Usually when you pack 7 bodies, countless cigarettes and thousands of dollars worth of camera gear into 2 vehicles with the plan being to drive thousands of miles, you’d think there would be a rock solid trip itinerary, possibly laminated…in a binder maybe? Wrong. We had no actual clue as to where we were going or where we were staying - the only thing we knew for sure was the borders were open and we were getting out of the cold for a few days and heading down the I-5 to shake off the dust and unthaw.
Gas prices be damned, we had the Pylon Skateboards company credit card and spots mapped from Washington State to Cali, so there was nothing but pre border crossing anxiety between us snowbirds and the banana belt.
As soon as we crossed into the US we were greeted with nothing but the PNW’s finest on our way south - heavy rain and a diabolical amount of fried chicken spots. We hydroplaned into Portland for our first night and after ensuring Portland nightlife is still very fun, we were content to bed down fully clothed on the cigarette burned sheets of our seedy Eastside motel. Anybody who has ever had a hangover, or who has ever had to drive for 10 hours straight should know that the two aren’t the best combination. But a few early morning phone calls from “the management” had us up, shotgunning energy drinks for breakfast and pushing onwards to Sacramento.
Vancouver's weather was pretty shitty when we left and the drive so far had been biblical amounts of wet, so the warm California sun felt extra good. The team was hyped and it was all business in Sacramento. After 2 days of rolling on legendary spots, linking with local homies and getting bottled in a 7/11, we noticed two things; One, we were sore as fuck. And two, we were sore as fuck. Constantly walking that fine line between wanting to throw down at every spot, and not wanting to get broke off early on and ruin the whole trip for yourself. Excitement was high, winter hibernation had been long and some of us had to learn that the hard way.
Day 3 we started to realize how close were were to San Francisco, so we went for it. It was all uphill, then downhill from here, literally. In between hill bombs and rice-a-roni jokes - we skated. We skated spots we had always fantasized about. We reminisced on the best tricks put down in each of our favourite parts and put our own down. It was surreal just touring around sunny San Fran as if the world events of the last 2 years hadn’t happened at all.
We only had a few days to complete our mission before we had to go back to our day jobs and put away our wooden toys, so we lingered as long as we could and blasted off in the middle of the night headed north. We smashed our last In-N-Out Burgers and gravitated to Weed …the town.
The lengthy drive back to the PNW was made even longer by constantly stopping at spots along the way, procrastinating our return home. It seemed to get more damp every kilometre. After getting the “all clear” on our COVID results, we hit one last spot inside the parking structure of an abandoned mall to test our luck at stacking a few more clips and contracting hepatitis from years of trash that covered the spot. We didn't get hepatitis, it must have been nice trash.
3250km later we’ll call it a successful initial leg-stretch of the year. Hiccups are inevitable on any trip and we were missing some team members, but with good vibes, 15 dollar 30 packs and a bunch of homies doing what they love to do, it’s hard not to have the recipe for a good trip.
Text and Photos by Cody Gannon
Video filmed by Perdo Orsi