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San Diego 9/98: Three days, Four pools
Note that this was the last time I had the good fortune to ride The Nude. It has since been filled with dirt, dug out, and filled in again. Its always people who don't have a clue that fuck it up for everyone else...

The travelers: KO, Kristal, and Yours Truly | Our host: JD Rogge, poolshark extrordinairre

Arriving in San Diego bright and early on Saturday morning was not really the way I intended to start this trip, but it did save us the indignity of skating our first real pools in months with hangovers. Although I must say that the flight attendants were slightly taken back when we asked for budweisers instead of orange juice or coffee. Feeling relaxed and ready to skate, we strolled out into the warm San Diego sun.

We hook up with Jerry and he drives us straight from the airport to a crazy small tight pool with really cool tiles and a cartoonish plaster octopus smack in the middle of the shallow.octopus After working up a sweat in the hot sun, a friendly neighbor poked her head over the fence to let us know that "she doesn't mind" if anyone skates the pool, but the house had been sold and that she has seen the man busting luckless skaters. We thanked her and cut our losses as we hightailed it out of the neighborhood. We checked a couple of other pools and arrived at a really wide and deep bowl perched on a hillside with no real escape route. Jerry told us this one was hot so it should be a hit and run (less than 15 min or so). Fresh from a small tight pool into a big deep wide pool was certainly a trial by fire for our rusty pool skills. Jerry of course showed us the benefits of constant pool skating by busting over the shallow stairs like they weren't even there.

After a quick sesh we found our way to where skateboards are born, the manufacturing complex owned and presided over by one Brian Bean.boardpressjerry dooride It had been a while since we had seen Brian, so the usual pleasantries were traded over cold beers and smoking materials. We hung out and skated an old metal door propped up against the wall and enjoyed the fine aroma of the half dozen or so dogs which freely roamed the area. Plans were hatched to round up a crew and head to the Nude. Once the decision was made we were in motion. We headed to Jerry's pad to make calls and gather supplies. I was stoked to see my man Predator up and mobile after breaking his femur last season at Mammoth. I guess learning to ride after taking mushrooms washed down with twelve buds is not the best thing for you to do, but some people have to learn the hard way... Bean arrived with the generator and lights and we were Nude Bowl bound.

unibomberBean beat us there and had the lights burning bright to guide us up the hill. It was good to be back at the Nude. Since it was trade show weekend, there was a strong contingent of rippers present, and more and more people kept showing up every minute. I tried to get warmed up, but ended up sitting back and soaking up the atmosphere as the session turned from red to white hot. It was not unusual to see two and three people break towards the deep in an all out snake sesh, this even resulted in some killer doubles runs by the more adventurous of the crew. I felt as if I was in the twilight zone, there were more backyard rulers there than I had ever seen assembled in one place before. I'm sure I forgot some and didn't recognize others, but I saw Alva, Duncan, Murph, Ruel, Twister, Brewce Martin, Science Fair, Texas Dan, Pigpen and Peter Hewitt tear the place apart. Also great to see was a strong showing of female skaters, in town for an all girl event in Encinitas. I was stoked to see Lisa Whiskey from Canada among the ladies, you never know who you will run into in the middle of the desert... I also ran into a hellraiser known as Jason Gnass who spent a lot of time riding vert with us back in the day. Even though I had not seen him in over two years, it was refreshing to see that some things never change. Jason was up to his usual liquor powered one man show with occasional guest appearances by Pigpen. Once he found out that Kristal was unattached, he attempted to use all his smooth guy tactics to get some action. If falling off the ledge into the glass filled volleyball court wouldn't win the heart of our travelling companion, he figured that she must be "one of them". Kristal assured him that she was not a big fan of Ellen, but our lovelorn friend was on auto pilot and he harassed her until he latched on to someone else to mooch beers from. I must say though that I did enjoy telling all his friends about how he was once a straight edge emo vegan who would drive around in his blue Ford Shitscort listening to Morrissey and the Cure. The night wouldn't have been complete without Science baring all and blazing some incredible lines. Even more unbelievable was the young lady skater who followed suit in stripping down for a few runs, the crowd went crazy to say the least... As the sun started to brighten the sky I got back in for a sunrise session, but once the temp started to rise, staying up all night began to take its toll, I retreated to what little shade I could find for a few hours of shuteye.

I awoke to the sound of Charlie and crew blasting clay pigeons with shotguns, I tried to salvage some more sleep but following the dwindling shade was a losing proposition. wt campbathing beautiesWe packed up and headed down the road to feast on some fine greasy food at the legendary Sidewinder Cafe. Nothing tastes finer than a fifty cent Bud draft with your two dollar egg and hashbrown breakfast. After a quick stop to replenish our beer supply we were off to cool our heels at a nearby secret river spot simply known as "The Tree". We spent the day lounging in the cool running water, drinking beers, napping, telling stories, and generally trying not to do anything. As it was now officially Jerry's birthday, we readied ourselves for another night of skating the Nude. After another stop for more beer, food and ice, we were heading back out into the desert to see our old friend again.

Tonites gathering was much more low key, no rock stars or black flys shirts anywhere. There was a surprising twist to the evenings happenings though. Jerry had managed to talk an "exotic dancer" into making the trek to the Nude to provide us with entertainment on this his birthday.JD Needless to say, she appeared quite nervous as it was only her and her miniscule tweaker companion out here in the middle of the desert surrounded by a gang of smelly skaters. I quickly fired up my video camera to document this once in a lifetime event, but much to my chagrin, our surgically enhanced friend requested that I stop filming once the show began. Doing my best "sure, I will go put the camera in the car" act, I quickly made my way up the hill to the foundation for some clandestine telephoto shooting. Everything was progressing nicely when some other skaters showed up and attempted to shoot some photos. As this was not on the list of things she had bargained for, the show was cut short, right before the "interactive" segment...

There was nothing left to do now but skate and drink, which we gladly did with great fervor. Our enthusiasm for a friendly uncrowded session got the best of us as we assaulted the pool with everything we could muster.GT GT won the award for the most frightneing slam resulting in a laceration to his forehead and a huge lump resembling a horn about to burst through his skin. After witnessing this trainwreck of a slam, the session lost some steam, and we focused our attentions on safer pursuits, mainly on drunken 4X4 hillclimbing. Thank god Charlie had a winch on his truck, because the fun would have stopped before it began as the guys attempted to push their trucks up steeper and steeper embankments. I found myself crashing out sooner than expected, the Nude had taken its toll on me in a big way. I had a hipper that felt like an extra large trucker wallet and it was expanding with every passing moment.

The next morning saw us back at the Sidewinder for another greasy breakfast and cold drafts. With more supplies in the cooler, our motley crew headed back to the tree to soak our sore bones in the cool water.watergodPepperOur plane left later in the day, so we planned on doing nothing but feel old, or so we though. Jerry started talking about going to skate Pepper on the way back, and everyone laughed. Hell, we could hardly walk, let alone skate. Deep down we knew it was the right thing to do, and against our aching bodies wishes we departed towards Pepper later in the afternoon. I must say that this is probably one of, if not the, best pools I have ever had the good fortune to ride. Despite our battered condition, we all managed to accomplish what we went there to do. Everyone was stoked to see Kevin pull clean grinds over the death, damn good for a thirty five year old stoner! We skated until the last possible moment and then made a mad dash to the San Diego airport, an hour and a half away.

Before I knew it, I was at home taking a well deserved, and necessary, shower. Its amazing how hot water can soothe your sore body and alert you to all the minor abrasions and sunburned skin you had yet to discover.

Final score: 4 pools, many beers, 1 stripper, massive hipper for two weeks, sunburn, and 1 damn good time had by all. As usual, many thanks and a resounding happy birthday to our gracious host JD.