Tuesday, August 01, 2006


July 9-16 - British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. 24 parks and 7 nights under the stars. Enjoy.

first shot of the trip is always gonna be a boring one, hence me staring at my feet waiting in the airport...BUT we did get to meet Christian Hosoi right after we went through the metal detectors. he started preaching to Matt and I until we literally had to walk away to catch our flight. it was still cool to meet Holmes and I can't believe I didn't take 2 seconds to pull out my camera and get my pic with him. oh well. i shoulda asked him the trick to bringing in layback grinds so smoothly because I am definitely lacking in that area.

yours truly behind the wheel testing out our wheels for the next week

first stop = pick up Po, Katie and Danielle and head to Whole Foods for some slop before heading north to Vancouver

Chris opts for a window seat since the garbage can outside smelled like rotten death

we hit a park in Everett, WA that pretty much blew but I checked the first "schralp" off my list on a nice concrete lipped quarter. I also self diagnosed myself with a pinched nerve between my shoulder blades which I'd be bitching about for the rest of the trip. 2 hours into the trip and my back is already killing me with only 23 parks to go...yippee. next park is Arlington, WA which I've been wanting to hit ever since I found it on the internet well over a year ago. this place rules. beyond smooth. see for yourself...

now I realize this ollie looks pretty low and weak but I assure you this wall was STEEP (I also assure you that's the last excuse I'll make for my shitty "action" photos)

this was one of those corners you could just whip around all day.

approaching the US/Canadian border

we debated putting Po into one of the "Stow & Go" compartments under the seats to try to sneak him across but he was busy as you can see

Chris yelled "America rules!" and crossed the border this way to let the Canadians know how he felt about them

we saw a lot of stuff like this on this trip

all you can eat Asiatic BBQ in Vancouver. Po was talking about this place ever since he got in the van back in Seattle. we dropped the girls off at a hostel and headed north out of Vancouver up to Squamish.

late night hygiene hijinx in the local (only) gas station in beautiful downtown Squamish.

Po made friends with Curly and Harry Potter who verified our beliefs that the park was just on the other side of the trees right next to the gas station. if you ever meet a Canadian, ask them if they "have MySpace up here". Harry Potter said it's tough to get internet access in his igloo and he has to take his dog sled into town to use the local computer.

after some bunk directions from Harry, (I think he took offense to the Myspace question) we find a campsite and settle in for our first of 7 starry nights. Matt and I brave the wilderness while Chris seeks shelter in his tent and Po opts for the van since his camping equipment never seemed to make it out Katie's front door back in Seattle. (the pics are from the next morning)

turns out we slept at the base of Brokeback.

Pank was feeling the black on black this morning. Po simply adjusted his fedora and was good to go.

a short 5 minute drive and we're at the Squamish park. easily one of my favorite parks of the entire trip. so smooth and designed perfectly. the street section had the perfect amount of ups and downs to keep your speed up for wherever you wanted to go. the bowl/snakerun type deal was super good too. nothing too huge and nothing too small. this park (like many on this trip) is one where you really need a couple days to use it to it's full advantage. the scenery was sick too. you're cruising around the park and look up to see huge rock faces. the whole place is surrounded by trees which is one of the little things I miss since I moved to Philly. peep the pics but trust me, you'll wanna go see this one in person.

carving the love seat.

of course since this is only day 1 and we have a lot of ground to cover we break north for about an hour on a very scenic road to Whistler, BC. we grab breakfast at a place where Matt had eaten when he was out here before on a snowboarding trip and are treated to some stellar bananna bread french toast. then it's straight to the park and the legendary Whistler snakerun!

it was fun as hell to just haul ass into the top of it and take the curves as tight as you could all the way through. by the time you got to the bottom bowl and were tucked down to ride through the carve, it felt like you were on a rollercoaster. your board's shaking and you can feel all the lumps in the old 'crete and if you bail you're getting pitched hard straight to the shoulder. sorry to disappoint but all the pics of our flyouts where just too high to keep in focus. here's the raging river right behind the park.

we stopped at Bonney Falls on the drive back down to Vancouver. i love going to places like this when you're with all dudes. the winged unicorn flew away as soon as we got to the edge.

at one with nature

we were almost back in Vancouver when Po remembered Harry Potter telling him about a new park in Horseshoe Bay. we got off at the exit and just started driving around town with no idea where the park was. we ended up walking down to the beach and climbing up this huge rock outcropping thing that was pretty dope. Pank's camera shit the bed here so he was bummed.

after some driving around we finally found the park. there were a couple bikers there and it seemed to be "their" park so we tread lightly. SUPER smooth. not too crazy of a layout but you could really get whipping through the corners and I'd take it over anything within 100 miles of me back home. Po and I were the only ones to roll around here so we actually hit one more park than Matt and Chris did when all is said and done and don't let them tell you any different.

we finally arrive back in Vancouver and check in with the girls and then make our way over to the street plaza which is another spot we had been looking at online for a long time. this place has everything. ledges, banks, hips, etc. some of the locals were killing it. it had a pretty good vibe too. the wall/slant/ledge obstacle was super fun. my legs were pretty much dead by the time we got here so i left the shredding to Matt. i think he could've spent the rest of the trip here. did i mention that somehow I had gotten 3 little brush burns on my left foot all nicely arranged so that every time i knelt to ollie, ollied or pushed it felt like someone was scraping sand paper across my foot in 3 different areas? i know i said i wouldn't make any excuses for my shitty photos but as you can see i didn't take any here anyway.

I didn't really get anything accomplished at the Plaza and when I almost collapsed trying to crouch down for an ollie for Matt's manual challenge I knew my legs were done for the day. I think it was like a foot and a half high but it might as well have been a "meter" (that's Canadian for "yard") the way my legs felt. I could've rode out over the steps and grinded the slant wall all day though. that shit was fun. anyway, we meet back up with the girls and grab some slop in downtown Vancouver. our food took about 5 hours to come out since there was 1 waitress working in the entire place. Chris found an RV campground right by the next park we wanted to hit the next day so we rolled in there and the employees were nice enough to let us in even though the place was already closed. we got our spot and headed to an adjacent Wal-Mart for some 2 dollar pillows and 4 dollar flip flops and called it a night.

the next morning we had a little buddy to help us pack up.

the Bonsor park in Burnaby or as we liked to call it, the Bonsai Pipeline was next and this park RULES! 3 sections. street course, snakerun and the main attraction which was a fullpipe inside a circular bowl. think of it as a race track with a fullpipe in the middle. the street course was fun as hell. nothing too burly but everything was really well thought out and built to last with tons of manual, grind and slide options. perfect place to warm up. the snakerun was also dope. again, super smooth, varying heights and slopes and lines for days. it's between Squamish and Bonsor for my fave park of the trip because of the fullpipe section here. so fun. you can circle it for days. the pipe has little lumps right before you enter that you can pump off of and blast up the walls. the entire thing was pool coping so if you hit a grind you can actually feel it which is really how it should be. the wallride thing was fun too. matt and i found our doubles line and eventually Po stepped in to make it a threesome. peep some pics.

it should be noted that I beat Matt at a "manuals only" game of S.K.A.T.E in the street course here. this was of course after I ate complete shit doing a reverse Euro gap and landing directly on my ass within 10 minutes of pulling up to the park. luckily the ground was smooth so I just slid out and the park was empty so no one had to witness it. the girls took the van shopping while we skated so once they got back we headed to Hastings which is one of the classic BC park. this place was pretty damn big. you could drop into the shallow, make your way through the maze of tranny to the deep and eventually work your way back in one line but it takes awhile. pumping is one skill that definitely comes in handy on a trip like this. here's some snaps of Hastings. first ones from the shallow looking all the way down to the deep end.

middle section on your way to the deep (I don't think that big lump was used to it's full potential)

and finally here's the deep end.

dueling wallrides tucked away in the street section

Matt gets some

after Hastings we made our way out of BC and back down to Seattle. It was an uneventful drive full of unfullfilled promises of 30 foot flames and giant tree trunks. (trust me you had to be there) once back in Seattle we went to Katies house and decided our game plan for the rest of the day. we decided to go to her old high school and skate another famouse spot...the Wall of Death. see for yourself.

crail or die.

and since these were the only semi descent photos of me on the entire trip, here it is again from a different angle.

Po says, "gimme my fedora, it's time to go big"

group shot for the fridge.

Matt hit the rail that the landing of the wallride sets you up to which was pretty dope. he ate it on the first couple of tries and shredded his palms pretty bad. whatevs, chicks dig scars. our friend Scott moved out to Seattle a few years back and we wanted to meet up with him before we continued our trek down south. he works at a sushi restaurant in downtown Seattle so we met him there and he hooked us up as best he could. Cheers to Scott and the Evergreen roll he recommended to me. super good eats. Chris, Matt and I would leave Po and the girls in town an hop a ferry to Bainbridge Island to hit some parks in that region of the state. here are some not very exciting pics from the ferry ride at 11:00 that night. (that's Seattle in the background)

once on Bainbridge we headed to the nearest campsite area and broke in. (i.e. opened the latch on the gate) we found an empty site and caught some Z's. Chris again opted for the safety of his tent while Matt and I enjoyed the 3rd of our 7 starry nights. first thing I saw when I woke up was 2 raccoons walking across our site about 15 feet away which was pretty cool. this is a pic of me telling Chris about the raccoons he missed.

guess what. Bainbridge park was soaked!

we grabbed some breakfast in town and stocked up on some fruit at the local supermarket and then headed west to a park in Port Townsend. it was a pretty cool drive since you're right above Olympic National Forest the whole time. we get to the park and get to skate it for about 5 minutes before it starts to rain. i got to roll around the bowls once and managed to get a frontside grind in before the skies opened up so at least I could check it off the list. we were bummed though cuz it looked like it had some real possibilities. see for yourself.

before we left Po and girls in Seattle, Danielle told us about an old military fort in Port Townsend that we should check out so we went and did that which was actually pretty cool. Fort Worden offered some cool abandoned bunkers, barraks and gun turrents that we dicked around on/in for awhile. we think the numbers were degree markers for aiming the big guns. the ceiling had tracks and we're guessing they'd just slide them along the track to the given coordinates.

some scenic type shit.

now Matt will back me up on this, he remembers me clearly yelling "SAY CHEESE!" but chris swears I called out for a "GERONIMO!". he took the 8 foot drop to concrete pretty well.

lunchtime in the van on the way to a park in Port Angeles

as soon as we pulled up to the park in Port Angeles it seemed as if we'd be rained out yet again. we lucked out though and after about 30 seconds of drizzle the skies cleared up. this park is pretty rad. we didn't spend nearly enough time here to utilize all the possibilities. one hometown hero and lots of little fat kids getting stuck in the big bowls had us on our way pretty quickly.

we peace Port Angeles and start to make our way around Olympic National Forest to check out the Sol Duc hot springs which turned out to smell like pure shit. we skipped a dip in the springs opting for a shower and a shave instead and then headed down the trail to Sol Duc Falls which are pretty dope.

next up was a LONG drive all the way around the back of the forest. here's some scenery and a toe update from that drive.

we only stopped to eat and decided to camp on Cape Disappointment which is basically the southern tip of Washington, right across a bridge from Oregon. we pulled in at almost midnight and told the park ranger who was doing his rounds we pay in the morning. (yeah right) another couple hours rest under a not so starry night this time led to a very damp morning. even Matt had to retreat to the van so technically he only has 6.5 starry nights to my 7.

first thing we did in the morning was check out the lighthouse on the cape.

then we made our way across the bridge (where we happened to spot a bald eagle) to Astoria, Oregon where tons of movies have been filmed over the years. Kindergarten Cop, Point Break and most importantly GOONIES! we hit up a local laundromat to dry our bags out and grab some breakfast before we check out some sights and the park there. here's a poorly lined up self portrait of me at the Goonies house.

of course Pank had to bust out the Truffle Shuffle

here's a view from the house of the bridge we came over that morning

I didn't take any pics of Astoria's park cuz I had been there before and I didn't know I'd be doing this blog deal at the time so either look it up online or go see it for yourself. there's not much in terms of "obstacles" being as this was one of Dreamland's earlier creations but it's still fun. the deep end is huge. you just drop in and carve around wherever you want and hit some grinds if that's your fancy which sounds good to me. about 20 miles south of Astoria is Ecola State Park which is also where some key scenes from Goonies and Point Break were filmed. we parked the van and headed down to the beach. i should've taken a pic of the rope you had to use to get down (and back up) cuz it was super steep and sketchy.

nice view of Haystack Rock aka the Goonies Rock

we made our way towards Portland checking some parks off our list on the way. first up is Newberg which is HUGE. this was my third time here and I think each time has been hotter than the last. this place has something for everyone. there is a little bit of a "kook" and "little fat kid" factor to deal with but trust me coming from the land of Skate Wave pre-fab crap back east I'm willing to put up with it.

we scarfed a well earned dinner and found yet another RV park where we told ourselves yet again we'd pay in the morning since we showed up late. (yeah right) Chris decided to see what these starry nights were all about. you can't see it in this pic but he has his tent set up right next to his sleeping bag just in case.

this is the view I woke up to early the next morning which is one of the reasons I like going on trips like this.

so now it's over to the pool in tiny town of Donald just a couple minutes away. one thing I do remember about Oregon parks is that the sun always seems to be a factor and usually a negative one at that.

this shot is the most exciting thing to come out of our time at Donald since it was about 6:30 in the morning when we got there and I ate shit on my first attempt at a run. Matt braves the Donald Honey Bucket...(sorry I've tried to rotate this one a hundred times)

heading into downtown Portland to hit Burnside and grab some breakfast

I didn't take any pics at Burnside but by now you should know what the place looks like. this was my 3rd time there and everytime (including this one) we show up at about 7 in the morning) and trust me, Burnside isn't exactly the best place to "warm up". rolling around there and then remembering all the pics and vids of what get thrown down there one a daily basis really puts things in perspective. it's exemplifies the "Go Big or Go Home" philosophy. Sage from Dreamland showed up and it was cool to see one of Burnside's creator's tear the place apart on his very first run. like I said before, go skate it for yourself. since Chris and I had already been to Mt. Hood but we wanted to take Matt up there and chill in the woods for a bit but traffic was murder leaving the city so we opted for a session at West Linn which was a much better choice in my opinion.

this park rules. it's built by Grindline and it has the "whacky" layout scheme that they seem to be known for. this is the park where Brent Achtley has his opening line in the Element video where he just cruises the perimeter. here's one more shot followed by a view of Mt. Hood you can soak in just up the road from the park. this again was my third time here and this time I found the lines I was looking for the first 2 times. (note from me: now that we're in Oregon, this is my third time at all these parks and trust me, they get better every time)

I think we hit Hillsboro next which is a little more street oriented and offers tons of lines. a local kid was destroying it and it was about 110 in the shade. now it's off to Aumsville which used to have lights and be open 24 hours a day. some kids told us there was a stabbing so it's closed at night now. it was kinda cool cuz the first 2 times I skated here was at 3:00 in the morning so it was funny to actually see what the place looks like during the day. here's Aumsville...

after the session we took a dip in the stream right behind the park which I was never even knew was there since I could never see it at night and let me just say that swimming in streams will never not be fun. now it's off to Lincoln City on the coast where we're finally gonna meet up with some friends from Philly, Portland and England that have been on their own mission starting in SF and working their way north up the coast into Oregon. we stopped off and bought some 2 dollar tarps cuz at Lincoln City you literally sleep on the beach and the past 2 times I've camped their it's rained or at least misted pretty heavily. we were assuring Matt we'd be getting wet so we stocked up on supplies and some snacks for the night. since we got their early we had time to set up a shelter. (Fort Pank) here are some pics from arriving on the beach and some s'mores action.

time to get the fire started.

finally the rest of the crew shows up.

the Redcoats never had marshmallows before so they were amped

this whole thing was kinda Jim's quasi bachelor party since he's getting married in September so "Cheers to Squibs!" (more of my friends should consider Lincoln City for their bachelor parties. seriously.)

Frosty thought it was time to get the party started (I swear I tried rotating these next 2)

Adam located some more kindling

here's the view of my shoe rack the next morning from inside Fort Pank.

Fort Pank!


time to head up to the park

Lincoln City is a great park. there are 3 sections all built a couple years apart. fuck dude, I'm tired of explaining these parks. just get off your ass an go skate them for yourselves. trust me, you won't be sorry (but it will make you that much more insane when you see cops enforcing helmet laws at Skate-Wave pieces of shit and bullshit pad nannies in New Jersey chasing you around and threatening to call the police) anyway, here's the new pool at Lincoln City.

here's the cradle section

here's the crew at full lurk mode capacity

the Weasel is in the van, are you?

on trips like this you get some when you can

Matt, Chris and I have to break north to be back in Seattle by the next day while the rest of the crew will stay in LC for another night. it was great to have everybody meet up on the beach and session the park as a crew. Never forget the times together man, never. the 3 amigos hit McMinville on the way back to Portland.

but here's the main attraction at McMinville

road life.

we decide to shotgun it back up to Bainbridge Island since we got rained out the last time and just take the ferry back to Seattle early the next morning. so this would be our last of 7 starry nights. we figured a little campfire action would be a fitting end to the mission. and in case your wondering we barged the campsite this time around too. arrive late & leave early = free.

I think Chris even set up the tent on the last night just in case the raccoons came back.

we hit the Bainbridge park in the morning and then headed to the ferry to head back into Seattle. that's the Space Needle on the left.

some dude asked us if we were in a band. we said, "yeah, ever hear of Andy and the Dickbag Joey's?"...he hadn't.

while we were still at the Bainbridge park 2 guys showed up and told about another park we should check out just outside Seattle. i forget the name but here it is. another Grindline creation. SUPER smooth. at this point in the trip when you'll be getting on a plane in 5 hours to fly home it's tough to get amped up to shred hard but we still managed a couple schralps.

anyone noticing how the majority of all these parks have been totally empty? the northwest rules.

then while we were at this particular park a biker showed up and took us to yet another little park just up the road. kinda cool to fit 2 more parks than we thought we would on our last day. this last one wasn't anything fantastic but it was fun to cruise around. it had some washed out tranny on the back wall where I think I finally figured out proper backtails. 4 in a row! a church group was there too and gave us free water, cherries and muffins so all in all it was definitely a worthwhile stop.

we parked the van in the shade and cleaned up (as best we could with wet wipes) and packed our gear back up so we could head into the city and do some sightseeing before we headed home. check out Chris cleaning up downstairs. (warning: this is unintentionally probably the gayest photo I've ever taken)

Seattle's marketplace thing. I couldn't contain the excitement I felt being there.

shaving in the NIKEtown bathroom. top notch facilities.

Seattle's public library.

their facilities were nice too.

we were up on the 8th floor and Chris volunteered to go back down just for this pic. Matt and I were hoping somebody would walk around the stack of books and find him laying there.

The original Starbucks. This is also the only place you'll see nipples on the Starbucks logo. I don't even drink coffee but whatevs. Matt and Chris got a cup just for the story.

waiting for our friend's sushi place to open up to grab our last meal of the trip.

and that's pretty much it. back in the airport waiting to get back to reality.

it was a good one. thanks to matt and chris, po and the girls, jim, dave, adam, russ, frosty, roz, hicky (or is it icky? still not sure) tim, pete, scott and harry potter and chim chim the cat. see you in the van punks. get some while you can.


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