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Vagabond Forever - 11/02
VagabondBy their very nature, empty pools are usually gone before you know it. The Vagabond is turning into one of those legendary spots like Buena, The Nude and Baldy. It had been a while since we rode some real terrain so KO and I decided to get our lame asses down to Fresno last montth. essentialsWe called JD from SD to get the hookups going and it all looked like the shit was coming together nicely. After obtaining the requisite road trip supplies KO and I split after work on Friday and made the drive to Fresno through some hellacious central valley fog. Driving through the thick fog really slowed our average speed down {but not my budweiser consumption}. We got to the designated motel and set up camp. I woke up at 0800 to the sound of my phone buzzing off the table, it seems as though JDs 'Power NapTM" plan did not work as well as thought and he was still in SD. I laughed at his misfortune and assured him that we would take his runs for him. Luckily he had paved the way by getting in touch with the Fresno crew and letting them know we were on the way. He cautioned us to bring beer and to be prepared to work, it seems as though Scooter and his crew were having a work party...

We made our way to denny's for breakfast and were surprised to scope three empty pools on the way. They all bore the marks of previous sessions but contained various amounts of rain water or were guarded by fierce toothless white trash innkeepers. You may recognize two of these spots from Fruit of the Vine, in fact I think we were chased away by the same crazy lady. We got some trophy pics and were on our way. After a quick stop for a case of super tall 24oz budweisers and ice we were heading to the Vagabond.

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We got the the Vagabond to find a serious crew throwing down fresh concrete all around the pool. We made our introductions and offered refreshments all around. These guys were in full on work mode and it shows, the place was clean, relatively graffiti free and the unique assortment of obstacles was growing. KO and I started sessioning taking breaks only to help carry supplies or rubble to build up new obstacles. This cycle went on all day as we skated we saw the over vert wall take shape, the lines around the pool will be as numerous as the lines in the pool. Various other crews dropped by throughout the day to session with us and as night fell we got down to some good old fashioned lie telling and drinking. Sam Hitz amused us all with his shoulder roll dives into the pool while holding a beer and not spilling a drop.

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Hunger overtook everyone's will to drink and we caravaned to get food and find some trouble. After an abortive attempt to find fun at a local watering hole we ended up at Scooter's waiting for him to get home. The day was starting to take its toll on everyone and there was a shortage of floor space so we decided to head back to the motel.

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beer monumentsThe next morning after a hearty Mexican breakfast right across the street from this amusing sign we hooked up with Josh and Valerie at the Vagabond for a tour of the other spots Fresno has to offer. The first pool we hit was a permission pool called Hogan's. This Blue Haven had all the necessary features: death, light and loveseat all arranged in challenging positions. This pool had perhaps the best surface I had ever ridden, hard and smooth, just the way it should be. Josh immediately took control showing us the lines, blasting over the death and light as well as speed carve grinding over the loveseat. KO was inspired by Josh's lines and worked up to carving the loveseat, which was his first by the way at 38 yrs old, hell yeah! I skated like a wuss but managed to get a couple of good slams in for posterity.

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We stayed at Hogan's until about three when we had to reluctantly make the long trek home. We took a drive by the famous Pear Camp for a trophy picture, the place looks sick. We dropped Josh and Valerie back at Scooter's, said our goodbyes and were on the way.

Thanks to everyone we met who made the trip one of the best in recent memory: Josh, Valerie, Scooter, Holly, Flea, Ballard, Kip, RJ, Joe, Sperm and Sam.