The plan. Skate Hailey and Montana.
Saturday, July 5th 2003:
Arrived in Hailey, after nearly a 10-hour drive. It was
Hailey time (MT time). Steve with his two kids (Isaac and
Jeremy and I were all pretty tired from the long drive.
But, we made
it. Getting to Hailey is no easy task. A flight in will
set you back a
few hundred bucks, plus. Driving is a test of ones patience
stamina. But, as always, it was worth it. Steve was overcome
He couldn’t believe his eyes. Even in the dark he
could see that this
place was huge. Made for those who like to skate big parks.
that he was a little scared (Steve scared by big vert? HUH?
think it possible). For me, this was my second trip to Hailey.
ready, or at least I thought I was. We thought we were going
to hook up with our buddy Jack at the park. But, some miscommunication
and him coming down with a flu (yikes!) made that a not
a go. The weather was so good, and the park was empty, so
we decided to just sleep in the deep end of the park. But,
don’t tell anyone, because the park closes at dusk.
The concrete was warm, but still I think I prefer a hotel
bed to concrete!
Sunday, July 6th 2003:
Vooom…Voooooom was the sound I kept hearing. I peaked
out of my
sleeping bag (which was strategically positioned to cover
my head, due
to the wind and sunlight that was trying to wake me up)
and I saw this
bearded dude on a scooter. He was dropping in, and vooming
around. He said he was from Utah, and that he used to skate,
but couldn’t do it
very well anymore, so he uses his modified scooter instead.
around on very soft wheels (voooom). We could barely hear
him. We got up and started to ride. Steve was stoked. He
started to roll
around and I could hear an occasional, “Yeahahh”.
He was making
comments like, “Red just went off with this one!”
(I’m thinking he got
over his fear). Steve loved the full pipe. He couldn’t
stop talking about Baldy and Upland, and all the other full
pipes he’s skated. We talked about various lines and
how to skate pipes.
|The sun was out, we skated until it got
too hot, around noon. The plan,
lunch at McDonalds, and rest by the river. After McDonalds
we stopped in Ketchum to check out the skatepark. Jake
is more of a street skater, so he enjoyed this park
more than Hailey. However, he hooked up while rolling
down a wooden ramp, on some plywood that was coming
apart and sticking up slightly causing him to fall and
slam his hand at the bottom. He was hurting; he thought
he might have broken a finger. We taped it up, and he
said he would be ok.
It looked like he might lose his finger nail. We stopped
in to see Dave at the Board Bin. They had remolded their
shop, and it was looking quite good. Of course, Isaac had
to have a new deck. Dave was more than willing to sell him
one and assemble it. Did I mention that they now have a
big flat screen TV? The kids didn’t want to leave.
They were content watching some flip trick video (now, if
it was a pool skating flick, I would have been the one wanting
We left there and headed for a spot on
the river to cool off.It was a hot 90 some degrees. A little
too hot for us Northwestern cave dwellers. At the river,
we had some fun. Well, and the river had us too. There was
this log. It was sticking out of the river, and Steve thought
it would be fun to jump out there on the log and ride it
like a board. Well, that went ok, a little scary, but ok.
The log would bounce around as Steve jumped on or off it.
Then Jacob decided to try it. It looked fun after all, eh?
Well, after a few episodes of jumping on and off, Jacob
fell in. Now this was some fast moving/deep water, not just
a little creek where you can just stand up. It was a very
strong current. Steve had advised Jake to “grab the
log if you fall in.” Well, Jake did try that, and
he slid right under the water (getting scratched up in the
process). He bobbed a couple of times. As soon as I saw
him fall, I took off down the pathway to see if I could
catch him as he floated by. Steve was yelling at him to
grab another log or branches. While trying to determine
if he should swim after him. Jake finally grabbed onto some
roots that were hanging over the river. Seconds later I
got there and grabbed him. However, I couldn’t pull
him up. The current was so strong it was pulling him down.
Steve arrived and we both pulled him out of the water. He
looked like a soaked cat. I asked him if he could have pushed
anything with his legs, he said there was nothing. The water
was so deep, and so fast that he couldn’t do anything.
Well, so much for an uneventful/restful time by the river,
eh? We were thankful that no one was badly hurt, and we
went to another place by the river, more relaxing this time.
I took a nap (whew!).
Around 7pm we headed back to the park, the locals start
to come out as
the sun starts to set. The session really heats up as the
behind the mountain. Already we were a beat up bunch of
skaters, already. Jeremy slammed his knee again, he was
thinking he wouldn’t get to skate the rest of the
trip (he was totally bummed, so while he was limited, he
was still able to skate). I hit my knee pretty hard (from
14 feet up, I forgot to compress on big vert, oops). Jake
hit his finger, thinking he broke it. Steve slammed his
heal again. Isaac, he wasn’t hurt, he just likes to
whine. But, over all, we were skating here in Hailey, and
we were stoked because we were having some great weather
Monday, July 7, 2003:
“Top of the morning to ya!” I heard as someone
skated past my sleeping head. Yup, slept in the belly of
this monster again. The previous night was interesting.
Some Mexican family decided at midnight that it was a good
time to check out the park. They were sliding down the roll
ins, and climbing on top of the pipe, making a bunch of
noise. Then early in the morning, we were awoken by some
older skaters, doing their early morning “Skate”
(Normal folks go for an early morning walk, or jog. Not
skaters. We go for an early morning skate). After a breakfast
(at McDonalds where else?), we padded up. Not too many skaters
were there, so Steve and I started seeing how high we could
get in the pipe and then stick a sticker to prove we were
there. Steve was saying that it’s tradition for stickers
to be stuck high in a pipe. He was telling me that the Baldy
Pipeline had some pretty high and old ones back when he
skated that. Well, Steve pretty much had the pipe dialed,
he put a couple of stickers at 11 O’clock, not kidding.
Some skaters from the Portland area showed up, Steve and
Randy. They got the session going, and before long it was
getting hot. They said that they had just come from the
Montana area, and that the Pearl Jam bowl was not a go,
since no one was there to let you in. We were bummed, but
we were still hopeful.
At about 1pm, it was getting too hot to skate, and we
weren’t going to
do anything until 7pm anyway, so we set out for Driggs,
Idaho. We heard that Dreamland had just finished a bowl
there, and it was only about 3 hours or so from Hailey.
So we decided to check it out. Sitting by the river, or
sitting in an air conditioned Caravan are similar types
ways to kill time, aren’t they?
||Well, not exactly. We arrived in
Driggs, about 7pm or so, and skated the bowl. It was
small, and not
very deep. But, it was smooth. Steve said he that had
(owner of Dreamland Skateparks) say something along
the lines of having to make “compromises”
in some situations. This was one of those. It was fun
to roll around in, but nothing spectacular.
Since we were in Driggs, only minutes away from the boarder
of Idaho and Wyoming, we realized that we were only about
an hour from Jackson Hole Wyoming, the location of an Airspeed
park (which I think was their first). Well, we were interested.
We rolled out of Driggs at about sundown (that’s hick
town speak for about 9:30pm). And we noticed on our way
out, a real live Drive-in Movie Theater! Hmmm…we pull
in, and determine that if it’s too expensive (like
over 5 bucks a head), we were bolting to Jackson. The kids
hadn’t ever been to a drive in, and it was a novelty
for us at the very least, so we decided to check it out.
Plus it was Isaac’s birthday, he was now 13 years
old! The lady said, “5 bucks” as we pulled up
to the window. I was scrambling to get 25 bucks out to her,
and she said, “No, 5 bucks for the who car load…”
I said, Oh, OK. Handed her the cash, and we were in. However,
the movie was about some green dude who bashed in stuff.
The Hulk, I think. I was tired, and the movie was about
as bad as an old Godzilla movie. But, the drive in at Driggs
was fun non-the less.
Off to Jackson, Wyoming at around midnight. I had a nap,
so I was
doing ok, despite the late hour. I’d never driven
from Driggs to
Jackson so I didn’t know what to expect, and it was
dark. The map said
something like “Teton Pass”. Well, I’ve
driven over passes before, no
big deal right? NOT! This is a pass on Steroids. I see signs
”Steep grade ahead, 10 percent for the next 5 miles”
(Next 5 miles,
HUH?)! Hmmm… Van is getting hot. Hmm….Van is
going very slow (like 15 miles per hour). Well, we made
it to the top, engine is very hot. Down the other side of
the Teton pass, only 8 thousand feet above the
Seattle area. Hmmm… 10 percent grade again (Stevens
Pass at it’s
steepest is 6 percent). Hmmm…. Brakes are getting
hot. Whew! Made it.
Stop for gas at the bottom of the pass, I can smell the
I’m washing the windshield, and a little water hits
the front wheel.
Tssssst…as the water evaporates off the hot wheel.
Whew! (Note to self; choose a different route home.) Steve
asks for directions to the park. It’s late, and we’re
tired. It’s difficult to find. But, we find it. And
sleep in the bowl, as has become our tradition.
Tuesday, July 8, 2003:
(Someone is skating…I’m not looking out, I’m
sleeping…Click…Clack. Still trying to sleep,
I only got 5 hours of
sleep.) Two local guys are skating before going to work.
Steve got up and asked them about the water in the deep
end (I was sleeping). We noticed water about 8 inches deep
in there. The local skaters told him that sometimes it fills
with water. It was bummer. It looked fun, so Steve and I
decided we would have to bail it out. "It had to be
emptied and ridden" (a little Dogtown quote for you).
We were determined. We went to the local K-mart, and got
some supplies (rope, buckets). We started to bail. And bail,
we did for about an hour. And Steve said, hey, how come
the water is not going down? Well, it was going down, but
it was also coming back up, through the drain. Evidently,
the drain went straight to a French drain, instead of a
sewer system or a storm drainage system. So when the water
table reached the bottom of the bowl, water came in. It
was a lost cause, unfortunately. So we bagged the bailing
|We decided that the deep end was too good not to skate.
We started rolling around it, staying on the high side of the tranny.
It was a
like skating old ditches with water in them. Kind of
fun, and a little
risky. Then Steve says, hey, let’s see if we can
get a grind over the
water. Steve’s good at coming up with these hair
brained ideas (jumping on logs?).
Well, as it turned out, we could whip around and get a
grind on one side, and just miss the water’s edge
on the other. Well maybe. One time, my last time, I hit
the grind, and then I hit the water. I bailed, because I
knew I would slip out. The board decided to go back into
the water. I spent the next half hour cleaning and drying
out my bearings.
Jackson, WY is a lot like Ketchum, ID. It’s a ritzy
resort town (one
person at Motel 6 cost 90 bucks, cheap eh?), and is very
neat and tidy.
I was able to hook to the internet at the Hard Drive Café,
for a couple
of bucks. The park is fun, and smooth. The deep bowl is
such a way that a figure eight line is really fast (even
with water in
the bowl). Water. Well, after thinking about it. I think
we should have tried putting a PCV pipe in the drain. Take
out the screen, and stick the
pipe snugly in the drain (about 4 feet tall?), forcing the
water up the
pipe, instead of out into the bowl. You could skate around
sticking up, much easier than trying to avoid “Jackson
Lake” along the
whole flat bottom. In theory, the pipe would hold a column
which would put back-pressure on the water table, causing
it to level
out. It’s just a theory anyway.
We headed back to Hailey, around noon or so, as it started
to get hot.
We were so blessed to have perfect weather everyday, not
a cloud in the sky! Five hours later, it was time to Rip
Ride in Hailey! Not! I was so sore, and tired. I had to
take a break (after driving that far, and
sitting on stiff and sore muscles), to stretch out some
of these old
tired muscles. Couple that with sleeping on concrete every
night. I was
stiff as a board. But, after stretching, I felt a little
enough to ride. I decided I needed to get a sticker higher
in the pipe.
So, with a sticker in one hand, I started getting pretty
high. On one
run, I reached back to stick the sticker, as I was about
10 O’clock in
the pipe, I decompressed (stood up straight), not concentrating
riding the pipe and staying compressed until it was safe
to ride out. I
suddenly found myself flying out into the middle of the
pipe, in the
air, with sticker still in hand. Yee Haa! Then slam! I found
my self at
the bottom of the pipe. My shoulder/face/knee/wrist all
took the hit. I
stuck the sticker right there where I landed (ouch!). I
cracked my new
full-face helmet in two places. I thought for sure I would
concussion or something. But, nothing. My shoulder felt
the worst out
of the whole deal. The helmet did its job. I’m sure,
had I not had this
particular full face helmet on, I would be looking at another
office visit. I decided I was designated photographer for
the rest of
Good session at night, as usual, the locals really heat
it up when the
sun goes down behind the mountain. We slept in the bowl
decided that since the Montana bowl wasn’t a go, we
would head out to
the new bowl in Hood River Oregon, on the next day.
Wednesday, July 9, 2003:
Early morning skate at the Hailey Park is fun, you can
just roll, and
roll and roll. No need to push, no need to go big. It’s
just fast, no
matter where you go. The place is easy to keep your speed
in. You can
start at the top, carve down to the deep end, and ride your
way back up
through the pipe, and end up where you started. We skated
for a while,
and then this guy shows up and asks us if we want to skate
HUH? You don’t have to ask us twice!
So we follow him to the secret pool (I can’t tell
you who or what or
where, because it’s a secret. Just another connection
we have to NASA).
Well, it’s hot by this time, and being in a large
reflector, oh, I mean
pool, only made it that much hotter. We were a little bummed
couldn’t skate the pearl jam bowl, so this made up
for that. Steve rips
pools. Tight tranny is a whole different ball game. It was
so much fun
to ride the tile and hit real pool coping, for some real
grinds. But we
paid our dues, no doubt. Steve was knee sliding (on the
surface), and his pads slipped, skinning his knee. I slammed
just in time to sit for 8 hours on our trip to Hood River.
We said our
good byes to this wonderful area that will only get better.
Did I tell
you that Ketchum is raising money to “out do”
the Hailey Park?
Dreamland will be back in this area to build another killer
you wait (Maybe some pool coping and tile this time, eh?).
We packed up and left around noon. Next stop. Hood River.
|We rolled in to Hood River around 8pm. It was hotter
here than in
Hailey, but it was a good ride (uneventful is good).
Steve really liked Hood River; he said it reminded him
of the round part of the old Upland combi bowl.I skated,
even though I was too tired/stiff and hot to even walk
(and did I mention the mosquitoes, they were out in
The locals were spectating, as we rode the bowl (They
will be ripping it up in no time, no doubt). Steve found
some new lines (forever carve grinds in the deep), and decided
that he needed to come back; it’s a good bowl they
got there in the Hood. We were hot and tired, and beat.
It was decided by a democratic vote (read the kids wanted
to go home, but the dads wanted to stay), that we press
on and head home, instead of staying one more night, and
riding Newburg or some other great park the next day. So,
instead of trying to get this tired old body to skate today,
I’m pounding a keyboard, and ready to take another
nap (and dream about that park in Hailey)! Thanks once again
to Dreamland for making parks that are worth the trip. And
thanks to all the Hailey/Ketchum locals who are so nice
it’s just makes the whole scene an incredible experience.
- Dan Hughes
Hailey Movie made from trip...2003.
been skating longer then just about any of us. You can find
him in our forum or check out his gallery HERE.
This was originally published on Sleestak.net. I tried to keep the original formatting that Bobcat used.
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