If you haven’t been reading about our journey so far, then check out previous updates here.
Las Vegas. A surreal experience for all of us. Drug dealers, crazy homeless people, intoxicated zombies, prostitutes, and mad religious people holding signs telling everyone they are going to hell. So after a day to take in the craziness that is Vegas we decide to book a night in a hotel, all miserable that we are only 20.
We have a late start skating through the strip. But alas, after skating 8 miles down the strip having a great time, taking in all the sights we realise we had been going in totally the wrong direction and have to head back. We had many strange interruptions, the best of which was a homeless guy who sat with us while we were having a break asking for a drink.
I ended up offering a bottle of water and after 30 seconds of him sniffing it he jumped up, started screaming, poured the contents over his head and threw the empty bottle into the traffic. Great.
So after a frustrating and mentally draining evening skate we went to bed just outside of the city feeling pretty frustrated with less than 20 miles behind us.
Day 12 we come through the Valley Of Fire. The roads were a longboarder’s dream, but it being a national park meant that there was a lot of traffic. We still made the most of those hills, carving down through the bright red rocks whilst keeping a watchful eye for cars in the distance. David was a little nervous and had a couple falls, but managed to come out of it unharmed other than a few scratches here and there and a really sore ass that plagued him for a good few days to come.
The next day we only managed to skate 32 miles, even less than the 38 miles through the Valley Of Fire. We get the directions wrong and drove the van up a ridiculously steep Mesa, only to realise that we have to drive all the way down again. The van also took another beating when Josh our driver accidentally reversed into a car at a set of traffic lights.
Luckily the van and the other car weren’t damaged and it only took a wet rag to remove the scuff from the other car. A few minutes of light hearted jokes and smooth talking from the van guys got us out of that situation and we left the shaken couple with a Longboarding L.A to NY flyer and some stickers.
The highlight of Day 13 was where we came across a closed road after we crossed the Arizona state line. Skating through the first section of the closed road was ok with Tom, David and I being a little confused as to why the road was closed as everything seemed fine. Until we come across a bridge, only the bridge had a pretty vital part of the concrete missing from it.
A 10ft gap lay out in front of us with a 30ft drop. None of us could truly face the possibility of walking miles round it, so we threw our long boards and backpacks across the gap and made our way down the gap and climbed up the other side. David was the most shaken, but we made it through just fine without anyone harmed. After that was when the closed road really treated us, rolling hills, amazing views and smooth roads, carrying us to our 50 mile target.
The morning for day 14 was perhaps one of the worst mornings of the trip. We were all exhausted, the road surface was terrible, the heat was dry and insufferable and with a slight up hill all the way, we just weren’t making any ground. So after completing only 7 miles we head up to a town to soak some wifi and try and get our heads straight with some strong Maccies air con.
Despite the bad morning, when we started the next leg of our day we passed through the Utah state line, where we came across some amazing landscapes. However, with the incredible landscapes came terrible up hills in the approaching town of Veyo.
David and I ended up pulling into a petrol station at 10pm just wanting to use the restroom, and we were invited in by a guy who seemed incredibly interested in our journey. We got talking and he offers us anything we want from the station, next thing we know he offers us an awesome camping spot in his backyard and promises to make us coffee, bacon and fresh blueberry pancakes in the morning.
Amazingly we all wake up to the smell of fresh coffee, bacon and pancakes and I don’t think I have ever gotten up so fast. After breakfast we all showered, got our shit together and went on our way. The skating wasn’t too bad but I started to have a searing pain in my shins come through, my legs crying out every time I pushed.
Not willing to give up I grabbed a section of PVC pipe we had found earlier on and duct taped a scrap of car tyre rubber from the side of the road to the bottom of the pipe and used it like a punt to push myself along.
The night drew on and we started to approach Cedar City. It hit 2am and we had skated 55 miles. But with the city only 15 miles away we decided to push on, the van drove on and we agreed if we weren’t there in an hour and a half they would come back for us.
We pushed on and after 2 hours there was no sign of the van, we didn’t know where we were, the exhaustion hit us hard and we started to panic. Literally dragging our feet behind us, too tired to skate we finally spot the van. Everyone inside was asleep, so we quietly collapsed on the floor, excited to close our eyes with 70 miles behind us.