Sunday, May 30, 2010
Greetings world, it’s 5 22pm and I just woke up in some bushes adjacent to the camp site for ATTAC OF DANGER BAY 9, the worlds biggest gathering of longboarders. Over the next few days will be some incredible partying, racing, sliding competitions, live music (of which I’m contributing to), and obscene acts of drinking, drugs and general debauchery. Tristan and I left Parksville mid day wednesday, hitchhike to the Commox ferry, rode from Powell river a good ways until camping in the woods. The next day we got a ride to the next ferry, arrived on the sunshine coast and hitched another lift to the the Lions camp ground on in Pender Harbor, arrive mid yesterday afternoon. The trip was super smooth, we rarely had to wait more then 5 minutes for a ride and all our drivers were friendly and interesting. Yesterday exploring the area, I came across an old burnt out cottage with a wood and barbed wire fence around it’s yard, upon further investigation a stable and hay shed were discovered, old tools laid unused and a weather piece of paper in a ziplock sack said “don’t come in, unsafe”. T and I had a nice long fire as we casually roasted chunks of big white unions I’d dumpstered a few days before. The onions were delicious, it was the perfect wrap up to the travel section of this adventure. In the evening we walked into the greater campsite to see what was up. Striker might be the face of longboarding, not only because he organizes the annual epicenter of international longboarding, but because he personifies the best qualities of the scene it’s self. He was welcoming with open arms and we immediately were amerced into the warm group of people I so fondly remember from last year. An good looking Australian fellow carrying a forty in a paper bag took an interest to the banjo and was asking techinal question of the construction, he then told a story about ridding home late one night and hearing the voice of a banjo from a distance. We then stumbled upon Charly, aka Clit, who’s one of the most fascinating creates in the fold. While she did just do a year of art school, she paid for it by pan handling, that method plus hitching got her down to a few races in New Mexico last month, which she both won. Quite crass but not at all rude, Charly is also a great musicians, we sang standards around a barrel fire with a rotating cast while roasting found veggies on a grill. A stroll with a young adventurer named Steff informed me that pirates used eye patches to train their eyes for night vision; allowing one pupil to adjust for daylight one for less light. After wearing the patch all day busking, she returned home one day to discover her vision radically altered. Bumping from fire to fire, I came across Scoot, leader of team green and former world champion. He’s somewhat legendary in the larger community and I’d built him up to be older and more grizzled, his bright face looked even younger then his 23. Chatting about the longboard lifestyle, the notion of “professional” I had heard he was a carpenter “hah, drywaller” he retorted. A youthful montrealer named Emily had an immediately insightful answer to the question I ask almost every new person I meet “what makes you happiest in life?”. Her joy was showing people how to follow their instincts rather then to be a result of their environments. Not listen primarily to their hearts, not the constant barrage of what we “should” be living like; especially in regards to the perceived importance of the material, when really it’s the mental, spiritual, ecological environments that are important. Sitting around a fire with Tristan, Steff and Rex, we did what folks do best around fires at 5 in the morning, talked about the meaning of life. We agreed that people at the party are definitely awakened souls and that more and more people are starting to wake up to the good life, real life, with limited possessions and ultimate freedom. The sun came up and when to crash in Stefs tent because it was raining, however without a blanket I didn’t last long and ventured over to my gear stashed on the opposite side of a creek. Last night was the first that I shared my tarp with my full pack and longboard, we were all quite cozy. Now it’s late afternoon, writing is a nice way to wakeup, I can hear hollers from the camp site, the booze must be flowing. I hear it’s going to be sunny all weekend, far out.