Monday, December 13, 2010

The Colorado Experience, Chapter 3

For the past 2 winters, Matt and I have flown out to Colorado to snowboard new mountains, skate insane parks, sight see, hang out, and eat ridiculous amounts of food with our friends Jeremy and Lisa. This year was no different except that Brian was able to join in the fun. Each year seems to get more action packed. I'm already counting the days and acclimating for next year. Here's Jer picking us up at the airport. "Wait, were my eyes closed?"

back at the house, fully loaded, ready to roll out. Note the overloaded, rigged trailer...What's your clearance Clarence?"

Lisa's spot in the back

Fairplay park was a little dark

didn't stop Brian aka Bert L. Man from showing up

still, the pitch blackness did make it a bit more challenging

problem solved

first night was spent in Gunnison. the next morning we checked out the Love Bowl (or the Clit Bowl as we called it the last time I was there). if only the locals would have shown some dedication and shoveled the western wall we could have been in business. we made the best and skated the perimeter. always a fun session with this crew.

this Pizzeria pic is for Chris, Adam, Jim and Russ. Where are you Teddy?

an hour or so later we were lacing up in our room in Crested Butte (Crusty Butt)

first lift of the trip/season

it was still preseason so the crowds were thin.

the views totally sucked!

no vista went undocumented

we kept our first day on the mountain relatively short and mellow. we knew we had many more days riding ahead. no reason to kill ourselves this early into the trip. jeremy, matt and I got changed and went down into town to see if the skatepark was hittable. it wasn't. I wanted to document some of the same angles and shots from the last time I was in Crested Butte on the skate trip I mentioned earlier. here's Adam from that trip, waiting for his bones to thaw after a brutal night sleeping in the bowls.

here's the same angle, present day.

here's the fence I slept against on the skate trip. that was easily one of the coldest, longest nights of my life

these are the apartments where the guy with the samauri sword came out of and tried to kill us when we were unpacking the van.

back in the room. it's important to keep the boards organized

that evening, Brian enjoys a well deserved IPA at the local watering hole

dinner is served and consumed posthaste

back in the room we were all ready to party. and by "party", I mean pass out by 9:00)

the following morning around 6, Jeremy, true to his word, starts whipping up one of his famous breakfasts

the much sought after but rarely claimed first chair. our crew had it.

one of our many, wide open descents

"who's drop is it?"

"eeny meeny miny mo...Jokerville it is!"

I started the beard in June for my Summer of Shame. Before I knew it I was into my Fall from Grace. Now here we are already into my personal Winter of Discontent.

Brian was all business on lunch break

what says "trip to the mountains" better than a group pic in front of a slope side fire pit?

back on the hill. call your drop.

and then there were 3. Matt, Jeremy and I officially shut down the mountain. 1st ones on, last ones to leave. on more than one run we had lift attendants remarking to us, "You guys are still here?" Crested Butte was in the books.

the next day was devoted to travel. we had a lot of miles to cover before our next mountain but as you'll see we broke it up with lots of sightseeing and skating. This is bright and early the next morning back in Gunnison in front of our favorite dining establishment.

I was loving all the old signage in the small towns

sun and snow. due west of Gunnison

appropriate tunes for the open road

obviously Brian was in shotgun so he could call out the sights and points of interest

leg stretcher/photo op on the road into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

it was my second (sometimes 3rd and 4th) time in a lot these places but with the views, sights and a tight crew of friends, I definitely wasn't complaining.

everybody found their angle

dry road? you're skating!

Matt tre flips for the travellers

3 professional photographers jockeying for their angles

again, terrible views

Matt contemplates a status update

I love immersing myself in the polar opposite of 7th and Shunk St.

here's a sort of behind the scenes look at a typical group shot. what you can't hear is me behind the camera yelling, "Jer, look this way! Matt, try to look casual. Don't think about the camera. Jer, are your eyes open? I can't risk losing this light! I only have 10 seconds to run down there."

fruit of my labor

on the way out, Jer gave Lisa a break from steerage.

next stop Montrose park. our fingers were crossed for some dry transitions

phew! let's skate!

Jeremy goes frontside on the backside of the donut

it sets you right up for some faux blue tile

matt takes the same line for the spine transfer

when I can't pull the stand up, I opt for the layback, aka the pussy way out (I usually can't pull those either and this day was no different) it was worth it to hear the bark of the concrete. seriously the best noise.

Brian checking in on Hawkeye at Wagsworth Manor

group snap in the donut. after I hit the timer I kept sliding down the transition trying to get up top. notice the laughter of the crew and the tossing of the board in defeat.

back on the road. next stop, Grand Junction

long drive ahead? just choose your art form and watch the miles melt away.

first park in Grand Junction. Fun!

Brian gave this park 2 thumbs up.

obviously I headed for the ganja pocket!

Fagit Skater Suck Bitch

triples in the bowl

the whole park was surrounded by a fun (but could have been a lot funner) snake run

sweet backyard on the way to the next park in town

next park was in the ICP part of town

definitely some harsh seams on the keyholes tranny

Brian and Lisa were killing it on the "street section's" big bank

across town we checked out the Colorado National Monument. Look for Jeremy's shots gracing the cover of National Geographic within the year.

proper gear is as essential as proper equipment

gotta get a fridge shot for mom

documenting the 1931 geological survey marker at Cold Shiver point

it felt like I was just here 2 months ago...oh wait!

Colorado is rapidly becoming my second favorite state in the union

if you know a better way to pass the time on the road, I'm all ears.

by the time we got to Glenwood Springs it was dark which made the hike up to the next POI (point of interest) that much more memorable. Here lies a true American.

status update...I'm your huckleberry

Jeremy kept getting him confused with another famous American

Lisa and I explored another section of the hilltop in an attempt to contact ghosts. spooky!

looking down on the town from the graveyard (sorry, it was hard to hold the camera steady with my knees knocking)

We finally made it to Breckenridge, devoured some pizza and passed the fuck out. Here's Jer waking and baking the next morning.

possible wildlife sighting off the porch?! someone mind the griddle!

back country riding on Loveland Pass was the order for the day

Brian calls the drop

once they were out of sight, I'd drive the car down to the bottom, wait for everybody to emerge from the woods, drive back to the top and do it all over again. We'd rotate driving this way for the whole day. I fucking love riding Loveland.

I hung at the top for a bit to take some more shots

when it was my turn to ride, I put the film camera away and just used the old, yet trusty, digital. here we are hiking along the Continental Divide to find a spot to drop in.

the hike is worth it to find the best spot to drop

looking back at our lines

and here's looking down as to what lies ahead

status update at 11,000 feet

Jer descending from his photographer's perch

Brian's turn to call the drop

good choice

Lisa charging the wind lip

this was a particularly memorable line for me

a much appreciated lunch break

Me: Jer, make sure your eyes are open. Jeremy: Okay

back in the woods to a fun little log spot we came across. Jer goes indy

Matt opts for the mute

In my history of skateboarding and snowboarding I have maybe 10 photos where I'm proud to say, "that's me." Matt added one to the list with this method.

Brian snagged a different angle and added some photoshop retouching to help me stand out in my camoflauge jacket.

back at the condo. it was pretty much sofa city for this crew

before I knew it, orders were being taken for breakfast burritos

wouldn't surprise me if Brian starts getting Christmas cards from Breckenridge area plumbers

Keystone's south bowl

dropping into the gully

Keystone's park was amazing. a ridiculous amount of obstacles to pick from

across and down. a rail of this length requires commitment. Lisa nailed it first attempt.

quesadilla night!

Matt and I hit the town that night to experience some culture and appreciate some art.

next morning. breakfast of champions before heading back to Denver to skate some parks

first stop of the day, one of Jeremy and Lisa's 15 local parks

2nd stop was Roxborough. fucking ridiculous

note how crowded it was

so close yet so far. shoulda done my deck push-ups

we hit the Railbender park in Parker which was easily one of the most fun parks I've ever skated. too fun to bother taking out the camera to document. Look it up. Later on that night, since we hadn't eaten anything since the donuts in Breckenridge that morning, we went into the city to sample some of Wolfe's famous vegan bbq.

he's closing for good in a few weeks after something like 30 years in business. he was super nice. asked us how our meals were and what we doing in town from Philly. glad we got to eat there. if you happen to be in Denver in the next 2 weeks, check it out.

walked a few blocks over to check out the lights at city hall

ever the passionate photographer, Jeremy works for his angles

next morning, next park

being on east coast time was great. we'd have places completely to ourselves for at least an hour before the local park rats started showing up

got the in on an unreal backyard ramp for the last stop of the trip. thanks Jerry.

Jerry had the lines

Indy's on aggregate...great sound

Misfits, Black Flag, TSOL, Circle Jerks, etc. provided the soundtrack. no complaints here.

into the basement. safe to say Jerry saw some good shows in the Valley

tickets for Slayer and Motorhead were available at the Marquee in Emmaus...awesome.

one of my top 3 AF graphics

the Pointless Confusion demo had a song about WAWA

wifi spot searching. still waiting for Mike V. to return my email. maybe next year.

loading up the Element for one last trek. 2 more stops, Denver International then South Philly. great trip!

Thanks yet again to the Millers for their beyond gracious hospitality. You guys are doing it right. Already packing for Chapter 4 next year. Jer, no worries on the Suicidal cd. Just let me borrow your Unit Pride shirt (or the Ron Jon tank)