Chris and Sam’s NW Roadtrip
Total Skate park count: 14
Total Mileage: 1012 miles .
Our trip started at 9am Monday morning. My friend Sam and I started out in the in my Bronco from Tacoma Washington. Our first stop was the Olympia skate park. It was however, raining so we were only able to walk around it, but not skate it. The skate park consisted of a snake run, a nice bowl. A couple of quarter pipes, a huge 12 stair, a pyramid or two, and a couple of rails. It looked fun, but blame mother nature.
As we continued down I-5 our next stop was Centralia. The park there was under planning but hadn’t been built yet. The plans looked good, but there was nothing that we could skate.
Sam and I continued to mosey down I-5 until we got to Portland Oregon, the city of roses. Because of the rain, our first thought: BURNSIDE! The Mecca of Northwest skating. And because Burnside is under the Burnside bridge, 2/3 of the park was protected from mother nature’s nasty spit. At Burnside, everything is huge, even the smallest quarter pipes went to vert. It only resembles Tony Hawk’s “Burnside” it is all there but just more condensed. Two huge bowls, couple quarter pipes, and a huge bank. The park had a real good fell to it. The lines were easy to find and the people, believe it or not, were really nice, hella good, but nice. We skated Burnside for a couple hours and headed off towards the west to Beaverton.
Once again because Miss Nature, we weren’t able to skate Beaverton the first day. We walked the park but that was it.
Total skate park count: 1 skated, 3 visited
Wow 8 a.m. comes earlier then I thought. We got breakfast and headed out. It was raining, so yet again we went to Burnside. When we arrived there was a mass amounts of kiddies there. It turns out that the snowboard camp at Mt. hood was rained out so they brought the kids down to skate. After they left the park was empty really for about 45 mins. It was great! Both Sam and I polished up our lines. As more and more people showed up, the more and more we looked bad in comparison. We got lunch and headed west on highway 30 to St. Johns.
Once we found the skate park, we were greeted by a couple of 7 foot quarter pipes, a couple of small 3 foot ¼’s a couple of ledges and a super small bowl. Less then 18” high. After we were there for, oh, 5 minutes before…. Yep it started raining. We noticed that the rain was coming from the west, so our thought, GO WEST!
We arrived in the city of Scappoose a couple minutes later, it was sunny! Yea! The Scappoose skatepark is right next to the police station. Not that big of a deal but it prevented us from listening to the radio, Scappoose consists of a really sketchy ¼ pipe a 8 foot half pipe, a unusable pyramid, a fun kinked rail. A mini bowl was under repair when we were there. It was the first park of the trip where we weren’t forced to leaved due to rain. We skated for a while and then continued west to St. Helens.
When we arrived in St. Helens I was a little scared, how could a small town like this have anything worth skating? We were not let down, St. Helens skatepark was great. A big bowl connected to a 5 foot half-pipe a couple of fun banks, a pyramid, a weird crescent moon looking thing, and a grind box. It was a blast. The trannies were clean especially for being a small town park. We spent quite a few hours riding the bowl and half pipe..
Because the rain had stop we went back to St. Johns, there was some local kids, doing crazy ass shit for the camera, like putting a smoke bomb between their head and a helmet, lighting it and running around the park screaming. Yes amusing, yet sad that to realize that they will someday be 18 years old like us, doing even more crazy shit. The park obviously didn’t change in just a couple hours, the same stuff was there before.
We took a break to rest and then went to Beaverton. This was the first and only all wooden park. It would be easier to list what’s NOT at Beaverton, for it seems to have it all. A HUGE 14 foot half-pipe, a couple of smaller half and quarter pipes. A mini ramp, and a nice ledge. The park was really crowed, like normal, but at about 9pm it cleared out and was open to skate freely. We decided to call it a night at about 9:30 and went home.
Total skate park count: 5 skated 6 visited
Total Mileage: 486 miles
We had the idea to go camping. So we packed the bronco and headed south, our first stop, Donald Oregon.
Donald, population 750 plus one skate park. I will admit I wasn’t expecting much when it came to the hick town of Donald. But, I was very impressed. There was only a kidney pool bowl, and a mini ramp. But the pool was MASSIVE we are talking 12 feet at one end and 4 at the other. The mini ramp was hella fun. A speed hump in the middle allowed you get even more speed. A couple of locals showed up and taught us, holy cow were they good. We skated Donald for about 30 minutes and headed south towards Keizer.
When we got to Keizer Skatepark, again, we weren’t sure what to expect. A friend told me that he heard “Keizer got a new park and its phat” that’s it. We were not let down. A mass array of roll-ins, quarter pipes, banks and ledges kept us busy until I totally ate shit trying to nose slide down a ledge next to 5 stair. For the record I did it once but the camera wasn’t on. We packed up and got lunch, and headed to Salem.
Salem Skatepark wasn’t on the planned route when we stared, but we happen to pass it as we were looking for the freeway to the beaches. Its kinda sucked. A fun snake run, and flat area with banked corners and a pyramid. That’s it. It kept us busy for a little while. But we jumped back in the truck and headed for the coast.
We arrived in Lincoln City and headed to the skatepark. The park it self was ok, I don’t know why Thrasher Magazine called it “America’s Gnarliest skate park”. It was decent I will admit. A series of snake runs and bowls. It was huge but it seemed to get old rather fast. The park was ok, however the locals were total dicks, I almost got in to a fight over me filming the park, yes, for filming the park. They got pissed at me thinking I was filming them I told them that hey, look I paned right and paned left, Its not like I was following anyone, he came back with something to the affect of you can’t even skate, I told him the he didn’t know shit and to fuck off. He got a big and mighty about it saying I didn’t know who I was messing with, I was like I don’t give a fuck who you are. Fuck you. This obviously didn’t please them, OH WELL. Fuck ‘em all. We headed south.
Thirty minutes later we arrived in the city of Newport. The skate park was SO tight. Pretty much a one snake run, you could skate the whole thing and not have to pump. One the locals asked where we had been on our tour, and when I forgot to mention Lincoln city, he asked, “did you guys go to Lincoln Shitty?” I started to laugh, what an appropriate name. Anyways not to gloat, Newport Skatepark was great. Two fun bowls, two half pipes back to back with a spine in between. The locals were so awesome, they were helpful and friendly. Newport shot to the top of the list of Favorite Park So Far for both Sam and I. We decided to call it a night and go back to camp have dinner.
Total skate park count: 10 skated 11 visited
Our idea to eat Baked Beans and Chili for dinner came back to haunt me at about 1:30 am. I was unable to get back to a comfortable position, so I slept in the truck. We woke up at about 8, got breakfast and were on the road by 9ish.
We headed east to McMinnville Skatepark. After a quick drive through Linfield College we went to the skate park. Well sorta, The “skate park” is just a ¼ pipe and pyramid plus a ledge. We skated for about 10 minutes and continued east.
We arrived at Newberg Skatepark a couple minutes later. Sam’s first words, “holy shit” it was the biggest park so far. A snake run was hella fun. A HUGE bowl next to a HUGE ½ pipe with plenty of vert was not for the faint of heart. A mass array of ¼ pipes, ledges, rails, bowls, and roll-ins were fun as hell. My theory that you can skate Newberg all day and still not skate everything held up. We skated Newberg for a couple of hours and headed towards home. The people where pretty nice, it wasn’t too crowded, it could have been less crowded but you know. One thing I did notice, NO SKATE PARK HOS.
On the way back we made a unplanned stop at the Forest Grove skate park. It’s too bad that we skated Newberg first. Granted, FG isn’t the greatest park to begin but it looks really bad after skating Newberg. At any rate, FG consists of a couple of sketchy metal ¼ pipes, a couple of rails and box in the middle that really isn’t usable. A wooden ¼ pipe / bank would have been fun but the wood was too rotten to skate on.
Total skate park count: 13 skated 14 visited.
Total Mileage: 807 miles
Well Sam and I decided to sleep in today. We got up at about 10 o’clock, got breakfast and headed out. We were on the road by 1. We moseyed up I-5 until we arrived in Olympia. The weather was cooperating with us so we skated it for a while. The park, was really fun. It was a little crowded. So We decided to go to Evergreen State College. Evergreen was really fun. There was a ton of stairs and ledges. We called it a day and continued north to home.
By the end of the trip, I was tired and sun burned, but the trip was worth it all.
Total Skate park count: 14
Total Mileage: 1012 miles