Life in a post-covid world is poking the lamb from unforeseeable angles but for the most part definitely foreseen/able angles, making it a ride i’m inherently down for as I did nothing to avoid these pokes I was foreseeing. Going from Van and it’s practically full-mask-mode way of life to Florida, where covid never existed, back to a Van where masks were mostly gone – and I wasn’t in Florida for long either, barely dabbled, but that was all it took for masks to roll back in Vancouver – was pretty confronting but also a move in the right direction. After that I was back in the Van, the moving kind, to the US for a series of downhill event/gatherings which are essentially all giant germ exchanges that I’d completely disregarded as a pre-covid human and was now a) shocked how casually I used to share bodily fluids with sometimes dozens of other humans in week/month long periods of my life and b) found it funny to realize that covid has me transactionalising human interaction in terms of fluid exchange cuz its really creepy and practically unavoidable and probably super valid in a survival sense because/but in the end practically all of us got covid…
To which my first reaction was that I must’ve counted the germs wrong but then I realized we’d all made to decision to be prioritise getting the covid we’re most likely gonna get today, then not give ourselves the opportunity to revel in what are probably the most glorious times of our lives. A while ago Mary alerted to the fact that virus’ don’t want to kill their hosts, at which point I took complete solace in that very notion because I have more faith in a virus doing what’s good for humankind the humans themselves 🤷♂️ aren’t we great.
But the carnage hasn’t just been resulting from aggressively disregarding self-preservation, something my hobbies would suggest I’m all about. If it was just that then I wouldn’t be ranting cuz that’s my daily. It was when Mary moved back to Australia in late Feb that the floodgates of fury began to open, firstly with her departure and taking on her load in life/around the house etc, secondly, the night after she left I blasted my right hand skating – which made the life-load stuff a bit more challenging as I was nursing multiple knife wounds from cutting food with 1.25 hands. The following week I had wisdom teeth pulled which was a tonne of fun as it combined deeeep pain & discomfort with a diet of only soup or scrambled eggs and being partly disabled – all the while feeling more alone than I’d felt since 2015. But I found refuge in the universal truth of the upsy-downsies (📈📉📈) and that the trench id found/dug myself was going to let me stroll my way to a new pasture of certain bliss, and with the impending move, trips & summer the 📈 was a surety.
The bliss began amassing with my first big-crew skate trip since covid to shoot Landyachtz’ 2022 line and we ditched the tradition of doing it in SW USA in favour of Florida – which is a crazy place and also a fkn great/intense place to visit after 2+ years of quarantine, I felt weird wearing a mask… But obviously that trip was bliss, albeit our plane breaking down, missing connections, sleeping in airports and being completely exhausted before the trip had even started. All of that shit was easily disregarded once I felt proper sun on my face for the first time in 6+ months, never have I revelled in sunburn like I was, for one day, before lathering more sunscreen than ever before – its pretty crazy to think about my skin in Australia and it’s hardiness, or moreso consistent state of damage/tan. Same goes for my eyeballs, I reckon both of these organs are probably frothing on the low-uv reality of living in Canada. Spending 7 days in Florida gave me a full reality-check as to the plethora of great things that are out there for me to engage in/with, something that’s recently been living more back-of-mind than ever before. And by that stage my gum holes weren’t so much of an issue and my torched hand was okay enough to shoot all day long with my house brick of a camera.
Returning from Florida I dipped back into the trench as I had to move house before the Tepe tour that was leaving for the following week. Lets just say I moved out, I didn’t move in… well I did move in but essentially I put everything in a car and then deposited it in the new place as if it was a storage facility – amongst which I was working/sleeping etc. But the new place is sweet and has some immense views which has me STOKED. It’s a big flip though, from the last place, in that I was denned in without a fellow human in sight, now I’m in a high-rise alongside another high-rise, so there’s some getting used to that, but on the other hand this building is concrete, not timber like BC builders are so furiously obssessed with – all of this is to say I can no longer hear the upstairs neighbours pissing while bathing/boiling myself to sleep in the late eves woooooo. It’s funny, I figured the visual intrigue of being able to see/be seen by my neighbours was more invasive than being able to hear them, but now that I’m settling in here I’d take seeing over hearing any day of the week – and I grew up in a bit of a fishbowl so that makes more sense now that I think about it. Anyway, I can now report that my place is only 65% storage facility and 35% livable – it’s amazing how much crap I amass, especially after moving overseas 2.5 years before and brining 2 hiking bags, now I have multiple car loads of shit. eww. Unpacking I look at stuff, trying to figure out where it should live, and all I can think is the bin, but I also don’t like throwing stuff away.
So, after transferring my crap, I got to go on my first pure downhill skate tour since probably 2016. Getting on that trip wasn’t particularly easy, given that we don’t really sell any DH stuff, relatively speaking (to cruisers), and the value of sending me was low but I pushed and thankfully Landyachtz big wigs are personally very down on DH and were able to disregard the minimal return on investment in order to bring me back and how fkn back I became – I’m so back that I’m in the process of getting leathers in order to finally commence my raceboarding epoch. This trip was to hit Tepe & Tacos near Santa Barbara and then drive up to Washington for Maryhill, with plenty of zones in-between. I’ll be ranting about those in the future, all you gotta know is the times were dope and even more enjoyable than I recall DH tours being, I guess now because I’m an adult and have the brainpower and money to do them comfortably – but that shit is expensive, even with nights spent sleeping on the floors of insanely generous homies (sending endless love to the Owens family ommgggg).
Mt Hood and the Columbia River- viewed from the Biggs Junction Bridge