Sk8 the St8s: my dads-&-sons skateboarding road trip & book project
In the summer of 1979, my parents took my brother and I on a cross-country road trip in a surplus army ambulance that my dad had converted into a camper. The beast was slow and noisy. It was hot as an oven in the back. My brother and I fought constantly. The ambulance broke down twice, once on the side of a two-lane in West Texas.
It was the best vacation ever. And it was the inspiration for the road trip I’m taking with my sons, starting next week. Sean and Leo are the same age my brother and I were in ’79, and Sean is just weeks away from high school, as I was then.
Instead of an army vehicle our chariot will be an old school bus called Bustaride. And instead of visiting America’s national parks we’re touring her skate parks. Joining us will be my buddy Lou and his son Niall, plus two of Sean and Leo’s skate friends.
Our adventure begins Tuesday in Charleston, SC. We’ll drive to Charlotte and DC, followed by a blur of fast food and skate park stops in Baltimore, Philly, New York (maybe), Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Portland, where we’ll deliver the kids to Windells Skate Camp on August 6. We’ll be touring scores of smaller cities and towns along the way.
The goal is for the kids to videotape it all, and for me to write a book.
Our little project caught the attention of CBS in New York, and they’ve offered to help sponsor the trip. They’re setting up our blog, Sk8theSt8s.com, which should be up and running by July 19, and they’re working to get us on morning shows in some cities. Our blog will include daily reports from the road – one from the dads’ POV, one from the kids – plus photos and videos. The blog will include an interactive map, so you can follow our progress. We’ll also list dates and times of arrival in each city, plus the skateparks we’ll be visiting, so please stop by and skate with us if you’re in the area.
The trip has grown longer (nearly 3 weeks and at least 4500 miles), and costlier. At 5 to 7 mpg, the Bustaride will suck more petrol than ten Priuses – almost as much as a Hummer. That means we could still use some support from new donors at our Kickstarter fundraising site. Watch the video, which explains the purpose of the journey.
Now let’s hope our Bustaride bus doesn’t break down as often as the ambulance did.
http://www.nealthompson.com/2011/07/sk8 ... k-project/
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