coast to coast part 3

“are these those guys?” i heard a timid, yet confident voice say as i lay  in a sleeping bag on nice hotel carpet, somewhere between sleep and awake. My friend from Lynchburg, Keina, had gotten us into their very nice hotel and her male school-mates let us crash in their room. She had previously explained us to them in a way that made us sound much more like rugged, admirable, respectable, adventurers than broke, pseudo-bums, which was really nice because they were all their for a business school event and were all very well dressed… we waited until they were all done rushing around, getting ready to get up and get ready. Keina came in on her way out and gave us a couple of free breakfast tickets, which allowed us to stuff our faces along side much more… wealthy, tourists.

After driving around looking for the newest incarnation of the Zephyr skateshop, and never finding it, we headed East back towards Vegas. We flew past Downtown LA, and saw the Hollywood sign.

e stopped at “the world’s largest thermometer,” which I remember from weekend drives when i was much younger.

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The plan was originally to get back to Vegas, put my Jeep in storage and head on to Denver all in the same day, but by the time we got to Vegas, all the storage places were closed so we had to get a hotel room there, which wasn’t too bad.

I took a drive out to find some food and ended up parked in front of my old house. I hadn’t set foot inside for 12 years, had only seen it once since then… and there it was.

Eventually i headed back, watched half of a movie and went to sleep, knowing tomorrow would be a long day…

coast to coast part 2

our hidden car/campsite. ImageEven in a “0 degree” sleeping bag, it was still too cold to sleep very well, and then as soon as it started getting light out, our quiet little end of the road pull-off erupted with revving dirt bikes and ATVs.

ImageThere was no one near us when we went to sleep. woke up to pickups as far as the eye could see.
We drove the rest of the way through the park, through a couple small, cool mountain towns, and then down into San Bernadino. This is definitely one of my favorite drives of all time as far a scenery, and the fact that LA lay ahead of us only added to the excitement.

ImageImageImageAfter about two hours of driving we got to Huntington Beach, and, as giddy as school girls, skated to the beach on little penny boards.

BFFs

surfer bros catchin gnarly pounders
surfer bros catchin gnarly pounders

later that evening we met up with a long-time friend that also just happened to be in LA that weekend. We explored Venice Beach- saw a seal from the pier, drove around Santa Monica (a place i definitely never thought i’d end up) and checked out Pacific Park.

venice pier
venice pier

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santa monica pier
santa monica pier

coast to coast part 1

We were out and on the road before the guy we were leasing from came to get the key. it was a sunny, perfect day. we took one last (very long) drive down the strip then took off down I 15 towards Los Angeles. i’ve probably made the drive two dozen times, when my family lived in Vegas, but have very little memory of it.Image
i think to appreciate the vastness, the openness, and the appeal of the desert you have to experience it. how conquistadors, natives, pioneers, and gold-seekers crossed these stretches of desert on horses and on foot is beyond me.

ImageI really enjoyed the drive and the scenery. We made a food stop at Barstow Station, which was tourist-tacky and overpriced.. the town itself seems kind of interesting though. coming through and down the mountains on I15 into San Bernadino was an incredible drive, and a big change from sandy desert and black mountains. It too, is something to experience Imagewe drove around the Silverwood Lake SRA, until we found a good place to camp. After weeks in Las Vegas, being in freezing mountains with occasional snow was a shock…

first 2 weeks in vegas (in memos)

(1/13/2013)
1-well, i definitely didnt think he actually would, but Nate McGaughy actually came to vegas.. he’s already clogged the toilet and eaten del taco twice.
2- the fact that its been in the 40s here, and 60/70s in lynchburg has made me a firm believer in climate change. guys we really gotta start recyclying now!
3- investigated the first couple skate parks today. im siked.
4- we got kind of lost in caeser’s palace.. but ended up finding a cool antique/collectibles store that had signed memorabilia from like every band ever- including nirvana, the foos, johnny cash, and pearl jam. also an in-store elvis singer guy
5- we got followed by an talkative, intoxicated guy in a fat spiderman suit.
6- also saw a zack galafanackis (sp) guy walking around with a baby…

(1/14/2013)

ok so! (disclaimer- if you are a lilly-livered yellow belly, this memo will be especially offensive) (disclaimer II- was a seether album)
1- found my old fucking house! based on memory.. keep in mind, havent lived there since i was 9
2- so i FINALLY got my health card (required to do anything food service) after waiting in in SSA and nevada health department waiting rooms ALL FRICKEN DAY! and then… my dad calls and i have a nice conversation with him, and i’m like “bla bla bla i really dont want to work at pizza hut again (phone beeps), i’m gonna call the hard rock and beg them to work there bla bla bla…” then right before i call them i’m like “meh, better check my mesages.. delete. delete. delete. delete OH MY GOD THE HARD ROCK CALLED ME! 3- so me and nate went and explored the place tonight. it kicks absolute ass. tons of cool rock memorabilia. talked to the woman who’s boyfriend books local bands a bunch…
4- then this random guy standing next to black flag tour posters starts telling us about how cool and weird jello mothereffing biafra is because, no big deal, he was there 2 weeks ago.
5- so heres the plan- i have an interview tomorrow. i’m just gonna murder everyone else that applied so they cant not pick me. solid plan

Denver (1/6/2013)

Even though I was totally exhausted and barely awake, getting into Denver still felt especially exciting- it’s the only other place I’ve ever “lived in” in the last 10 years besides Lynchburg. I was excited for the skateboarding, excitied to see the 16th st mall, excited to see The Rockies whiter than I’d ever seen them, excited to be back in the promised land of my younger days. This marked the first time I’d been there in Winter, after seeing it in Spring over Spring break with CliffnKyle; in Summer with Kyle in 2010 and 2011; and in Fall, when me and josh stayed there for a month. I’m not against living there, by the end of 2 days, I was totally ready to just move into Greg’s house and take over his room when he goes back to VA in a couple days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up there some time in the future.

The first thing we did when we got to the house was wake up Trevor, who I’d skated with a lot in Lynchburg, when he was going to LC. Next, we crammed him into the trunk and went to a little diner that had a great veggie burger- although I felt like shit, hungover, in a way, from energy drinks and sleep deprivation. When we got back to the house Greg went to sleep. I didn’t know if I could, and ended up parking the jeep at the Denver park and walking to 16th St.

I walked and road the free bus thing all the way down to the capitol, where Occupy Denver was, and back. It was weird, having not been there for over a year. It hasn’t felt like a whole year has gone by, and it didn’t seem like it. Everything was pretty much the same. with the exception of some construction progress, it could’ve been a month since I left in November 2011. I stopped in the Barnes and Noble, where I’d bought a couple survival books before hiking 6 days on The CDT, and Shock Doctrine, a couple hours before witnessing DPD evict the Occupy camp. I decided on a book about the music industry. Its funny how my focus changes…

That evening I got back to Trevor and their housemate, Bob, excitedly building a hydroponic set up for their completely legal weed plants. It was pretty fricken cool, to be honest. Their other roommate got beat up by a stripper the night before. I just had to add that… we sat around and drank the rest of the night. I met a bunch of really cool people, and was seriously considering just staying there- I had enough money to live in that house for at least 2 months, and I was in the middle of a sick little skater/music/art/traveler community.

If there were ever a house anywhere else in the world that I would compare to Clay St, that house was it. Completely.

Moving to Las Vegas: the Trip Out (1/3-1/6/2013

I was really fortunate in the days before I left in that I got to see/talk to most of my friends that I’ll miss most. CliffnKyle are the exception, as our NYE plans kind of fell through, but I still got to have some contact with both on the phone or on facebook.  I got to see Corey and all the other skater kids at the LU park for my big last session. My parents took me out for dinner the same night. The previous night we drank at Clay St… after making Nate and Cullen promise to abide by ground rules..  Josh and I talked about the whole last year, RBP, Lotus Hand, not moving at all since Denver then we watched the video clips from our recording trip to Pennsylvania  and the early practices- which had so much energy. I think we both feel kind of betrayed about that whole thing- there was so much talk, so much hype. It felt like we had the energy that a band that’s gonna make it has to have. It was just fun and exciting!

We ended up leaving a day late, because Greg had some family thing, and I was rushing to have everything ready anyways. There was a pretty good amount of snow in West Virginia, which didn’t change until at least the Western half of Utah. The GPS took us some terrible backwoods way which probably added 2 hours to our 7-hour drive.

It was at least 11 by the time we got to Dav’s. that didn’t stop us from watching several episodes of a PBS series about the expansion into the west, and Craigslist Joe. As soon as we walked into the door we were bombarded with awesome food, in usual Dav fashion, which was great because the 1 and a half butter-covered breadsticks I ate at a hole-in-the-wall pizza place in middle-of-knowehere, WV was not cutting it. We had a lot of good conversations, and Greg (who I was kind of nervous about having a bad time) loved it. It sucked we had to leave the next morning (Dav still held onto us until 11..) but it felt like we had been there for a couple full days with all the food we’d eaten and conversations we had.

We drove straight to Denver, which was about 24 hours, with our stops and driver-switches. I’d never really talked to Greg much- I’d seen him randomly in Denver and Jacksonville, as well as around Lynchburg, and in a couple Denver shop videos- but never really talked. It kind of surprised me, because he was so much like me and josh- just a traveler skater music guy. We had hour after hour of good conversations until it got late enough to take turns trying to sleep. I had the driving shift when the sun came up, which is my least favorite thing in the world, and by the time we actually got within 200 miles of Denver, our shifts had gone from 6 hours to 2, and on our last switch we both slept for 30 minutes.

Pretty much from Columbus to Denver it was just flat, snow-covered plains as far as the horizon. This makes Denver even more exciting because it’s the first mountains- the first change in scenery since West Virginia. About 100 miles out, the first glimpse of the Rockies starts to appear on the horizon. FINALLY!