Friday, September 4, 2009

Between my sophomore and junior year I spent a summer in Colorado and most of my freetime hanging out with my cousin. He was and still is crazier and testing limits way more than I ever have. He had a barbell that passed through his lower lip. When he talked about having piercings and when I looked at his piercings I always wondered, "could I do that?". Could I push that piece of metal through my lip? I had to know. So I did it. I kept in for three days and really decided that the pierced lip look was not my look and the irritation that was involved wasn't worth it. As I was pushing at absolute full speed, pretty much exhausted with only 20 miles of our entire trip left to go but the light fading fast I realized this was somewhat of the same thing. I HAD to know if I could do it. I had to know if I could ride my skateboard across Washington. So I did it.

After our trek up Stephens Pass we slipped and slid our way down the other side. I probably did more sliding on my longboard on that pass than the rest of my life combined. Every turn was a speedcheck for 7 miles. It was super fun though. When the sun left us to ourselves we began looking for a campsite. There was a sign for a campsite off the highway and we started off for it. When we found out that it was 2 miles up the road we opted to camp just off the road in a little clearing by the road looking over a river that ran by it. Perfect spot for sleeping.... and taking a crap apparently because in the morning we found toilet paper all over the place. It was disgusting. I climbed into bed and realized the last water I'd drank was at the top of Stephens Pass about four hours ago and we had no water with us. Too tired to do anything about it I decided to forget about it and sleep through it. My body had other ideas. At midnight I woke up dreadfully thirsty. I had to drink some water. I climbed out of my sleeping bag, walked the mile and a half to the campsite all the while trying to not let my mind transform the noises in the woods into cougars and bears. I filled my water bottle up with the big, squeaky, hand pump, drank a half-gallon and still felt thirsty. Then walked back to camp and dropped into peaceful sleep.

The next day we pounded out fifty miles. Finishing our trip in Everett, WA. Oh man it felt so good to be done. When we finished we just sat down on our longboards and panted. Then we recounted the awesome people who had helped us on our way. We definitely experienced the good in man on this trip. I'll be honest I would think long and hard before embarking on a journey like this again but now that it's done I look back and see all the awesome parts about it. Now I know I can do it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

in the words of emily....but the thoughts of mark and alex...

picture1. alex getting ready to roll.
picture2. mark getting ready to roll.

picture3. alex with cucumber seeds-going to start a surprise garden on the trip.

After giving all of our spare wheels to Emily in order to drop weight, Mark broke a wheel that very next day. It was like life teaching us a life lesson. Oh those life lessons. After getting it fixed, we felt like we were speed demons again. We spent Sabbath in Leavenworth where Mark's dad came to visit. A hotel room and hot meal did wonders for our spirits after the whole wheel breaking thing.

Now we are currently camping on the side of the road at at the top of Steven's Pass. We ate only a bagel today for breakfast. And we pushed up like 3000 vertical feet on a bagel. We were at the top of the peak and there were no restaurants in sight. A nice construction man gave us a Snickers bar. Then later we found food in a little town down the road.

We are on the adventure of today. You can never say it's the adventure of the month or year or lifetime because you don't know what will happen tomorrow. Tomorrow we might start our trip longboarding across the USA!!! Probably not....

Anyway, we are safe, potentially weigh a little less than when we left, and for sure have a better set of longboarding endurance.

p.s. Alex and mark also left their computer with Emily in order to shed that old Apple weight. That is the reason these posts have been so few. And that is the reason this is not Alex or Mark writing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

two days down. but we're not down.

Two days into and we’ve gone 80 miles! Emily came and met us at Lake Roosevelt and brought us burritos and pudding. Most importantly she brought us mats to sleep on. It was so awesome of her to drive out and see us. We were planning on making it another 20 miles but as we were longboarding along we came to a sign for Lake Roosevelt and after two days of profuse sweating and no showers water sounded so inviting. So we laid down on our longboards and napped for an hour until she got there.

These eighty miles have come with price. Our legs have minds of their own when we get up in the morning. They loosen up after walking around and stretching for a couple of minutes making the thought of longboarding possible. Even the flats and uphills have been fun though because the shoulder is wide enough for Mark and I to longboard side by side giving us a chance to talk. There were a couple of times the first day where I questioned how good of idea this really was and how prepared I was. Now that we’ve gone some distance and made it through some days I’m so glad we’ve done it. And there’s much more to come.

By the way Mark has a helmet. Sorry for the mistake. He even wears it when we go down hills. And he’s a very conscientious longboarder.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All we know

Today was the first real day of getting ready for our trip. I shouldn't say that because just about every week for the past month Mark and I have been calling each other with a random question about the plan. Really I think the reason we call each other is to re-hype ourselves up about what's to come. That's the real battle, when your heart is in it logistics are the easy part. A week ago during one of these conversations we were debating our exact path, trying to figure out which highway the other was talking about when neither of us had a map in front of us when Mark exclaimed "all I know is that soon our feet are going to be in the ocean!" That's really all I need to know. We'll deal with what comes up when it comes up.

Our day was less productive than I thought it would be. We've got a basic route planned the details will have to be worked out as we go. For now here's the packing list. I'm sure it will change and fluctuate as our trip goes a long.

Roughly what I'm taking
-skate tool
-3 extra wheels
-a tea cup
-emily's bandana
-two pairs of pants
-three shirts
-an extra shoestring
-bivy sack
-sleeping bag
-mp3 player
-helmet. (mama when you read this you'll be proud. don't tell mark's parents he doesn't have one)
-A map of Washington cut out of Mark's Atlas

What I'm not taking
-sleeping pad
-headphones for the mp3 player. still figuring that out.
-my typewriter. it would be almost worth it if it was under 10 pounds.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


none have been done.
they'll begin tomorrow when I see the sun.