Beginning of the summer, the semester was near its end and I needed a vacation: Desperately! Full time classes, a recent break up and working at the same time exhausted me down to my soul. I remember hearing about the Maryhill She-ride from a Facebook post Marisa put up a while ago. I didn’t pay much attention until registration for it opened and that’s when a crazy idea came to me: A trip to the skate mecca! THE Maryhill! The idea was perfect. I needed a place to get away to. I didn’t care how I got there, I just knew I needed to be there. To skate, skate, and skate. Impulsively, I paid for registration and worried about getting there later.
Getting there was my first problem. Funds were a major issue, because of previous hospital bills and living on my own. Initially, I wanted to make a sponsor video to help pay the way to get there. However, plans to record the video fell through and I had to pay for everything out of pocket. I had to work A LOT. I booked the flight and paid for the sk8bus. I had considered road tripping, but the gas to get there and back was insane, especially since there were no other girl in Georgia that were going. I could have taken a bus, but that could only take me so far. Flying seemed like the only way.
The sk8bus, a bus from Rip City Skate, a local skate shop, picks and drops people at the airport. I arrived the night before Maryhill and crashed with them at their skatehouse. There was Diane Shaher and Chantell Hill from Toronto, Cordelia Welch from Florida, Christin Gregerson from Cali, Rachel Rayne from Texas, and Maureen Daniel from New York. JP Rowan was driving the bus and Casey was chilling in the back.
During the hour and half ride to Maryhill from Portland, Oregon, I was full of anticipation. I couldn’t sleep, even though I was really tired from the flight and arriving late. The scenery was breathtaking. To our left was a river with beautiful mountains in the background. To our right, very interesting cliffs, foliage, and waterfalls and giant rocks. We were basically skimming the border between Oregon and Washington. What separated the two was a river. The moment we crossed the bridge, we were less than 5 minutes from Maryhill.
I was not really expecting to do anything except skate, have a blast, and enjoy my time reuniting and meeting people. I signed the waiver and grabbed my name tag. We arrived at the site and there were already girls finishing a run. Nervous, I applied sunblock and strapped my kneepads, helmet, and gloves on. I grabbed my board, checked my hardware, and headed for the u-haul taking girls up for the run. My board on Maryhill was the Jati Miho, a mini Toho. She was equipped with 44 calibers with Riptide WFB bushings and I switched between 72mm and 76mm cannibals for day 1 and 2. A lot of riders who tried it really loved it. She’s a great board.
The Maryhill She-ride was fairly well organized. It wasn’t a messy bunch of chaos like other events I’ve been to, things were kept in order and nothing was out of line. Dean-o did a good job! Girls from everywhere went. The girls who did the west coast tour: Daisy Johannes, Marisa Nunez, Pam Diaz, Ishtar Backlund, and Amanda Powell was there. Girls from my neighboring state went: Paige Mariscano, Cordelia Welch, Ysabel Mireles!, and Molly Lewis. Lots of ladies from Canada were there: Lisa Li, Cindy Zhou, Anna O’Neil, Dom Ster, Sara Paulshock (does she count?) and many other ladies whose names I did not catch. Girls from Colombia, Texas, and California were there. It was big! 50+ girls were there. I didn’t know so many existed.
On the U-haul, I was sitting in the back with a lot of girls. I was super excited and couldn’t stop smiling. I kept hollering and cheering as girls who didn’t have the gall to take the entire run took shorter runs.. As we continued up the course, the ride seemed forever. I didn’t know when it was the top and I kept peeking out between the riders, planning future lines. At the top, the view was breathtaking. Part of the course was visible while the rest wrapped down out of view. Tall yellow grass was everywhere with the noticeable giant white windmills. Cordelia and I decided to take our first run together cautiously. It consisted of a lot of air braking and half-hearted tucks; but it was still great! The course was beautiful and perfect. The male-volunteers made the event priceless when they went down Maryhill in bikinis, a requirement Dean-o placed for the boys if they wanted to skate early. Then Anna wanted a dress run and Jon Huey whipped out a red night gown… who knows why he had it. But it was super funny!
After the course closed for the first day, Carmen, Alicia, Diane and I went to a nearby hill and had a freeride sesh. The pavement was consistently janky, like big rocks embedded in pavement. I also helped Jon Huey take photos of Carmen and Alicia seshing a corner. On our way out, I almost lost my foot because a careless fisherman had left his fishing line in the gravel. I felt the line tighten right above my ankle, threatening to take my foot and I panicked.
We arrived at the campsite where we were gonna crash. A bonfire was going, good vibes were in the air, and the boys were playing with guns. Shortly after we arrived, a police officer came because he was called about gunshots. We thought we were in trouble, but he just said ‘This is ‘Murica’ and asked us to put out the fire and left. Lots of drinking and partying. I passed out early from exhaustion but I hear good stories from everyone. So sad I missed out on the rest of the fun!
On the second day, there were a lot of hungover people. Some people like Cordelia played smart and went straight to bed after arriving at the campsite. On the first run, one of the gravity bikes had crashed and Chris Anderson broke her collar bone. She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. This created a little break and Dean-o passed out the swag. I did more pack riding on Sunday and it felt great to be so close to other riders, taking our lines in the turns within inches of one another. It was also very sketchy because some of the girls were wobbling the entire way down. The highlight of my entire weekend was when Lisa, Ishtar, and I went down together. I started off behind the two girls and caught up. However, we were also catching up to this one girl in leathers wobbling into the switchbacks. As we all went in together, the girl wipes out at a haybale and crashes right in front of me and Ishtar. We took a wide line and narrowly avoided her. Then Ishtar bumped me and I zoomed to the front past Lisa. The feeling of getting bumped was awesome! Like a racecar with NOS. The only thing I would have changed about the weekend was taking even more runs and more pack rides with all the girls.
As the second day was wrapping up, the boys decided skating down bikinis wasn’t cutting it anymore. I’ve heard people going down Maryhill naked but this… this was too much. More than 10 guys went down Maryhill butt-naked! It was so funny, but I did not want to be caught in the back of that.
When the course was closed, Alicia, Carmen, Cindy, and I did the famous Zoobomb back in Portland after stopping by the wonderful Mulnomah Falls. However, that event had been blown up and cops were on the prowl. We later met up with the West Coastin girls and Jon Huey and partied out the mood killer the cops gave us. After saying our goodbyes and having a long ass skate sesh around Portland with the locals, we headed to eat some well deserved pizza. We relaxed and chilled.
The next day, I helped the ladies film for their video and rested some more. Wednesday, on my way out to the airport, the Venom van broke down, that was great! Not really, but I wasn’t too upset over it. Alicia gave Carmen a call and she took me to the airport. We barely made it! I ran so hard to my gate with a few minutes to spare. It was the best sk8trip in my life, I don’t regret a moment of it. I just wished it was never ending… Thank you so much to everyone I have mentioned for being a part of my trip and making it amazing.. And to Alex Mendez for taking me to the airport and picking me up <3
I’d also like to thank Aldrian for the Jati Boards and screenprinting things for me. It’s pretty sick! I would also like to thank everyone for being apart of my life, cause ya make it awesome!
Thanks to all the photographers for the gnarly photos.