With a typical late start, the crew rolled out of our Lake Tahoe home base in the dark hours of the morning. With just enough time to get out of the mountains before sunrise, we found ourselves barreling up the 395 North headed to Klamath Falls and our first park of the tour.
Klamath is no ordinary park. It is a behemoth concrete sculpture that just so happens to be completely skateable. From mini ramps to 10ft vert bowls and unnameable concrete structures falling everywhere in between, Klamath has it all. A must stop for anyone traveling north, just be ready to step it up. Look for Gravette’s backflip or any of TNT’s unorthodox transfers to get an idea of what Klamath Falls has to offer. We got our legs warmed up just as the sun started to beat down on the park. With the water flowing like wine, we started to figure out the lines as the locals started to show up and get their session in before the heat shut any movement completely down. Turner Bowman and Eric Fregoso killed it, showing some hospitality and sharing some lines with us to make it a little easier to figure out the beast of a park that is Klamath Falls.
Taking a quick lunch break from the park we headed into town to check out Klamath Boardsports. We got the lowdown on the shop, shot a quick video, grabbed some much needed beer and water and headed back to the park to catch an afternoon session with the local kids.
A whole new guard of kids showed up in the afternoon, unfazed by the sweltering heat radiating off the wavy concrete of the park. Young guns Travis Augustine, Skyler Grocholski and Ryan Rowley stepped the level up a couple notches, annihilating everything in their path with style beyond their years. Bumped, bruised, battered and stoked, we said goodbye to the kids, packed up our stuff and headed to a local pizza joint to fuel up before the five hour push to Mt.Hood. The only problem: we couldn’t find the damn place. Tossing all logic out the window we ended up at Applebee’s. Word of advice: Don’t go to Applebee’s. Watered down shots, undercooked burgers, soggy fish and chips and warm beer are what it’s good for, and if you ask me, that accounts for absolutely nothing.
The only saving grace was the wait staff. Our bartender was cool, kept the warm beers flowing and even tipped us off to where some hot springs might be. The other waitress wasn’t so on it with the help. When the topic of hot springs came up, her only contribution was the question, “Whats a hot spring?!?” What can you really say to that? Nothing but laughs and “Whats a hot spring?” erupted from our corner of the bar overtime she walked by, much to her dismay. The bartender, who turned out to be her roommate joined in on the fun and she got the full wrath until we paid our tab. Lesson learned. Applebee’s sucks, girls in Klamath are nice, but girls in Klamath are also dumb. “Whats a hot spring?”
Our stomachs finally full of sketchy food and beer, we crammed back into the truck ready to make the final push of the up the 97 to the 26. Final destination: Mt.Hood. The drive went by in a blur as we traded off driving, napping and watching movies on the Ipad until we got there. One stop at the sketchiest gas station in Redmond, OR to get gas, switchblades, illegal stiletto knives and beer and we found our campsite at the base of the mountain in no time. Party time in the campsite was still in full swing with the transient gypsy snowboarder and skier locals showing no sign of slowing down. Road weary and ready to crash out, we went to pop out our trailer and ran into our first big hurdle of the trip: Our trailer was fucked.
The black pirate ship popup trailer was basically shipwrecked. It refused to pop up, making sleeping in it impossible for the four of us and to make it worse, it wouldn’t go back down all the way either. Luckily we had a good sized tent and we split ourselves up between the tent, the truck bed and the coffin like crawl space in what was supposed to be a trailer with three beds. Shitty accommodations aside, we were beat from the road and the park and all crashed out before we could think about being uncomfortable, ready to rest up and do it all over again. Day One in the books.