Can I borrow your charger?
Can I borrow your charger? Road Trip Check list Tim Cohen
I had ‘Skatecation’ on my mind for months. When it finally manifested and I was on the road the list of items I probably should have packed started to build. How many pairs of socks did I chuck in? Did I pack my skate tool? I wonder if I’ll need Panadol or Band Aids on this trip?
Must have been my busy mind becoming more relaxed as I pumped the 90’s hip hop and collected numbers on the odometer. Reassuring myself “Nah, it’s all good. I can survive a few days without a toothbrush”. I turned off the highway at the Lighthorse interchange and pointed the front bumper at the Blue Mountains.
This bloke is no spring chicken and life can get complicated. Trapped by Iso and staying true to my family duties means that skate sacrifices need to be made. That’s why the road trip is so precious. What could have made it a bit more comfortable is air conditioning, when the temp in Penrith is 40 farken plus. Guess I should have checked that the air con guy was available before I set off. No worries. Windows down. The chilly bin in the passenger seat was well stacked and I got to the non-alcoholic half as I started my ascent into the hills. Kinda wish I brought some snacks though or at least had a proper lunch. Hmm add that to the list.
The BOM said rain at 7 PM at the new slick looking skatepark at Bathurst. Ominous looking black clouds made my right foot heavy. The 3 and half hour trip was without a single drop of rain but as I pulled into the car park a few drips hit the windscreen. I scrambled to get my skate shoes on. No time for stretches. Straight in. The dozen scooters did not appear to notice my sense of urgency as they meandered about the flat or sat on the manual pad to eat their muesli bars. Still I got in a few laps at the very average park before a quick shower ‘seemed’ to end the session. The old part of the park was well worn concrete and more absorbent than a Maxi Pad. So, when it cleared a bit I picked up some glass from the bottom of the bowl and got a few satisfying scratches in the old girl. Now that the rain had cleared if only, I had an old towel to give that sweet little mini ramp a once over I could get some more roll time. Add that to the list.
The plan to sleep at the skate park was off as 1. It was pretty shit and 2. Now the rain was a proper storm. So, I headed to my mate’s place in Orange where he put me up. Guess remembering the mattress and pillow was now redundant. Orange has nice pubs and the face mask policy was non-existent so ahem glad I remembered mine. Also, glad I didn’t have to use it as I mentioned earlier–forgot my toothbrush and the blue cheese breath was setting in. Woke up early with the obligatory hangover. Maybe I should have brought that Panadol. At least a shower will sort me out. Damn no towel. It was a struggle drying my hirsute self on a couple of t-shirts but just Bear Gryllse’d it.
My mate Hung runs a café near his joint so free breaky and coffee put me in the right mood to roll. Orange skate park is a bit rough but has some fun and unique lines. I would skate there again but not when it is being used as a day care centre. The kids were very polite for scoot rats and keen on conversation and telling each other to get out of this old guys way. I’m not the type of guy to rock up to a skate park and wax ledges and coping. In fact, it bugs me when other people (aka fruit booters–you know who you are) wax the crap out of everything and make it Disney on Ice. But the coping here is super sticky. I wish I’d brought my wax.
Next Stop was Milthorpe. In the middle of nowhere lies this treasure. It was carved out by an asteroid strike and left a crater of fun behind. There is so much here that it can be a bit overwhelming when you take an exploratory lap around it. This is when you discover it is Chalkie hell. So, I had packed my dustpan and brush. Good remembering Tim. Spot on champ! What I really needed was my trusty broom. With the little brush it was like trying to wash a bus with a wet wipe. Which also would have come in handy as my guts rumbled in 30 plus sun, I got the uncontrollable urge to drop a deuce. Middle of nowhere. All good I’ll go behind that tree. At that precise moment a chatty young fella rocks up on his scooter so I focus hard and retract that turtle head back into its shell to brew a little longer. Note to self–remember to off load unwanted baggage before getting too isolated skateparks. Mithorpe though is a gem of a park and should be on your hit list. Take a fricken broom though and some wax.
The road offers up so much. Gravel skids, beautiful vistas, a nod from the lollipop dude at the road works. Even saw a young fox scampering across the road in broad daylight heading towards a herd of Alpacas. Not exactly native wildlife but there was plenty of that in carcass form on the side of the road to let me know I was in the country. With windows down you smell the country. Dirt, rain and sometimes cow shit. Canowindra was more of an accident than part of the mission. If I had bought sunscreen, my Bluetooth speaker and an energy drink I might have given it a bit more than just a once over. Despite it being a very basic design, it actually looked kind of fun. But I was heading to a bakery and Boorowa.
Wish I remembered my charger for my phone as was down to 15%. GPS signal lost. Just follow the main road. There has to be a public toilet somewhere right?!Scraped into Boorowa and straight to the pub to lose some weight and to consume a refreshing ale before hitting the park. The only person there was the barman who said they have had a lot of visitors who come just to skate it. When I rolled up, I could see why. Super slick with awesome flow and slappie curbs that would make the Bad Curbs Club pitch a tent. Another empty park all to myself and definitely the highlight of this trip. It’s not too far from Canberra and off the beaten track but certainly worth it. Especially if hitting Harden skate park as well. Again, wax would have come in handy and some homies heckling and cheering would have made it better. But I do love the solo mish and the freedom skatecation brings. Next Time I’ll take my charger. Next time there will be a checklist. The best bit is knowing there will be a next time. Can’t wait