Part 5: The mountains

We left Kowalski-land with somewhat heavy hearts and exceptionally high hopes. We were ready for the next leg of our trip. First thing was first, though. We had to drive through Eugene. We were driving to Grants Pass, Oregon. Right near the border of Northern California.
Jeremy had an old Phoenix friend, who lived on a large piece of land in the mountains…and we wanted to see it. We drove for about 3 hours, before we hit “wolf creek” and waited at a gas station, there. It was the middle of nowhere…and we had no idea what to expect. But we were feeling good.

Trav and Asia pulled up in an adorable little car to meet us in a dirt parking lot. They jumped out, and introduced themselves. Asia and I hit it off, immediately. The boys started catching up, just as quick. Asia and I actually had to conspire to get them back in the respectful vehicles to get back to the house before it got dark. We apparently had a ways to go. Little did we know, that we were in for a VERY long drive, into the lush green Oregon mountains.

Jeremy and I followed them up a dirt driveway on about a 16% incline, shrouded in trees. The driveway didn’t stop for 30 minutes. We crept along a Cliffside the whole time as it twisted and wound up to “the land” as we all respectively called it. About 16 minutes in, all our reception cut out on our phones and our radio. Jeremy and I looked at each other, nervously. We joked that they were really just probably leading us to a sacrificial ceremony, and we fell into their trap like assholes. Thankfully, that was not the case.

Finally after seeing a giant herd of elk in a small clearing, we came to a SECOND driveway that we turned up, that was surrounded in patches of completely burned forest. Apparently BLM (the lumber company) had set controlled fires throughout the mountains, the year before. It was the first time we were able to realize just how far, and high up into the mountains we really were. We were taken aback…and STILL driving.

The gate to the land approached. It was covered in mud and was opened already, for us to drive through. To our left at the entrance on a muddy hill, sat three target practice cutouts; full of bullet holes. We drove up a bit further and saw small wooden buildings all over. One looked like a giant chicken coop. Another looked like an airplane hangar halfway submerged in the dirt. To the left was a kale garden and a goat shed. Behind it was a tiny home at the top of the hill….which sat behind the place we were headed, the entire time. Travis and Asia’s beautiful log cabin.

Jeremy and I were more remote than we had literally ever been. We were so deep in the mountains, with no radio. No phone reception. Nobody but the people that we were with, and each other. We were kind of nervous, honestly. Being cut off from the world we knew, in the flash of a half an hour.

Trav and Asia jumped out and let their dogs out of the car when we arrived. Boss and Bebe were two amazing pitbulls. We all smoked a cigarette outside, and politic’d about the area. They told us that the tiny house behind them, on the hill; was their friend’s Danni and Kai. They had ripped an old shed covered in amazing graffiti apart, and built a little loft home out of it.

The submerged airplane hangar structure was called a “quonset hut” (Wiki; “A Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of corrugated galvanized steel having a semicircular cross-section.”)   That was where the owner of the land, Adam lived. He had a chicken coop next to his house, and a goat fence for the male goats. In it stood some of the BIGGEST goats that I have literally ever seen in my life. Like, almost horse sized goats. Giant curly antlers. They were like some giant hell demons behind a flimsy fence. I stayed away from those guys.

The other goat hut had a brand new white baby goat, and all of the mothers inside. I spent a lot of time holding the little dude. He was so kissable, and just genuinely adorable. I was so hyped to be able to spend time with him. Even if he did have his own poop on his hooves most of the time.


baby goat love.

I’m off topic here. So we were outside Trav and Asia’s house. Smoking a cigarette, talking about the land. We hadn’t even gone inside, yet. So we decided it was time to. I dipped after Asia under a blanket at the front door, into the living room. There were skylights letting the remainder of dusk’s light in. The ceiling itself were exposed wooden beams. Two couches in an “L” shape, and a small coffee table sat in the middle of the room. Three long tables lined the back of the room, covered in fun stuff. Fitting mannequins, two portable record players, and an extensive record collection spanned across them all. There were two bedrooms, a quaint bathroom, and a pet snake named “Connor” that sat in the foyer area beside a woodstove.

Asia tossed me a headlamp and explained that they lived off gas generators, when they wanted light. Or headlamps. She went on to tell me that the bathroom lights were battery powered push lights. We were way more remote than I thought. This was going to take some getting used to.

The first night was interesting. Asia made us some incredible food. The next morning we woke up and all had French Press coffee. Jeremy and I double checked our cell phones to see if maybe they somehow caught a random signal overnight. They did not.

The owner of the land was this awesome hippy guy named Adam. Definitely a character. The dude was super happy, and had the most obedient dog I’ve ever seen; named Tracker. Adam and Tracker ran the land, and had super happy energy exuding off the both of them. Adam actually ran a large primitive skills workshop retreat, on the land. and was setting up for it while we were there. They taught people how to tan hides, make bows and arrows, use the mountains to produce medicines with the local plants, how to identify plants correctly, even how to make bicycle powered generators!

Like I said…Asia and I bonded immediately, and we even agreed at the beginning, to tattoo each other. She had a whole setup in the woods, from when she used to tattoo. We ran the machine off the generator, and she thankfully covered a fucked up tattoo that I had stupidly gotten a while back of an ex douchebag’s name on my arm. (We replaced it with a railroad spike, to go with my train and graffiti sleeve. ) I put the symbol for silver on her back, right at the nape of her neck. It turned out beautifully. We were both so happy with our work. I love Asia. Her and I were so similar in character. I was so thankful that I had such a golden chick to chill with out there. We were both worried when our dudes had been like “oh we’re gonna be kicking it with our friend and his lady for the next couple weeks!” It was all pretty damn perfect.

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The coverup Asia did on my arm

The “silver” symbol I did on Asia

Sometimes Trav and Asia left us out in the woods to our own destiny. One of the days, Jeremy and I decided to hike one of the nearby mountains to see if we could get cell phone reception. We couldn’t; but we did find some crazy log cabins left over from the Oregon Trail that had been abandoned, there. We must have hiked for about 2 hours, alone in the woods before we realized it was getting pretty cloudy out. I wasn’t feeling being stuck in a possible thunderstorm in the middle of these giant cedar trees, so we started to head down the mountainside in what we thought was the direction back toward the cabin. All around us were gigantic cedars that had been struck by lightning. As we stepped down the mountainside with driftwood walking sticks we had picked up from the coast, we started to notice all the pink and white quartz around us. By the time we were heading back to the cabin, we had our hoodies full of quartz rock. I mean our pockets, the sleeves, even the hood part of the hoodies; all turned into sacks that we had slung over our backs. We carried about 150 lbs of quartz down the mountain, about another mile. It was great. (And exhausting as hell.) When we got back, we realized that we didn’t need these gigantic hunks of quartz in the first place…so we left them with the land people, and took the smaller bits along with us. I ended up making necklaces and sending them off to my mom, and my grandma for mother’s day. (Hi gramma! *she’s one of our biggest supporters, with Caravan.)

Abandoned leftover Oregon Trail cabin structures in the mountains.

One of the most intense lightning trees that had been hit, the day we hiked the mountains for reception. It had been hit so hard, that there was basically a third of the tree hanging off the other half of the tree.

Some of the quartz pile that we brought back to clean at the cabin

There were quite a few days that were dedicated to skateboarding, although we were nestled so deeply in the woods. Travis and Asia took us around Grant’s Pass 4 or 5 times to the parks in town. It was awesome to see Travis skating after not having touched his board in years. He killed it the whole time. We drove out to Gold Hill, Oregon too. That park was pretty rad. There was a skateboarding dog named Odin, there. And we saw an eagle straight up get dive-bombed out of the air by a hawk; in the field beside the park. That was pretty intense. We ran to another skate park, but there was almost nobody there….and it was hardly skated.

The boys even 4 wheeled up into the mountain pass with Jeremy’s element bench, and killed it in the middle of nowhere. I mean like, 4 cars MAYBE a month go up this tiny ass road. I wasn’t there. I was back at the cabin drinking moonshine, with Asia..making dinner. But the photos are rad.


Trav with the pivot fakie at Gold Hill. Photo by Jeremy


Gold hill, Oregon. Jeremy killing it. Photo by Trav.

Another night, Asia rolled me some sweet little dreadlocks. I left them in for about 3 weeks, before I realized that I couldn’t keep up with them, even though I live in a van. It’s hard enough for me to do my makeup in the morning, let alone separate hair. So I spent 3 days combing them out…but they were pretty adorable while they lasted.

This was Randy, who was the neighbor on “the land”…he was amazing, and drove up one evening to hang out at the cabin in this International Scout with his dog “Frank”.


One of the coolest feelings to feel is how incredibly cut off we really were, from the world. We didn’t know any news. We didn’t know who said what on facebook. We didn’t even know how worried our moms were, about us. All we knew was how gorgeous the full blood moon looked from atop a dark mountain at night. We knew how quiet it could get when you were simply breathing. We knew that it was our duty to put out an unattended fire that looked like it was spreading. We knew to locate our headlamps before the night fell, because if you didn’t…you were fucked without them. And that’s really all we had to worry about. Nobody argued. Nobody stressed.


On Easter, we all went to the shooting range. Trav and Asia are caretakers for the happiest and sweetest man – named Donald. Despite any of his disabilities, it was amazing to see how everyone made sure that Donald was a part of their normal fun lives. Don’s mother, and the work crew that took care of him was like one big happy family. The Easter dinner that we were invited to at the family’s house was the funnest, happiest time I think I’ve ever had on Easter. We were so thankful to be temporarily adopted into such a giving and generous bunch of people. Donald even had a rad signed Tony Hawk deck in the corner of his room, from when they met at the opening of the Grant’s Pass park.

Happy Easter, from the shooting range. Your guns go “click click” , my guns go “pow pow”.

I will never forget the three and a half weeks we spent in the mountains of Oregon. They were terrifying, fun, hilarious, and they bonded us all. Asia and Trav will forever be good friends, and I couldn’t ask for cooler people to say that about. (sorry that I took your boyfriend, Bebe.)

Jeremy and I in the backseat with Jeremy’s other woman, Bebe…and Boss in my lap.

When we left, it was so close to being a tearful goodbye. I had to hold it together, as we gave the awkward hugs and stood around looking at the truck saying “yep” as it started to drizzle.

We backed the truck out and traversed back down the giant driveway that we had come up, the first day. It’s always an unreal feeling to be back on the road. Especially when we know that we have a long ways to go, to our next stop…or when we’ve stayed somewhere for a long time, and gotten comfortable.


I must say, I gained about 15 lbs up in them mountains. Asia is such an amazing cook. The girl needs her own restaurant.

Our next stop was Medford, Oregon and Ashland, Oregon. We had to run up to Portland, to pick up some “SKATE JAWN” magazines, from my homies back in Philly..and then we dipped down to Boise from there. But I’ll catch you up when I have some free time in the next day or two. Right now I’m at a skatepark and focusing -while they’re throwing their boards at the fence and jumping on the bench I’m sitting at…. is just NOT an option.


Like I always say; its all in the name of shred.




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and of COURSE






Back to School Bash







Let me give you a little history here. In 1990, there was this person name “Alphonzo Rawls” that was born into the skateboard world by dropping some amazing video parts in H-Street, XYZ Clothing, Duffs, and Expedition. Then he went from there to design shoes for Kastel, DC, Vox and etc.  Now Alph, started doing funny things with images of famous people head and putting them on skater bodies doing tricks and then post them on the social sites. Alph scratch his head and was like, why I don’t do t-shirts and make them exclusive to skate shops only. Now, you can go to your local skate shop and pick up a tee with 2Pac doing a stalefish out of a bowl. Thats Dope!!!!!!!!! – T.Zam



olloclip Review





Over here at True, we love olloclip. We got all excited when a box shows up & its from ollocclip. This time they sent us a “olloclip quick-flip case”. What makes it great, we now can protect our phones and shoot amazing photos with the 4 -in-1 lens.  The quick-flip case is sleek, lightweight, and designed for the iPhone 5/5s and the 4/4s. It has a removable pro-photo adapter for mounting it to a tripod or etc.  Now, we are hoping they joined up with Mophie to do a battery pack quick-flip case. –  T.Zam



HUF Footwear Review





HUF dropped their Fall ’14 shoe line and they sent us couple of their new shoes. One of them is the “HUF 2” that was designed by HUF hisself. This shoe has a slimmer skate silhouette, ortholite midsole, and a slightly padded collar lining for ankle protection for skateboarding. The other one is “STATE” it more your slimmer shoe with customized molded eva insole and a ortholite midsole. Make sure you run out to your local skate shop grab them cause they are HOT!! – T.Zam




Nectar Sunglasses Review





I have done reviews with a lot of sunglasses brands. What makes Nectar different to the rest of them?  They are simple cause they aren’t trying to be the next big thing. Nectar glasses are stylish, Scratch Resistant Film Over All Lenses, Glare Reduction and they are made for any outdoor drinking events.  I think I’m going to put that to a test –T.Zam



Hard Luck MFG Review


Hard Luck Hardware



Long time ago, Jason Jessee and Mark Gonzales came up with a idea for a company called “Hard Luck” and the logo was drawn on an envelope. For a while the Hard Luck was only exclusively sold in Japan and offered as a wheel and clothing company.  Now, you can find Hard Luck world-wide at your local skate shop. With the launch of Hard Luck bearing line and they built a solid team with some of the raddest & fastest skateboarders ( Slash, Jason Jesse, Mark Gonzales, Wes Kremer, Riley Hawk, and much more ).   Do you live in a fast lane? If you do than head down to your local shop grab some Hard Luck and cruise your DT – T.Zam



BANa Review





There is so much rehydrate & replenish drinks out there but what makes BANa different than any of the rest of them. BANa has developed by an ER physician, yes a ER physician, that’s pretty crazy. BANa was modeled after the saline IVs patients that receive in the hospital when severely dehydrated.  It has 0 calories, 0g sugar and 800mg sodium and the sodium content is perfectly balanced to help your body retain fluids, which is essential to proper rehydeation. If you went all out with your friends and you wake up to death just grab yourself a BANa and you’ll be ready to conquer your day – T.ZAM





Gorilla Wheel Grip Review

Gorilla Wheel Grip



I remember when I was a little git, if it rained, got grounded for some bs, or just flat out bored. I would throw down a used deck on the carpet & practice my tricks for hours or until my parents bitch at me.  Now its 2014,  you have Gorilla Wheel Grip. What makes Gorilla Wheel Grip different than  using a used deck ? You throw it round your wheels and you start practicing  your tricks on the carpet. Plus,  It secures your board & wheels from rolling around and  your parents won’t be yelling at you about destroying the floor. Where was Gorilla Wheel Grip when I was growing up? – T.ZAM



Van Doren Invitational – Women’s Bowl




Watch the recap of the Van Doren Invitational women’s bowl and see how Lizzie Armanto took it home