East Coast Road Trip
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 by Rob Meronek
EAST COAST ROAD TRIP
Words by Ryan T. Clements
Have you ever noticed how we go through our day-to-day lives and get so caught up with making coffee, feeding the cats, and getting the car oil changed? Blindly, we go grocery shopping, get our hair cut, and mow the lawn. Sure, your life may have meaning, but do yourself a favor and get away from your daily grind every once in a while.
Your freedom is sitting in your driveway…it’s your automobile. Florida is a wonderful place to reside, but everyone needs the experience of travel, especially if you’re a skateboarder. Do you realize that if you jump in your car and drive to Atlanta from Tampa at the speed of 70 m.p.h., that you will arrive there in 7.5 hours?
There is so much out there that we haven’t seen, thousands of places filled with millions of people living their own lives. I haven’t personally been on a legitimate road trip for several years, but decided to map out a trip to Woodward Camp in PA and then some.
Here are my day-to-day accounts of life at Woodward and such...
Monday, June 10, 2002:
Day one, arrival time was noon. Checking in was a bit of a hassle, but worth the wait. Immediately, we ran into Brian Howard and he became our personal tour guide. Anthony Furlong joined in, along with Trevor Ward, and we went around to take a quick skate on basically the entire Camp. In about two hours, we rode pretty much everything that you would ever want to skate: Hips, banks, vert, ledges, spines, extensions, pyramids, bowls, foam pits…literally, whatever you can think of is here.
After a good chicken fajita dinner, we hung out and watched the pro vert demo. Here are a few photos...(hold your mouse over the photo for the caption)...
From there, Barry, Rappy, and I hit our favorite spots from earlier in the day until we were exhausted. Tons of Woodward photos and more will be posted all week. Check back tomorrow...
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
There’s quite a regimented schedule for Woodward campers. Although we’re exempt from following the majority of the rules, I thought it would be fun to experience life through the eyes of a camper. First, we hit breakfast in the cafeteria. It’s from 7am – 9am and there’s eggs, bacon, toast, bagels, cereal…just about anything you’d want. After that, all of the skateboarders gather at “The School,” one of the warehouses with smaller ramps, for stretching exercises.
From there, the skateboarders break off into groups with counselors and go off to one of the many areas to skate. I had so much fun skating hard with the kiddies that I was pretty much completely out of energy by 11am. Good thing that it was lunchtime (11am – 1pm). After lunch, Barry, Ryan, and I chilled with an all-star pro crew of Hendrix, Furlong, Ward, Howard, and Frazier, took a dip in the pool, and spent the afternoon pretty much chatting, shooting pool, napping, and doing nothing.
Chow time for dinner is from 4pm – 6pm. Barry and I opted for the specialty of the evening, egg rolls and stir fry, while Rappy hit the fajita bar once again. The highlight of the evening was the Pro/Camper Contest on one of the street courses. The Visiting Pros are assigned a small group of kids and each group gets one, three minute run. The supervisors asked if we would like to be “pro” and have a group of kids; hence, the emcee announcing that Rappy and I were Visiting Pros from Skatepark of Tampa (I was honored to say the least). I hadn’t skated in a contest in over ten years. Allen Russell and his crew won and Furlong’s came in second. Who knows what my guys got? But we had a great crew. What a blast! More tomorrow...
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
EXCITING STORY WITH NO PHOTOS! BARRY BREAKS THE DIGITAL CAMERA!
After a few days, you pretty much learn the routine of what goes on at Woodward, and I happen to really like it. There’s actually so much to do, that I don’t know if you could accomplish everything in a week’s time. I was so anxious to do everything the first day that I arrived that I completely burned myself out by Tuesday. So, now it’s Wednesday and I have it down to a science.
Today, the day started with stretching with the kiddies. Barry, Brian Howard, and I skated “The Playground,” where Barry dropped the camera…stoked! From there, we went to a few other spots, but who cares about skating when a new Hooters was recently built in State College? The entire crew and then some made it over to have some wings and such. Upon returning to Camp, Barry, Frazier, and I played paintball with a couple of staffers, one who happened to play professionally. I left with several welts.
Right after paintball, we headed up to the Canteen to serve pizza to the team that won the Pro/Camper Contest, “Woodward” apron and all. Furlong, Howard, Ward, Frazier, Hendrix, and I hung out and served the kiddies, who really appreciated our efforts. The day ended with an evening session at “The Rock.”
Thursday, June 13, 2002
I was so sore when the alarm went off at 8am that I snoozed it until about 8:30am. My aching muscles drug me out of bed in just enough time to make it to the cafeteria for breakfast. It was our fourth and final day and there was basically no skateboarding planned. I don’t know if I could have physically done it if I had tried. Instead, we brought some t-shirts to give out to the staff and stretched with the kiddies at 9:15am. From there, we basically packed up, said our goodbyes and thank-yous, and headed out.
The next leg on the tour took us to Wilmington, Delaware, to spend a couple of days with my Aunt Ro and check out Philly and D.C. Thanks to my poor navigating, we ended up taking these tiny, little roads through Pennsylvania Dutchland, but it turned out pretty good. There’s just something peculiar about the Amish/Dutch lifestyle. Why they insist on using buggies and horses for transportation and fieldwork is beyond me, but at least their gear is stylish!
Aunt Ro had been cooking sauce all day for a big, Italiano style family dinner that was enjoyed by our crew and few of my cousins. After feasting, the rain put a damper on our skating plans, so some family socializing was in order. It was nice to spend some time with ‘la familia’ that I don’t get to hang out with on a regular basis.
Friday, June 14, 2002
Up bright and early at 7am! Too bad the sun wasn’t. Waiting to figure out what we’re going to do under the damper of the clouds and rain. This isn’t supposed to happen when you’re on vacation.
Aunt Ro’s house is only about 45 minutes away from Philly, so we headed over. The original intentions were to hook up with 411VM filmer, Vern Laird, so I could get my opener on film at the Love Park Big Four, but things didn’t quite work out. See, just in case you hadn’t heard…Love is history. Check the photos below to see what we were up to in rain-drenched Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is the birthplace of our country (and me), and for that I respect the place. The original great leaders of the U.S.A. gathered there and put a tremendous amount of thought into developing the basis of the American way of life. But the current politicians obviously have their heads up their asses. For Philly to host the X-Games in 2001 and 2002 and simultaneously destroy one of the best and most world-renowned street spots is ludicrous. Rappy paying his respects to Love…R.I.P.
Saturday, June 15, 2002
Once again waking up at Aunt Ro’s to rain got a little old. Instead of hanging out in Philly again and praying for the rain to stop, we decided to throw in our towels and start driving home. A quick stop in D.C. was in order…check the photos below. Sunday was spent driving and the trip had come to completion. Thanks goes out to the wonderful staff at Woodward Camp and everyone we skated and hung out with along the way.