session. It was hot, we were tired, but we got some vagabond coping!


johny bong rules
johny bong killlled the pool. over every lite in 1 run, and then some


Off to a sluggish start, we got the blue bitch back, opened her up, and she stank big time! This was completely my fault cuz the milk I put in the cooler had spilled into the ice. That would have been ok, but some leaked out due to the cooler plug being open (my fault again). We figured that out when I saw white stuff floating by my feet while I was driving. With the cooler plugged, we went around a corner swinging, sending the unsecured (my fault) cooler flying, and milk water splashed out. This still wasn't that bad, we mopped it up best we could. I can quote dan "no use crying over spilt milk"- that's the spirit. Although the spirit changed when we got the bitch back that day, opened her up and she stank. All the water milk in the cooler (still) and on the floor stunk up big time in the enclosed, hot as hell van. We didn't really have time to clean, so windows way open, we headed to medford oregon, home of willy.


klamath gummy
they call this the gummy bear bowl


The next day willy got all his cleaning shit out, and we went to town cleaning the blue bitch. After a quick sesh at medford, we headed to klamath falls, home of one of the latest dreamland projects. This park is so sick! Its a hybrid of the parks of the 70's and the current multifaceted parks of today. There are a bunch of separate bowls (apparently each member of the crew got to build their own bowl, and each is lined with pool coping) and wild obstacles in between them. My favorite was the penis bowl, which I like to think of as the turf capsule on roids. The oververt pool coping pocket is a hell of a detail in it. Also standing out are these huge rollers and jumps on the side that mimic the surrounding mountains. So much I could say, but ill leave it at this: klamath falls is the best skatepark ive ever skated, and ive skated more than a few. (havent skated west lynn or orcas yet though...)


klamath
the art of dreamland


Friday was a marathon session at klamath, getting as much in as we could. We skated 11 to 5, draining ourselves for the long ride back to denver. Sharing the park and parking lot parties that day were the likes of steve schooler (of ride on sk8 shop); the chico teacher skate crew; and frank and eric of seattle. After the parking lot party, we left klamath and headed for 80. 4 hours later we break down on the side of a mountain overlooking the desert. We couldn't see the bottom of the hill we were half a foot from going over. Luckily some guys came by in minutes and gave us a ride to the nearest phone (70 miles). That ride was insane, lying down in the back of a pickup with a bunch of uncomfortable shit, watching the stars disappear, and all that lightning. Fingers crossed, we made it out dry, got AAA, went back to the vehicle, then got towed to wanamucca nevada for breakfast. 5 hours later and we have another rental till Monday. Tahoe seemed like the closest cool place, so off we went, making phone calls and looking for entertainment in the area. We end up at the prosser hood mini ramp in truckee, not a bad place to be stuck.


sedways
i believe this is ben gillis, i know this is aaron sedways ramp


From there we branched out on killer excursions to lake tahoe, lake donner and of course, backyards. Sunday (7.27.03) was the shit. I banged my head good at aaron sedways (killer photographer) mini, then got to sesh the tahoe pool with the grass valley crew (including chris senn). After that, it was back to 'home' for an action packed sesh at the prosser hood mini. Lots of people started showing up. Where's reese, I wondered?? Senn was on it, the slipskins were sliding, people were riding wasted, rocket was giving out cookies, dan was giving out chocolates, the removable pool coping deathbox was screwed in place. I felt right at home, wasted and skating cement coping with a good crew. Strangely enough, everyone passed out early that nite...


removable deathbox
heres the removable pool coping deathbox i was jonesin to skate


So Tuesday we get back to the van, drive it 53 miles, and out goes the fuel pump, again! (we don't even think they replaced it) That's what the problem has been the whole time, fuel pumps keep going out.. anyway.. ive had it with the blue bitch, ive lost all faith, I want the bus station. Dan gets a hotel across from a casino, and the last things he said was stuff like gambling, hitting it big, buy a new van... I left battle mountain at 11:40pm and arrived at denver at 11pm the next nite. The 24 hours in the bus tested my sanity with unnecessary stops, a layover in salt lake, broken ac in the desert, construction zones, a major accident on 70 and a dude who didn't want to give me my bags. If dan hadn't broken down AGAIN, he probably could have picked me up from the station.


beer can coping
beer and skating coming together once again


So that's it, im back in denver, and just in time to catch some good sessions. No more games with vehicles. What a first trip to cali. Glad the breakdowns couldn't stop us from having a good time. We skated some epic places and made a lot of new friends. Between dan and I, we got a shitload of photos and video. Check dans site for his version and maybe some video clips. fullpipe.com


sunset
a crazy sunset somewhere in oregon


Mad props to the following for making the big breakdowns no big deal and a very successful tour: the prosser hood crew (chris, dustin, bill and greg), steve of ride on sk8 shop in klamath falls, willy, mark a, randy of n-men, the vagabond commune, the guys that picked us up in the middle of the desert in the middle of the nite, aaron sedway, the seattle cats (eric and frank), willy wonka, jg, chico crew, science, and of course, dan!

heres about 40 more pics of the trip


want more road trips? check out negativeion skateboarding