Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a long strange trip its been

I just discovered this in my draft folder.  Its incomplete but I am going to publish it anyway so I don't forget about this amazing journey.

I know the title is a blatant rip off but it describes the last 2 days off my life perfectly.  Get ready for a novel.

It started because of a post on facebook-Skate for Sarah.  7 long-boarders skating Lake Tahoe for Sarah Pugh.  Sarah is a wonderful woman with an amazing spirit that has beat cancer once and sadly it has come back.
The skate for Sarah is a 72 mile skate that takes place in 48 hours.  Sounds easy enough.  I throw it out to the RRG's and I get Flash Crash and Toldya Twice to skate it with me.  When we told people we were doing this we got many strange looks and a few vocal "are you crazy's".  Hell no! We are derby girls here us whiiirrrrlllll, we got this.
Day 1-June 28, 2010
I started my day at 3am.  Having prepared my shit the night before I woke up brushed my teeth and rolled out to grab the gals.  We get to Safeway in Kings beach by 5am, gear up and head to the meeting place-Java Hut.  I think the guys were a little shocked to see that we actually showed up.  Hehehe they had no idea we were gonna rock this shit!  We set off for Incline a little before 6am, our first hurdle was Brockway.  It was a little slow going but we skated right up that hill as the boarders had to walk.  Yes! Score one for the roller girls.  I believe that was the only score for the Roller Girls.  Brockway gave way to Crystal bay and another hill.  Hills became my friend quickly.  At least on a hill I could control my speed. Leaving Crystal Bay we got our first taste of downhills.  tricky to say the least, while the boarders were able to "bomb"them we had serious issues slowing down and therefore tried to limit our speed as much as possible.  Our new friends Gizmo and CJ (the guys pacing us with water/snackies/cameras and video) stayed behind us to stop traffic.  That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  Incline Village brought us the joy of Lakeshore blvd!  Woohoo for a relatively flat bicycle path.  The path didn't last long and dumped us at HWY 28 - here we discovered our major downfall for the entire trip.  Lake Tahoe's roads are greatly lacking shoulders.  We stayed as close as we could to the guard rail and managed to make pretty decent time.  Until we passed Sand Harbor and hit the nasty effing hill (mountain) of doom that seemed to go on forever.  I cannot stress the word FOREVER in that sentence.  Somewhere on that mountain of evilness the pace car peeps had parked and were waiting for us with granola bars, water, and gatoraid. I believe that was the best damn granola bar i've ever eaten. 
50-Once again no shoulder or very minimal shoulder and while we tried very hard to stay to the right we still got honked and yelled at by assholes that couldn't bother to get in the left lane.  Douche bags.  Toldya rocked the downhill as she didn't care about the cars that were coming up quickly behind her.  Flash and I were a tad more cautious as the Semi trucks scared the shit outta us.  At least we were making decent time.  At Zephyr Cover our new found BFF's came back to hook us up with some water for the last part of our journey to the Hard Rock Cafe.  Which was awesome and not so awesome all at the same time.  Water was welcome "(and he other granola bar I scarfed down in 2.3 seconds) but stopping meant starting again and it was so much easier to just keep going.  We were all feeling the hurt/burn/exhaustion at this point.  We continued on as the sun beat down and the hills stacked in front of us.  The BFF's has said only 3 more hills.  We made it over 2 and sadly Toldya looked at the 3rd and realized her body was pushed to its limits.  Gizmo and CJ picked her up and Flash and I continued on.  The 3rd hill was nothing in comparison to the others and as we got to the top we realized just how close we were.  And suddenly there they were, we could see the gloriousness of the Casinos looming just in the distance.  That was all we needed to keep us going.  Shitty pavement and crappy sidewalks be damned we had made it!

As we walked up to the restaurant the boarders clapped and cheered for us!  It was an amazing moment.  These guys just skated (full speed with no gear) down HWY 50 and they were clapping for us?? The people at the Hard Rock Cafe were kind enough to buy us lunch and damned if that wasn't a tasty tasty bacon cheeseburger.  We sat and gabbed and enjoyed.  Damn it the part I was dreading had come.  Our official finish line for the day was Camp Richardson, that meant we had to put our skates back on and get there.  We ditched our bags in the pace car since it was only "4" miles away.  Toldya, after resting, decided she would throw hers back on too, yay!
4 miles? Who the fuck said 4 miles? It was apparently closer to 8 miles and NONE of the paths to get was in decent shape.  The road sucked (I thought California paved all the fucking time??) and the bike path was covered in gravel and sand.  So this little jaunt took us an hour so.  We all hit the "I don't give a shit, fuck off and die" point on this little side journey.  Not towards each other which was amazing but towards pretty much everyone else in South Shore.  Cat calls were fun for a bit but "Derby Dykes" was a little much.  If ever in South Shore and you feel the need to skate, don't.
Camp Richardson-Fucking awesome.  Again, we arrive to the guys cheering us on.  Apparently they didn't think we were going to make it.  Thats ok, we didn't think we were going to make it either ;)  We hit the beach, hung out, gabbed, bbq'd and had s'mores and went to sleep, yay glorious sleep.  So, at 3am (yup, I looked, it was on the dot) I hear noises outside and realize, pretty fucking quickly, it was a bear.  Awesome, the last thing I thought about before I went to sleep was bears.  I didn't want to go through this awesomeness alone so I woke up Flash.  She being braver than I looked out the screen part of the tent to see a baby and mama bear. Holy Fucking Shit.  The bear cub was in the tree that was next to our tent.  Oh My Fucking God.  The bears make noises at each other.  I Am Going to Die.  I tensed up and briefly thought about running for one of the cars.  The bears were too close. Shit.  Flash remains calm in the situation, well calmer than I was.  I am in full freak out mode now.  The cub started to come down the tree.  Awesome now both bears are going to maul me.  They moved behind us and sniffed around the skateboarders that weren't in a tent, just sleeping bags on an air mattress.  Thank god, of course that was an evil thought but survivalk mode kicked in somewhere.  They finally left and the only harm done was to this long board.
   Despite the adrenaline rush I was able to get back to sleep and we slept until 6 am then got ready for the final part of our adventure.  Blister band-aids, foot powder in our skates, new dr. scholls inserts purchased the night before.  A little sore but not as bad as I thought I would be.  I was ready!!
Emerald Bay & D L Bliss-Chewed us up and spit us out.  We trudged up the mountains and side stepped down.  With no shoulder on the side of the road and turn after turn we feared getting run over (since most of the cars thought the speed limit was 50+ not 35) and opted to side step or walk in the dirt (our skates were still on) when we could.  Oh so happy when I could actually skate but those moments were pretty rare.  It took us HOURS to get down the mountains.  By the time the skate boarders made it to Kings Beach I think we were just getting

I've lost something

It wasn't really mine to begin with.  Its like a warm sunshiny day laying on a bench staring up at the sun streaming through the leaves of a tree.  A fantastic feeling of comfort and ease and completeness.  When I had it it was fantastic.  We all know that nothing lasts forever but somewhere in the back of my mind I had hope.  I realized recently that hope is my ultimate problem.  There is far too much at risk when there is hope.  So I won't hope for more Sunny perfect days just accept the regular course of nature.
I thought I could win, that I was enough.  That I was special.  When hope is gone comes the self doubt.  Was it real?  Was that perfect day really for me? Or did I make it something that I wanted it to be.  Did I allow my judgement to be so clouded that I didn't realize until it was too late that I was simply a girl on a bench.  A moment in time that passed so quickly the only one to give it any thought is myself.  In the end it was all simply an illusion.