Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mike and Mat's Excellent Adventure!

YES!! This was possibly the best trip ever.
Two man crew, sweet vehicle, bag full of good
food to get us started, gas paid, per diem (WTF?)
and the whole country to cross!

We immediately broke my "no stopping in
Oregon" rule at Multnomah falls. Pretty
ridiculous considering its like half an
hour outside Portland, but Mike needed coffee.

I passed on real coffee and went straight to
the rocket fuel provided by Alissa. Hazelnut Hookup-
Coffee and Guarana together in sketchy
energy drink form! Also, thats not a real lady
in the back- we found a life sized cut out, who we
immediately named La Fonda, glued to a stick
in between seats in the car! She was our mascot
for the rest of the trip...

With the power of my "natural" high
we were in eastern Oregon in no time and
made a skate stop at the park in Irrigon.

Back on the road we saw the duke,

an inn with a funny name,

and La Fonda guided the way.

In Montana the scenery became old western...

It became clear we were not in Portland anymore
and we immediately began appreciating our
homeland... and talking in glorious Russian accents!

Comrade Mikael and I were very much missing
culture, politics and foods of our homeland! Luckily
the great city of Missoula provided us with an
oasis of righteous organic foods and skateboard bunkers.
I slept in cradle at the skate bunker and woke
up cornered by four spiders who had attacked me
in my sleep! They are probably still trapped in
the bowl- ha ha! What now spiders?!

On the way out of Missoula the gas light lit up and
we got off at the next exit. The "gas station" was a
crazy old saloon were that had a pump outside. You
payed for gas at the bar. Apparently, the town
has an annual bull testicle eating festival. Woah!

Big sky

Drive drive drive to the next stop... the skatepark
in Dillon Montana. This park is in the shape of a
figure eight with a fullpipe in the middle!
Death Race 2010!

We were collectively pooped, so we decided
to dip into Andy Henry money for a hotel room.
Also, we had made it to Yellowstone and
it didn't make sense to drive through the
park at night.

The next morning we had another awesome breakfast,
bought some souvenirs and headed into the park.

Yellowstone is one of my favorite places.
So beautiful...


The park is on top of a huge caldera
that is the cause of a good chunk of the
sites to see. If it ever erupted United States
would be very much not stoked!

We got way too close to Bison. Especially considering
the zoom on the camera did not work.

The highlight of the Yellowstone day was climbing
down a rock wall to get to this waterfall.
There was a nice safe path, but climbing is
awesome so... We beat it out of the park when
the sun went down and Mike charged through
the night being "The Dude."

At some point in the middle of the night
Mike got fired up on coffee and we stopped
at a rest stop. Wyoming DROP IN!

We crossed into Colorado and the name
Fort Collins made our spot-sense tingle.
We got off the highway, drove down main
street asking wasted college kids where the
skate park was and came up on a super
good find. Another night camped out
at a skate park.

We woke up haggard. Got another killer
breakfast at a Cajun spot where we stuck out
like a soar thumb, but made up for it with good tips.

Then back to the park which was better than we
had expected the night before.

Santa Rosa humps and a spine at the same park?

A deep end with pool block too?
Sign me up!

Locals turned us on to a DIY spot in Ft. Collins as well.
Lots of fun little stuff here. Multiple pole jam
options- you know I was hyped.

Rock coping.
Two-headed turtle hump!

We got back on the road and entertained ourselves
at truck stops along the way.

Next stop was Denver and ended up being down time.
We saw Pete Eldridge at the skate park, ate at a tight
little diner and acquired more organics for the road.

Of coarse Mike also found something to drop in on.

Back on the road.
La Fonda wears her sunglasses at night.

We pulled off the highway in the middle of the night
to get gas and totally found a dream spot!
Thirty minute session, no bust, we stopped
when we either got our tricks or got broke off.
I got broke...

Back on the road- Mike takes us through the night.

I-80 "Worlds Largest Truckstop"

Uncannily resembled a Walmart.

Mike with Optimus Prime.

Badass western gear.

$25 kitten t-shirt

La Fonda was very popular at the Worlds Largest Truckstop

At this point we were just longing miles.
We had stopped in Lincoln, Nebraska for an oil change
and to obtain organics to make it across Great American
Corn deserts. We stopped for a motel room at four
in the morning, got up for check out and back on the road...

The road tax was settling in.

Indiana immediately showed solidarity with us!
This glorious state had many small towns and cornfields
but was still pretty awesome. Russiaville!

After getting super pissed stuck in traffic in horrible
city of Lafayette, Indiana we finally made it to the Kokomo
skate park for some serious leg stretching. The weird
methed-out vibe and debris in the pipe made for a
short stop, but this park is seriously sick.

Cornfield antics.

Our last stop before making it to the motherland was
Pittsburgh. We didn't get to stop at the Polish Hill bowl,
but we did meet up with comrades Ellen and Ben
who were also on a glorious cross country adventure!

We got breaky at a regular spot with solid atmosphere,
crust punk patronage and hippy management.
Pretty rad.

Jerry Garcia dude was working hard, but took a second
for a photo with mike. Sick back piece!

The final push to get back to motherland!
Mike broke down and drank some rocket fuel.


Kelly and La Fonda hit it off immediately.

We arrived! FDR is in tip top shape and we were
SOO stoked! There was also a rave!?

Stayed at Kelly's house. She woke us up all excited to hang.
I don't think she realized mike didn't have pajamas...

These my dogs!

South Phila

A trip to West Philly was definitely in order.
Coffee at the Green Line and Baltimore Ave lurking.

I brought my new Yellowstone souvenir.

Bathroom Graff.

West Philly is totally a mini PDX.

South Philly is South Philly.

Lurking with P.Jackson

Critiquing public art.

"Aye ahh... Can I git one wit wiz?"

The next day Mike and I parted ways, he was headed
to Jerz to see the fam and I was feeling out my next move.
(click on the photo for a closer view)

Ended up getting to hang with Brannon for a couple hours.
We hit up the new DIY street-ish park in North Philly.
Pretty sick.

Brannon advising the youth.

Pops park had an Afro Banks replica that is harder
to ride than the actual spot! Pretty fun..

I decided to head up to NYC and hang with Benny and Adam.

Hopped on the chinatown bus, jumped on the A,
transfer to the L and walked up to the street
as Benny was walking past the Lorimer St stop.
Pretty perfect. We got a beer...

Woke up at Bennys place and wandered Brooklyn.
Home will always be home; even if its not.

Spent the next couple of days walking and train
riding and walking and looking and
tasting and smelling.

And I guess taking photos of random stuff.
The city seemed dirty compared to last year
and it was kind of comforting...

I visited Benny at work. He had a turtle.
The school was really nice.

One day I met up with mike and we skated
midtown, got pizza by the Banks and
checked out the San Genaro festival
in Little Italy.

This tailslide could be from 2010, 2000, or 1995.

The last day in NYC I wanted to take some
Holga shots, but exposed the film trying to
load it. So Grand Army Plaza is a lot
less arty looking than it could have been...

Its weird that I don't have any photos of Salo
from the city. We hung hard, skated some
and as always it was rad to see him.

Also I didn't make it to Brooklyn Heights,
which I should have.

Back to Philly.

Brunch with Kelly and Phil... Straight to the airport.
(my last ride in the Monte)

Back home, I was immediately rushed to a Love Boat
costume party! I was pretty spacey but that may have been good.

Gotta love Chris- he thought the theme was nautical
and was wearing fisherman gear... Radical.

So that is it. A whirlwind two week excellent adventure.
Be excellent to each other... and PARTY ON DUDES!