Solo Cross-country Trip

So back in March when Nate and I moved back to Virginia, I left my jeep in storage, because it was cheaper than bringing back, and at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going back or not…

Well, as it turns out, I’m not going back, to stay, and it really sucks driving a minivan, so there’s the background on why I’m out here.

The shock of going from cool, raining Virginia to ungodly 111 degrees and partly cloudy was worse than I had anticipated. Stepping out of the airport literally felt like opening an oven, except the initial heat blast didn’t go away.

I caught a bus to the Riviera- fun fact the 108 bus runs from the airport to some hotels. and for all the other ones, get off at the big bus terminal place and get on the Deuce. this is much cheaper than a cab- and to my complete suprise there was no line to check in.. When I finally located the elevator to my floor, there were about a dozen confused, and extremely heavily-dressed firefighters. most of them had hug sections of fire hose, and each one also carried some kind of pick-axe/pitch-fork shovel thing. They were lost, in a maze of a hotel. It was absurdly funny, and luckily nothing was seriously on fire…

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2 of the 5 firetrucks that were in front of the hotel

The next morning I walked straight to the storage place, and some how, the jeep miraculously started up no problem- after sitting for almost 5 months. I drove around some familiar areas a little bit before it became too hot to do anything but fly down the interstate.

20 minutes outside Vegas I got onto the Great Basin Highway, which right from the beginning is completely breath-taking and took that until it reconnected with I15 again in Cedar City, UT.

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i think i took this identical picture 5 months ago, when I explored for just a couple mile.

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Until I was 9, my family lived in Las Vegas, and we had a condo in the ski resort that is now Eagle Point, 18 miles up the mountains from Beaver. I drove up to it, walked around- nothings changed in 12 years..- and then explored some of the back roads we used to take the Jeep down on expeditionary fishing trips.

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campsite. can’t complain about the view
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three creeks reservoir, Fishlake Nat’l Park, UT
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other side of reservoir
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ski lift swing…
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When I was a little kid, this was a big, full lake, and water would flow over this section of road. I have epic memories of wading the jeep through water to get to better fishing spots.

This morning I woke up, and headed out, down the other side of the mountains through meadows and way-too-steep dirt roads.

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I jumped off I15 (as much as I wanted to take a different route, and stay on it) where I70 starts. Alot of the scenery is really incredible between there and Green River, especially from a geological perspective. The pictures don’t do any justice either.

I passed by the overpass we barely made it to, when me and Kyle blew up the radiator on our way to the Grand Canyon almost exactly 3 years ago. And after not finding a Panera in Grand Junction, I had to settle for this McDs, where I’ve been sitting, typing, waiting for my laptop and iphone to charge for too long. I’m hungry, and since this place doesn’t serve actual food, its time to move on…

coast to coast part 5

Between fighting with his parents, losing his skateboard, and the cold, Nate seemed determined to have a bad time in Denver. it was also the least-busy I’ve ever seen downtown, which didnt help the “where are we even going?” “lets go back to the car,” bitching i kept hearing from behind me when we went down there. My attitude, compensating for Nate’s negativity, allowed me to have a great time there.

I’ve been to Denver probably 10 different times, lived there for a month, twice, and have been generally infatuated with the city since 11th grade. My two, twin, best-friends’ dad lives out there, allowing for a few trips in high school. in fact, Kyle and I took a trip to denver, and then The Grand Canyon the summer after we graduated, instead of going to beach week and staying hammered. I think I’ve made my peace with not living there- I failed twice…- however I still absolutely love the city, the environment, the Rockies, the easy vegan eating, and especially the skateparks! Denver is the girl that I’ll always love and be really good friends with, knowing, that it could never work out.

I’ve skated those streets for hours. I’ve marched through them in the morning with Occupy Denver and been chased through them with anarchists(not necessarily anarchists, but the wilder side of OD) the same night by DPD. I’ve been completely heartbroken in that city, and I’ve been totally at peace. I spent an entire month sober there, as well as a month most nights drunk (off of excellent local beer, by the way). I’ve never regretted a trip to, and time spent in Denver, Colorado.ImageNate. In 30 seconds his newish, treasured Hosoi, board is going to enter a river. In 11th grade, my twin friends took me to this spot, and we were super siked because Fully Flared had just come out and this spot was skated in it  couple times.

Imagefrom the bridge that goes over the trains… “LODO”

Imageanother well-known skate spot.. I don’t remember who skated it, or what video though…

The second night we were there, we drank a bunch at our friend’s house then stumbled to a little bar down the road where the bartender let us drink without IDs.

conversation between the bartender and Nate goes as follows:
Bartender- “do you guys have IDs?”
Nate- (drunkish) “actually man we dont.. because we both got them taken away in DUIs in Virginia.”
(5 minutes goes by, we have been served)
bartender- “So how did you guys both get DUIs?”
nate- “well uh, actually it was the same night too. we were having a party for our friend in our house, and the cops came and busted it and we had to spend the night in jail.” (this is actually the story of how i got my underage possesion charge)
bartender- “wait, so how did you get DUIs if you were in your house drinking?…”
nate- “…”

we skated no more than 3 blocks back to the house when the bar closed. i fell at least half a dozen times..

Image(the last glimpse of the Rockies)

Feeling terrible the next morning, we woke up early and pointed the packed Volvo east.

Also! shout out to the 303 skateshop on Colfax. I always thought the CLFX hoodies were the coolest, and when we went in, even though we didn’t buy anything, they gave us two awesome skate videos (not 303 videos, but a couple of their riders were in them) for free.

coast to coast part 4…

so… i got super behind on this, being on another trip, and only having internet rarely over the last week. my apologies.

So i put the jeep in storage, immediately got an enticing phone call to go work for a movie writer who owns a vineyard near San Francisco(which i painfully declined, and we headed out… 

Imagenevada desert

Imageancient markings on a pole next to the mcdonald’s in mesquite, NV. note the genitalia.

Utah was really beautiful, and it was definitely nice actually being able to see the scenery, as opposed to when i came through there in January and everything was covered in a uniform blanket of snow…

ImageNate riding around a rest stop parking lot. it was below freezing…

Imageoh beaver, how i’ve missed you… we used to ski those mountains when i was a wee lad. Lots of great childhood memories hiking, fishing, camping, and staying in our cabin up there

Imagethis is where I-70 starts in Utah. We took it all the way to where it ends in Baltimore.

ImageGoing back through these pictures, I’m reminded of how beautiful this drive through Utah was. I definitely plan to return and experience more of it. i would recommend this state to a friend. more pics are available on my facebook- facebook.com/seandelakaza the album should be viewable to everyone.

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I would not advise trying to get through the rockies 2 days after a major snow storm… but Nate’s Volvo did the job… We made it into our friend’s house near downtown Denver around 1 AM.