Koonagi

Koonagi's World

Personal Blog of Eric J. Kuhns

4 Day Colorado Skating Road Trip

Back in August of 2015, I went on one of the funnest road trips of all time. It included me and 3 other dudes packed inside of a Kia Soul driving from Dallas to Denver overnight. The next four days were spent visiting different skate parks around Colorado and camping in the mountains. We were a part of a rollerblading skate trip that has been held for years and years. The only thing that made it a bit odd was the fact that I was the only skateboarder there. This is my account of that trip.

Day One

For some reason, I don't have many photos from loading up and driving. This is probably because we drove over night and while Ryan, Jio, and I slept, Richard (driving) was wide awake. I think he sacrificed a goat before hand to acquire the power of no sleep. We did however get this middle of the night hat squad picture.

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We arrived in Colorado early in the morning.

 Richard when we first arrived in Colorado. This photo needed no editing.

Richard when we first arrived in Colorado. This photo needed no editing.

 Richard took this photo from his tripod. It's said that my awkward pose could be seen from Wyoming.

Richard took this photo from his tripod. It's said that my awkward pose could be seen from Wyoming.

We decided to move on to Denver and skate the park in downtown. Denver Skate Park is such an interesting park. I like to brag on it because of how the city just seems to flow nicely into the park; one minute you're skating a sidewalk in downtown and the next you're in the park.

The first day we didn't really have any destination other than our campground up in the mountains, so we stayed for about an hour, got food, and headed to a few other skateparks not on the list where someone spit and it landed on a car. Whoops. We also met a spider-friend then continued down the highway.

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Our route took us through the Rocky Mountains. Cliffs, wildlife, and mountains surrounded us in all directions. 

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Along the way we stopped in this beautiful little town called Georgetown. It boasted a lake and mountains with the town placed right in between (when viewed from the highway). The lake's water was incredibly cold, but the weather was just right.

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 Had to bust out the 'Jimmy Roughcountry' wig.

Had to bust out the 'Jimmy Roughcountry' wig.

Shortly after driving a little more we found a rock to sit on and drove through Frisco, Colorado. This was one of the most amazing views I've ever witnessed. I stood off to the side of the highway on a trail and just soaked it in. I may have also been a bit high. We were in Colorado after all.

 Richard and shoeless Ryan. 

Richard and shoeless Ryan. 

 This picture doesn't do this view enough justice.

This picture doesn't do this view enough justice.

 "Pee Trail".

"Pee Trail".

 Richard peeing and me being a creep.

Richard peeing and me being a creep.

We eventually found our way to the campsite, but not before driving on what seemed like an endless dirt trail. Shout out to Kia Souls for being able to handle that trail. There's no way my car would have been able to make it up those crusty-ass roads.

When we arrived at the campground, we set up the tents, sparked up and walked around as the sun set. I'll never forget that night. Walking along the dark, half-paved road and heading toward a huge bonfire had me at a level of peacefulness unfathomable until that night.

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Day 2

The morning came quickly after a cold night filled with middle-of-the-night conversations between Richard and I and a lot of farts. We packed up our stuff and journeyed toward our first skatepark of the day in Cedaredge, Colorado.

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This park didn't have much for me as a skateboarder. I mostly skated the rails and two stair you can see off to the right in the above picture. There was also a really janky almost-quarter pipe behind where I took this photo.

After Cederedge Skatepark, we got food from the local grocer which proved to be a poor stomach decision and we moved on. Next stop was a skatepark in Montrose, Colorado at their Montrose Water Sports Park. 

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 Weird, pointless cement donut.

Weird, pointless cement donut.

After about an hour of skating, it started getting really packed so I decided to poop and explore the river area. The toilets were all metal (kill me).

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 From the top of the hill overlooking Montrose.

From the top of the hill overlooking Montrose.

 A Boi appeared.

A Boi appeared.

All of us were pretty drained so we headed into town and got drinks and food.

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An hour or so later we were at our campground for the night. I couldn't tell you where this was located if my life depended on it, but it was somewhere within 100 miles of Gunnison, Colorado. The roads we traveled before arriving at the camp site were eerily fantastic.

 I felt like I was in a Christopher Nolan movie.

I felt like I was in a Christopher Nolan movie.

 Some of the dudes went swimming which was beyond crazy. That water was so cold.

Some of the dudes went swimming which was beyond crazy. That water was so cold.

 Our make-shift canopy and fire for the night.

Our make-shift canopy and fire for the night.

Some people slept in their tents, but unless you wanted to get wet from the rain that was coming in, it was best to sleep in a vehicle. So that night I slept in the backseat of the Kia Soul with backpacks surrounding me and my jacket as a blanket. I remember writing a journal that night that I have somewhere. The uncomfortable became comfortable for some reason.

 

Day 3

On day 3, we packed everything and hit the road. Right out of the gate we were told to get the hell out of there or what I assume these animals were saying when they saw us driving out.

 Devil Bois.

Devil Bois.

Our first park to hit was in Gunnison and it was kind of magical. After about an hour of skating and no cloud coverage, Richard and I separated from the group and walked into town. There was a wooden sculpture park, people racing dogs at a track, a farmers market, and more.

Day 3 - Gunnison skatepark. #skateboarding #early #colorado @rollingrichard

A post shared by EricJKuhns (@ericjkuhns) on

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 This dude must have eaten what I did on Day 2.

This dude must have eaten what I did on Day 2.

 This beard won Beardiest Beard of 2015 (jealous?)

This beard won Beardiest Beard of 2015 (jealous?)

We met back up after a couple hours and got back on the road, however we had a problem. Our route was blocked by a rock slide and we had to take a detour that lasted over 2 hours. I don't think any of us minded though.

 Richard peed the entire time we were on this trip.

Richard peed the entire time we were on this trip.

 I've backflipped in over 6 states. Eat your heart out, Nastia Liukin.

I've backflipped in over 6 states. Eat your heart out, Nastia Liukin.

At some point, Ryan and I were fast asleep. Don't ask what my hand was doing while I slept...

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 This is how archetects sleep.

This is how archetects sleep.

Some unknown amount of miles later, we found a lift that we all took up to the top of Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway, 12,012ft. above sea level. The view was breathtaking (literally, I could barely inhale and exhale without feeling like a yeti was squeezing me.)

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 Ryan looking at hentai probably and Richard's disapproval (or approval?)

Ryan looking at hentai probably and Richard's disapproval (or approval?)

 Jio probably talking to the Barbers Association of America and I think I just sharted.

Jio probably talking to the Barbers Association of America and I think I just sharted.

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 Group pic taken by Richard.

Group pic taken by Richard.

Once we found our way down the mountain and back on the road, we stopped at a skatepark in a town that looked like it didn't even know what trash was. It was one of the cleanest and nicest towns I've ever been in. It was called Buena Vista and it was wonderful, though the dirty looks on local faces clearly indicated they didn't want us there.

*Insert pic I didn't take of angry locals.*

 Picture from Misiano Skateparks since I didn't take any of the park itself (or lost the pics?)

Picture from Misiano Skateparks since I didn't take any of the park itself (or lost the pics?)

This park had the strangest transition; hell, all the parks in Colorado did. The skatepark got extremely packed, so some of us decided to wander off down by the river and surrounding area. I wish I could explain in words how wonderful this town was. I would love to retire here one day!

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After the park, everyone in our group took showers at the rec center, except me because I'm disgusting. The sun was setting and we made our way to the final campsite. We set our tents up, started a fire, and drank and smoked amidst the darkness of the night. Every night was an amazing experience I'll never forget. 

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The field was filled with a million bladers and me, the lone skateboarder. As the night went on, we traveled from campfire to campfire making conversation and stumbling to the next group. At one point, Jio and I had a rap battle and it was epic. All in all the last night was a great ending to the last campsite we would visit on the trip.

Day 4

We woke up bright and early the next day to head back to Dallas. This gave us time to stop and skate a park on the way located in Trinidad, Colorado. The design was incredibly wacky and the heat was intense with almost no shade.

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As we were leaving we found out that sometime after we left the campsite, a fight broke out. One dude grabbed a machete and tried to kill someone, so...I'm really happy we left when we did. 

The very last photo I took was this somewhere in the panhandle of Texas. 

 Where's the rebellion when you need them?

Where's the rebellion when you need them?

I would love to go on a trip like this again. Who knows, maybe I'll be invited along again in the future. Trips like these make you appreciate all of the small things in life. There's just something about being out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of dudes just skating and enjoying nature that brings about a sense of joy unmatched by most experiences in life.

Shout out to Richard for inviting me!

Thanks for reading this long-ass account of my Colorado trip.