Stoke Factor: 6
Miserableness Factor: 7
Snot Rockets Blown: 9
Average Speed: 5.0mph
Right at 630, everybody was on time. I had been still trying to pack my final gear into the backpack when Great Big Story knocked on the door.
We started at the parking lot at the end of Lance’s apartment complex (for visual aesthetics- had I been alone I surely would have waited til 9am and scooted out the door, onto the road). The parking lot has a park behind it (how appropriate) and a perfect T in roads, almost as if it were built and begging to be filmed in this capacity. Standing there was an entire squad of skaters from the weekend – a huge part of my skate family. Lance, Ryan, David, Ehren, Adrian, Miguel, Hope, Conan. (Strange how in using the first names, I assume you all know them. Surely the only people who benefit from reading those names would be those who I named. Kill me if I forgot someone.)
I was in another world. Part of me said, “It’s fucking cold, it’s 7 in the fucking morning, and my backpack weighs too fucking much. What the fuck am I doing?” At some point I probably looked dumb as hell. 35-40 pound backpack, with a recent ankle injury, headed out in the middle of dang Pacific Northwestern winter. It’s merely fall in my eyes, Massachusetts wont snow til January, and I was wearing short shorts and a bra not even 5 days prior to being where I was.
Anywho, the hands pushing me to actually do it were against my back. All my friends skated my first mile with me, to the intersection of Route 20 and 27th in Bend, Oregon. The stones in which my name is written after accomplishing a skateboard ride across the country will show that address as my starting point.
All things aside, I still hadn’t gotten used to my sizable backpack. My pushes were wobbly. My legs hurt from the races. I powered through an icy puddle- yes, ice was actually on the ground, that was my first bad sign. I hobbled over a small hill, assuming I was being filmed still, and almost as soon as I was out of sight I was walking up a hill.
I proceeded to walk up almost every single incline, no matter how steep. It was 5 miles in, at this neat turnaround area after a monster hill with an absolutely picturesque rock formation, that I wanted to give up. I misinterpreted my elevation data, and could not have predicted what I was in for. I continuously misread my data for the entire first day.
I stared a 1000ft elevation road in the face. How could I not have predicted that? I began my hike and a mini van showed up behind me. “No, I would love to, but here’s a business card. I’m skateboarding across the country.” I cant help but to think a man driving a mini van alone, picking up hitch hikers, and without car seats in the rear is a bit creepy, but at the same time it takes a really outgoing and kind person to even stop for someone obviously having a hard time. He chuckled at me as he left. I wish I took that ride.
Right about then was when I lost cell service. I hoofed it up that hill on my own two feet. The top never looked so good.
At the rock formation, I ditched my gear. I dumped my first aid kit, all of my food gear (camp stove, soup, camp fuel, pot and spoon, Cliff bars), Northface jacket, and some clothes. I cut out maybe 4 pounds in cook ware/food alone. The only reason I dumped that was because it was obviously the weightiest. I wrote “FREE” with my eyeliner on the jacket and left it, so it wasn’t technically litter. There was about $250 in gear right there.
The hills never stopped. The shoulder of route 20 is incredibly unfinished and was horrible to battle against. There was a 15mph headwind the entire way. Everything that could have told me to turn around and go do a dab at Lance’s, then talk about how dumb I am was there. I didn’t though. I periodically stopped and napped. I was hungry with no food, tired with no sleep, and cursing the wind. Everything fucking sucked.
After 25 miles of seeing nothing, fighting wind, and struggling on the chip seal pavement, I gave up. Nothing about the ride was good. I was miserable. I picked a divet in the ground off the road and set up camp. It was only 330pm. I struggled to set up camp. The filming needed to end as I entered my tent. I was ready to call my mom.
I slept for 14 hours, from 4pm to 630am to the need to film waking me up. I love filming. I love being on camera. I’m loving the attention. I pretended I was already awake, but I could have died right then and it would have been fine. None of the “accomplish your dreams” stoke was left even though I had it a mere 9 hours prior. At a few points I woke up to the sound of wind, but at 3am, it could have been anything.