Long Way To Skate

This is our 8 month trip across the country on longboards. in an attempt to raise green awareness and to raise money for multiple sclerosis, we will board 5000+ miles on our longboards. we start in march 2010, so i hope you'll be here to read about our adventures

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Through Texas, on to Colorado

So there's alot to tell here so it's gonna be a long one. Upon reaching Texas we went to a town called Tenaha, where we got a hotel because we needed beds and showers real bad. The rooms at the motel had bed bugs so we ends up using our sleeping bags on top of the beds lol. After leaving the town of tenaha behind we trekked across dirt roads and eventually tar roads (not tar and gravel, just tar) where we would slow down immediatly after each push. Our gps pointed us to a park called martins creek lake state park but gave us a route we would regret. The road it told us to take was blocked off so we had to go down a paralell dirt road that led us into a field with a few hundred feet of thorns and dense forrest (not to mention barbed wire) before we reached the dam. We walked a mile or two on top of the dam before climbing over more barbed wire. Right around the corner though was the park, and they had one campsite left. For 8 bucks a night we were ecstatic and spent an extra day, trying to forget we were in Texas. The only downsides to this park were A) no power except in the bathroom B) too far from town to get supplies, and C) there was a giant coal power plant right across the lake. The rangers there were pretty cool. They were some of the few cool people we met in tx. We then headed northwest for a few days of boring camping (not the fun kind) and dealt with having objects thrown from windows, people hollering insults at us, and drunks swerving into the shoulder. After a few unmentionable days we made it to Greenville Texas. At this point josh's backpack was torn up pretty badly, so my mom sent a backpack to Dallas where it was picked up by someone she went to school with, the kickest ass texan ever as fat as I'm concerned, Libby. She drove the pack out to us at a hotel in Greenville and we then went out for breakfast where we got to sit and talk for a while. Despite some cruddy happenings, she's totally cool and in great spirits. I feel privelidged to have met her, though breifly. The hotel we stayed at was kinda odd though. Apparently there's lots of hookers in Texas because we were in different towns and still saw hookers everywhere. Realizing that the daily temperatures were in the mid to upper 90's and the night time temps weren't much cooler, we started to realize we were in a dangerous position. With towns becoming more sparsely placed, shade disappearing, and locals becoming more hostile, we decided to get out of the heat, and more importantly out of Texas. Upon reaching Denton Texas we boarded a greyhound bus to Dallas which connected to one that took us clear out of the heat to pueblo Colorado. Not that it's much less desolate here in Colorado, but it's cooler, more beautiful, and the people are incredible. We stayed our first night at the KOA campground north of pueblo which was overlooking the Rockies, and even cooler, pikes peak! After resting up for a night we hit the road again finding a dirt road (we didn't know it was dirt til we got there) which led us into back country for about 15 miles before getting a short lift to the next paved road. Once on Tarmac again we bombed down a medium hill and carried on towards Fountain Colorado which is a beautiful town. As we were headed in we were stopped by a fella on a tractor, Christian, who sat us down and gave me a beer and asked about the trip. Check this out: it was memorial day and we had been dreaming about cookouts, and sure enough Christian invited us to BBQ and stay at his house. He also called up (with great effort, it's hard to reach anyone on a holiday) the local paper. That brings us up to today. We woke up comfortably and Christian helped us plan out a route to Utah, and we then met with Janet, the reporter, who interviewed us and all of us then shared our distaste for Texas lol. After the interview we said our goodbyes and headed up through fountain to Cokes Diner for Rite burgers with green chili (the best thing ever). The rest of the afternoon was solid pushing all the way to Old Colorado City where we are camping out for the night. Anyway that's the latest and greatest, y'all take care!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good riddance louisianna

Sorry it's been a while, but except for a small number of cool individuals, louisianna sucks. Starting with our departure from new Orleans here's the story of the land of a thousand biting insects: we rolled down route 61 for about as far as we could on day 1 of this leg of the trip, until we found an oil pipeline/ refinery and we camped out just beside it. The spot wasn't bad, but we did get harrassed a little by a curious armadillo. Next we pushed for a day to a town called sorrento and walking into a dollar general we met Laverne. Laverne was really excited about our trip and invited us to stay with her and her husband Jitter. Jitter is a hell of a cook, and let us try his crawfish fettuccini which had 15 lbs of crawfish in it. In the morning we took off again towards what happens to be the cesspool of America (at least as far as people go). I'm talking of course about Baton Rouge, translated from French: "let's let the Americans have our rudest people and have them carry on the Parisian tradition of being a stuck up prick whenever possible". Fortunatley Josh had a freind in town from his airsoft site who helped us out so that was one cool thing, and there's a fantastic skate shop called Board Lords in the mall of louisianna. So we gladly left baton rouge (or tried to) only to find out the bridge over the Mississippi river is not passable on foot. Luckily after about 4 hours of waiting by the bridge somebody let us hop in the back of her truck and took us to the other side. We rode into a town called port barre where we met Sandy who took us in and cooked us dinner and made us cookies and brownies and such. After staying with her we skated up to chicot state park. Chicot wasn't a bad park except raccoons and biting insects. I've never been bit up this bad before. There are literally hundreds of bug bites on each of us. It wouldn't have been so bad but we were stuck there due to rain storms. After 3 days in chicot we headed up to kincaid resevoir up in the kisatchie national forest. We camped out there for a night with the usual bug bites and such (deet doesn't work, louisianna bugs treat it like hot sauce). Then it got worse. The roads we were directed to take (F U google) led us down dirt roads for two days. Luckily we ran into Casey, who took us down into town where we met a bunch of cool people (Jessica you are drop dead gorgeous). We took off again in the morning from where we met Casey and headed north west as far as we could go in a day and we made it to a few miles west of Converse louisianna. There we grabbed cheeseburgers and threw on our reflective gear to go find a place to camp. After 10 more miles we ended up camping next to a boat launch. And finally the next day we rode north to logansport out of louisianna!!! A few miles west of logansport (like 15 or so) is a town called Tenaha Texas, and that's where we got the worst hotel room ever. We thought bug bites were bad by the river, but this hotel room had so many bugs it was ridiculous. Anyway that almost brings us up to date. Y'all take care

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Dat??? Long Way To Skate!!!

So a week in New Orleans is not enough. You could live a lifetime in that city and still not be satisfied. Everything from street performers to roaming artists and people who live only to breath New Orleans. Immediatly upon reaching Canal st. We saw streetcars and marquees advertising the seductive lifestyle of the city, drawing us in like the smell of a fresh baked pie in an old cartoon. More hotels than you could shake a stick at (all of them booked up due to jazzfest) and sounds of city life intertwined with jazz bands and street vendors. We trekked a few streets down to a small local skate shop for a new set of hardware for josh's board and in the process met a new freind, Joshua, who ended up getting permission for us to stay with him, at a very cool house with David and Roselynn, a very cool old musical couple who've been married 50 years!!! For the next week Joshua showed us not only the obvious tourist sites, but also the cool unknown spots in the city. On our second day in town, our freind Stuart aka Stuartini the Magnificent arranged for two tickets to the last day of Jazzfest for us, which was incredibly cool! We got to see everything from blues and jazz to Indian dancing to creole music and and even stuff like Juvenile (a rapper) and the great BB King himself! Over the next few days we rode our boards and sometimes bicycles around different areas of town and tried to find out what Nawlins tasted like. We had muffalattas (great oily sandwiches) and po' boys and all sortsa different Cajun delicacies. We got to see many different art displays like a mural done on a building in the bywater area by some new yorkers and some "junk shops" containing various antiquities mixed in with local artists work. We walked down to the industrial canal and hung out by the levy there to play with joshuas dog Betty and we got to go walk under a pier and took some fantastic pictures. Of course we went through Bourbon street as anybody would, but it wasn't like a central point or anything. We tried various Recipes of bread pudding all over town as well as other dessert foods and so forth. A few days in Joshua introduced us to a fella named Railroad Bill, an older guy with a mind that rivals the best in the world. Railroad Bill and I had a few discussions on history of different subjects and I've gotta say I feel smarter having done so. Sadly our time in Nawlins had to end at some time, and on the Saturday after we showed up we took off up the road again, this time camping next to an oil refinery (bah!) and making our way towards Baton Rouge. But that's another story. I'll post up soon (not another week I promise). Y'all take care

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gators, Casinos, and the Big Easy

First allow me to apologise it's been a wild week! We've been going solid and haven't had the battery in depth story action lol. So, where to begin. Upon leaving jeromes we encountered that old issue of really enjoying a place and not wanting to leave, and we got a late
start on the road and didn't even make it out of Alabama. We rolled until dark and ended up camping out behind a church and not even pulling out the tent or bed rolls. We figured an early start was a good idea and had a solid day of skating through a little bit of rain and made it to the Mississippi border by about noon. A few miles down the road we were hurting for water and stopped at the only place around which ended up being really cool. At Gulf Coast Gator Ranch and Tours we got to see and even hold alligators and take an airboat ride around the swamp. We found out that gators love marshmallows and that they can grow up to 19 feet, though the biggest we saw was 16 feet, which is still huge. They gave us directions to a convenience store down the road with great chili cheese dogs and after loading up on chili cheesy goodness we carried on. The next town was called Pascagoula, a town known for it's ship and oil rig building industry. Josh scouted around the area and we found a camping spot under the bridge and even though it was a little windy it was a good spot. That next morning was a great skate: nicely paved roads with decent temperature and plenty to look at. We skated through a small city called ocean springs and then across the bay into Biloxi. Now Biloxi is a casino town and this becomes apparent as soon as you get halfway up the bridge. Immediately after the bridge are three casinos, the Isle, the Palace, and the Grand. Thanks to some intel provided by a freind and fellow traveller, Sean "Rickshaw" Robinson ( rickshawusa.blogspot.com ) we were able to find a spot in a field between them with power and water. Sean has been riding his rickshaw across the country with his dog Coop in the back and has had the good fortune of meeting some of the same cool people as we have. In Mobile he met Bucky (the bartender / photographer) and got to see some cool things in Mobile thanks to Bucky. Anyway back to the Biloxi part of the story. We skated around Biloxi that night and took pictures that I edited with an app I got that can apply different lens, filter, and developing techniques to make the iPhone camera capable of some incredible pics. From Biloxi we took off down the boardwalk and sidewalks along the beach through Gulfport all the way to waveland which is next to Bay St. Louis. waveland was ground zero when hurricane Katrina hit back in 05 and the damages are still very apparent. In neighborhoods that used to have houses everywhere there are now maybe two or three in a block. There are still stilts but not houses, since they were washed away by the storm. The plan at this point was to go to buckingham state park and shower up, but unfortunately that wasn't an option: it wasn't open yet. Damages from Katrina wrecked up that park so bad that it's 5 years later and it's just getting ready to open. Due to our unholy stink from sweat and road grime, we needed showers, bad. We stopped in at the travel express inn and we got s special rate because they were cool people. We stayed overnight but upon awakening Josh was sick and it was raining so I paid for another night. That day I got to know the cleaning lady and decided to cook dinner for her since she was hurting for money. I made a big pot of chili with fresh ingredients and a new secret ingredient (spinach). The next day we took off again towards New Orleans along roads heading through the bayou. With some luck and ALOT of pushing we made it into Nawlins and got to roll around the French quarter. While taking a break we ran into Joshua (not trip Josh) and he ended up finding us a place to stay, buying us dinner, and hanging out with us. I'm gonna cut y'all off here and do the next post starting from this point in a few days so that nawlins stories stay together. Anyway y'all take care

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mobile and it's ups and downs

So we made it into mobile expecting awesome sauce but upon attempting to get into downtown we met with misfortune. I bit it a few times due to cruddy sidewalks and even soaked my feet by rolling through a hidden puddle. We rode down dauphin street all the way to the waterside. Not that it's not a cool looking place, but being down there with backpacks kinda sucked. We spent a few hours trying to find somewhere to camp and ended up having to get a hotel room. On the upside though after dropping our gear and getting showers we went down to a sandwich shop for food and a pitcher of yuenglings (for me). After talking to some of the people hanging out there I went a few doors down to paddy o'tooles for a few beers which was a great choice! Bucky the bartender listened to my stories and told everyone else that was there. I got to meet all sorts of people including my buddy Jerome who took us in for the next few days. After leaving and goin to dennys for 17 pancakes I returned to paddys for another beer before going back to the hotel. When I got back to the bar bucky showed me his phoography project which was this cool creepy doll imagery. The next day bucky took us out to an amazing Cajun place called the hungry owl which I will admit has THE best Cajun food ever!! And for only $10 for a big plate of awesome! Afterwards we went to see a display of tanks and aircraft and a battleship at a park in the bay which was cool. We tried to see some gators there and one popped up out of the water but it dove down before I could snap a pic. To get better pics we went across the bay to a small park known to have alligators all the time. I caught a great pic of a turtle and a few of gators, and Josh almost jumped in to wrestle one lol. Next few days we sat out a big ol storm that came through throwing hail and flattening some houses in Mississippi, luckily leaving us alone. My birthday (Sunday the 25th) was spent with Josh and my new freinds Jerome, Tim, and Stephanie and was a cool time! I had a steak and a few beers so I figure I had an awesome time. Anyway I gotta roll so y'all take care

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Im goin to Jackson...

so upon leaving Birmingham we had a tough few days rollin south on routes 119,25,5,and eventually 43. between those roads we got to stop in Briarfield State Park and saw Bibb Furnace, an old civil war Furnace used for manufacturing Confederate cannons for their navy until being demolished by the union forces. afterwards it was rebuilt and used until 1889 when the company that rebuilt it went under. after staying at briarfield we went south on 25 a few miles and made it to Six Mile, a small area with some awesome people. we stopped in at 6 miler grocery and were treated to lunch, advice on travels, route planning tips, road hunter stickers , and t-shirts! travelling down the road we also ran into a reporter from the North Bibb News. Daniel asked us some questions about our trip (i was impressed, hes too good to be at a small paper) and snapped our pictures and sent us to a restaurant on the south side of town called the Sawmeal restaurant where we got some southern cooking and enjoyed ourselves, and our dinner was payed for by the same fella that bought us lunch at Six Mile! then we headed south until just short of Marion where we camped by a church next to the Cahaba River once again. (last time was before Birmingham). Next few days were unremarkable except for a breif ride we got headed into a town where the driver was drunk as hell (had i known we wouldnt have gotten in but we didnt jump out for fear of losing our packs). anyway i gotta run but ill post soon. we should be in Mobile by the weekend so ill keep you posted!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


so first i wanna say that Chief Ladiga was more than just the name of a trail we rode, but also the chief of the creek nation before the trail of tears, and i still think its pretty F@#$ed up that the gov't kicked them off their land. but anyway, we rode into Alabama like it was a nature tour. the first 8 miles into this wonderful state was a constant cruising downhill past beautiful mountains that looked almost like camoflauge with their integration of dark green, light green and brown trees on the mountains. add that to the tree blossoms that adorn the trail and you have an amazing view and the only thing that spoiled it was the mass amounts of pollen. there were literally clouds of pollen blowing past us like some sort of chemical weapon aimed at my olfactories. after a few miles we ran out of water so josh dicided to go down off the path to gather some fresh water from the stream nearby but didnt think to examine his path down the slope. after pushing through masses of thorn bushes he got to the stream and filled a few bottles and climbed back up to the trail. a few miles later we reached the town of Piedmont (foot of the mountain) Alabama where we met with some locals in the welcome center and i learned a little local history. after being there for a little while Jack (one of the fellas i was talking to) made a call to Rebecca Walker from the Anniston Star (a local paper). that evening we camped out by a naturally flowing stream that bubbles out of an underground location. the next morning we packed up and headed to Anniston along the Chief Ladiga trail and met with Ms. Walker for an interview for the Star and she ended up pointing us towards Wigs Wheels, a cool ass bike/skateboard shop in Anniston where we met Robert Smith who decided to let us stay the night at his house. he and his wife Ridgely treated us very kindly and even cooked us eggs in the moring before we headed into town. in town we were treated to a tour of the local veterenary hospital and we were excited to meet the doctors who patch up the animals. the Anniston Veterinary Hospital also happens to be the meeting place for a group of professional bicyclists who were meeting for a yearly competition where they ride through the town, and the day after is an event that is a 102 mile ride out of town, up the biggest mountain in Alabama, back down, and back to town, called the Cheehaw Challenge. After leaving Anniston that day we made it to Talladega Super Speedway where we got to take a tour of the track as well as the International Motorsports Museum next to the track. after leaving Talladega (Shake n' Bake) we made it to the Cahaba River where we camped next to cool flowing waters. upon waking the next morning we headed into Birmingham where we met with Andy Bell who is a kick ass dude, and he showed us arouna nd introduced us to Jan Bell, the chapter president. shortly afterward they called CBS 42 to come interview us, and we made it onto the nightly news! teres even a 17 minute online video interview, that i will post the link for. later in the afternoon we got to visit Faith Skate Supply in the city and hang out there for a bit. that night we stayed with Taylor Lander who took us out for drinks and so forth for a very enjoyable night on the town. today is Saturday the 17th and we are going to BBQ and it will kick ass! anyway its party time, Y'all take care!!!