Wednesday, October 19, 2011


steve preps the ditch for shred time
We got back into town with only a few days to plan Steve's 4th annual Ditch Jam. Word spread like wildfire even though there was no official flyer. Sunday rolled around and it was on.... We cleaned the ditch that morning and came back in the afternoon and the kids kept coming out. The water gap saw the most action.

Up high view of the main stage

I feel this captures the chaos. board in water, photos, skating.

Matthew Ratliff got MVP of the day in my book. fs smith
Matthew Ratliff nosegrinds......

Yes it can be dangerous......

Matthew with the trick of the day. FS Bluntslide
SKATE HIVE coverage

Lincoln was great, but the last few nights there in the van were pretty stifling....I was super stoked to have spent so much time with Steve. But the day after the JAM, I hit the road, bound for COLORADO.........

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The farthest EAST

Heath, Jerry, and Leo were set to do a demo at Heath's shop SUBSECT in Des Moines. Hey, why not go check it out?  Des Moines ended up being the farthest to the EAST that I ventured on this year's journey.

the flyer was pretty funny
The bicycle shop next door would let you take a bike for a spin!
Grabbed a sandwich at Ritual Cafe....
A few days later we drove into OMAHA for a mini ramp contest. Steve was one of the judges. Phil was the MC.

5ft tall 16ft wide....the competition.
 Omaha legend, Donny Diederich, competed. Growing up in Kansas, I'd heard of Donny. If memory serves me right, he had tricks in the first FOUNDATION video, 'Glam Boys on Wheels'. I know he was on Foundation at that time.

The other Omaha legend, Jeff Chase, took home the money on this day. I had a handful of clips to use for Jeff, here's another...   Jeff is master ramp builder and the driving force behind THE DONUTHILL PROJECT. This ramp was on my list of MUST SKATE and Donny was kind enough to take us over for a quick session after the contest.

Steve gets the elusive 5050 over the gap, while I skate the spine for a bit.

Cut out for lunch at McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe.
fruit shake with gingko or was it blue green algae...
as a side note..... on the ride out to Des Moines, the freeway was shut down for a few hours due to a bad accident. As a result, HK performed it's first show on Interstate 80.
HK rocking I-80-----thanks to steve for the photo.

next up....ditch jam!

PechaKucha - Lincoln

Soon after we arrived in Lincoln, Steve jumped into editing his thousands of photos and videos from the trip. He got a call from the local Pecha Kucha organizer and learned that she had a spot open for the upcoming presentation on Friday.

  I'd never heard of PechaKucha either, so here's some background.

- PechaKucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. It has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of "chit chat", it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. -

Steve had presented 20 of his photos the year prior and was stoked on the experience, so he agreed to do it again with a focus on the Skate the State photos. He jumped into picking out his 20 best photos and was soon all set for FRIDAY.

On the night of the presentation we posted up in the foyer and I sold a few SKATE THE STATE tees and before long, Steve, Phil and Mike took the stage...

VIDEO of the presentation!

I love the color in this shot
Mike adds his comments..

dogs will chase you when you're skating on the highway
STEVE's first Pecha Kucha

trips to Omaha and Des Moines are up next  !

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Land of Lincoln

As Steve nursed his blisters after the monumental 440 mile skate across the state of Nebraska, we took to touring Lincoln by bicycle. First stop was Yai Yai's Pizza where Steve has worked for many years.

Vegan slices of Steve's creation.

Art at the local screen printing biz. all toys I used to play with as a kid.
Steve on the morning radio recapping Skate the State
Same guy that Steve works for owns Oso Burrito too!

Avo/cheesie melt wrap at Maggie's VEG
We rode out south of the city in search of.....
full pipes.....
let's take a closer look... not gonna be dry this week.

Steve made a full pie that we split one night.
Phil Burcher....owner of Precision Skate Shop and Skate the STATER had us over for dinner one night. Actually it was more his wonderful wife, Tara, who did the cooking and entertaining. We got a tour of the garden and she and the kids took a look through the FREE BOX. Phil got home from work and we skated the ramp for a bit, then sat down to a marvelous meal.
Everyone found something they could use.

Phil 5.0 grinds the ramp he made last year when he turned 50.

Chalk up another outstanding homecooked meal. Thanks TARA!

one of two identical cats that live with the BURCHER's
Temperatures started to rise over the next few days. Steve kept showing me around town as he still had a few recuperating days off work.  Steve's blister was still bad, but I did sneak in a brief skate break at one of the local Lincoln skateparks
Was psyched on the Freakbeat name, but walked in, and walked right back out.

We sat with Tara at her shop where Steve had an photo show
Open Harvest is where I did my shopping. GOOD DEL
Phil plays drums in the Evil Weiners!

Lincoln Farmer's Market
View of Lincoln from the State Capitol
 I felt privileged to have Steve as my tour guide. He's lived here for years and has the town dialed. Everyone knows him and we'd get stopped routinely on the streets as most everyone wanted to know how SKATE THE STATE went. As a result I was able to meet all sorts of local Lincoln personalities. It did make me miss my close connections in San Diego........
next up  - PECHA KUCHA, then trips to Omaha and Des Moines.....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skate the STATE - day 3

Steve does some retooling as Cory looks on
Nebraska skater and York resident, Eric Eckert, was out of town on a skate trip to COLORADO, but offered up his house for everyone. We awoke to a clear but highly windy day. A group of skaters from Lincoln including Cory, Lucas, Trey, and Jordan, had linked up the night before and they were planning on skating the remaining 51 miles into Lincoln with the main group. With even more heads in the mix, it took awhile to get moving.
I was stoked to see a kiddie pool rolling down the street in the wind.

Publicity stunt for the local newspaper
51 long and windy miles to some hills!

Steve and Dave Nelson head out on the 1st leg - Jordan films
Cory and his fresh legs made good time

Steve heads out on another leg in the wind.
Arty shot of the day....Phil pulls for a pit stop.

Steve and Andrew at a pit stop in a farmer's front yard.
Back into the wind...fresh off a break.
Supporters started showing up 20 miles outside of town

Steve breaks into the CITY LIMIT.
Loads of Lincoln skaters and supports showed up at the Capitol to welcome them HOME.

Closing statement on the steps of the Capitol.
And so wraps up my three days on SKATE THE STATE.....
Mike Smith gets huge props for making it all happen. And thanks to all who lent a hand along the way!

article from skatehive.

steve's video from his perspective

some of steve's photos

Friday, October 14, 2011

Skate the STATE - day 2

We awoke in GRAND ISLAND to chilly and rainy morning. I slept good in the van, but the road warriors.....well I can't speak for them.... Few were up when I ventured into the house. Slowly breakfast was ingested and we made our way to the outskirts of town...
Steve was my only passenger... Poncho on and somewhat ready....
Phil and Steve... pancho brothers.

take off in the rain... leg 1 begins. 4 more to go before York.
Crossing the Platte River, the swallows were swarming.
Phil was pissed early on... already getting the double BIRD.
Steve loved getting choice roadkill shots
This was the only POLICE interference that I saw and he let us be after our explanation.

This qualifies as my arty shot for the day.
this is where the land began to toss in some hills
before noon the sun was out and the ponchos were off
Steve looking grizzly at a mid day rest stop

steve and I sessioned the curb in the background.
Steve joins HK on a NIGHT RANGER tune!
 This is a rare shot of HK in the sticks.... small town NEBRASKA.....side of the road.....a little collaboration is always nice....p:
small town / BIG SILO curb skating....

Phil was so frazzled from a long day that we went straight to the brewsky.

Ended the night at one of few restaurants in YORK, NE.
 Not much on the menu for a vegan... steve wasn't a happy camper either.... I broke down and bought a container of hummus at the grocery store...
The thought on everyone's mind.... "Will we make Lincoln tomorrow night?"