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Believe it or not, I didn’t just travel down to Texas to check out my first flash flood. I was actually already there and the flood just happened! Why, you might ask, would anyone be in Texas already? On this occasion it was in fact a cable wakeboarding contest that Alliance was sponsoring. I took pictures, got a sunburn, and generally killed it, as usual. Here are a few pictures that were taken during my moments of artiness, and not really appropriate for the wakeboard website. If you want to see all the hot action shots, check out the posts here and here.

Rupert!

It seems every time I go to Texas I manage to bring some sort of weather-related disaster. On my last trip to Dallas, the Cowboys practice stadium collapsed a mile away from me, and this time, it was a flood. The rain had kept me up all night, pounding so hard on the roof along with frequent thunder and lighting. I went back to sleep in the morning after it somewhat subsided, only to be woken up by a wailing siren. I immediately thought tornado, but this time the siren meant they were opening the flood gates, literally. Once the first siren sounds, you have about ten minutes before hell breaks loose. Better get the boat out, brace what you can and hope for the best.

The water rose probably 20 feet within a matter of hours. First I watched the water creep up over the island protecting the canal I was staying on. Then it climbed and climbed, until the normally steep yard was one big rushing river. I headed over to another house, right on the river, where they were having a “flood party.” They’d gotten the boat out in the time, but needed to stand by and knock debris away from the dock. Most people sat on the porch and watched boats, jetskis, gas tanks, and everything else float by. Then, a few hours after it started, the waters started to subside. Who knows where all the debris ended up, but I sure am glad I don’t have to clean it up!

Gabe Lucas standing on the upper deck of his dock. Normally this is 12 feet off the surface of the lake, and there is a boat underneath it. And yeah, that’s a boat bobbing by in the background.

The dam is open.

A constant stream of debris

50 grand, floating down stream, headed for the next dam.

This pontoon boat was in that boat house for awhile, until it finally found it’s own way out.

Nothing to do but watch.

Another boat floating in the stew.

Bye Bye boat!

Surveying the damage. Looks like a free bench washed up!

The celebration of survival!

First visit: Circa early 80s

Having ski bum parents is cool. Even though I don’t remember it, I was assured I visited Utah multiple times in my earliest of years. In the more recent history, I’ve headed to Utah on more epic shred trips, and of course, passed through on the way to elsewhere. The painted desert and the salt flats are definitely worth seeing, but Utah definitely is most relevant for its snow. Oh yeah, and Mormons — actually the reason my ski bum parents left the snow and moved me back east.

Circa 1996 (photo, the rose garden, 2007-ish)

I first made it to Oregon at the tender age of 15 on a trip to High Cascade snowboard camp. It was the first time I’d flown cross country alone, so my parents insisted on getting me an escort, which I promptly ditched at the airport. Hopefully no one lost their job over it. I made it back for camp the next year, then in college found myself driving to Portland almost every weekend, which seemed like a pretty good indication I sort of like the place. Other than a brief east coast/midwest/east coast stint in the middle, I’ve been living here ever since, and no plans to move anytime soon. There are flowers, skateparks and mountains here, pretty much everything I need in one place (though not necessarily in the that order, of course.)

Circa 1998 (please note, we were there for snowboarding)

Oh dirty jerz. I once went to a Stimilon big air contest at Mountain Creek and we stayed at a hotel that was in some way connected to Hugh Heffner and Playboy. I do remember an awesome 70s theme that really made me feel like I was in New Jersey. I also made two separate trips to different parts of Jerz with various ex boyfriends, but my MC experience will always be tops on the Jersey list

Circa 1999. Laguna Beach

When I arrived in California at age 18 for my internship at Snowboarder, it was the first time I’d seen a palm tree in real life. “It’s like 90210,” I told my friend who picked me up. Since then I’ve spent plenty of time in California, lived in Dana Point and Huntington Beach for a summer, driven almost the entire length of the 101, and considered moving to both So Cal and SF. I don’t mind an occasional visit, and I’ll eat the shit out of some In and Out, but man, I am glad I never officially settled there.

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Circa 1999 (Photo circa 2008)

I once decided Reno was my curse. I think it was around the 4th trip in a row I took there for some dumb event that I realized I might never get to travel anywhere else. The good news is, I would WAY rather be in Reno than Vegas — a place I’ve also been a few too many times.

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Circa 1999 (This picture taken in the late 2000’s but the face I make about going to Florida is the same)

The first time I ever made it to Florida was freshman year of college, and I’ve since been back more times than I can count. I know the best Thai, Indian and Vietnamese restaurants in Orlando, have spent at least one night in every major city, and am a regular at the Panera Bread in Clermont. However, I have still never been to Disneyworld.

I was sitting in my Macro Economics class at Plymouth State College when Matt Ruby and I decided we were bored with New Hampshire and would drive to Virginia to skate the new Vans park the next day. So we did, and I crossed the remaining states on the I-95 corridor off my list, circa 1999.

17.    Pennsylvania

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I hadn’t really spent much time in PA until Sarah decided she was moving there. I drove with her to Philly and we sat in her newly rented, empty apartment drinking the few Yuengling’s we’d picked up at a bar somewhere in the middle of the state (since you can’t just go the store and buy a six pack.) I skated FDR (actually for the second time, the first was on my random VA road trip) and had one of the best sessions in recent memory. My night ended with a cheese steak in an Irish pub, and I’d say I did things right in PA.

18. Delaware

A pass through state. The only real reason I remember it is because there was a toll we had to pay. Someday I will go back and give Delaware some real love (ok, no I won’t.)

19.    Maryland

Sarah Morrison and I once tried to go to Baltimore but it didn’t work out. Luckily one got checked off the list right after Delaware. Yay I-95!

20.    Virginia

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As stated above, my first trip to Virginia was in college, for the explicit purpose of skating the Vans Park in Woodbridge. We stayed in a weird Econo Lodge that I had to use my fake ID to check into. I made it back a few years later on a skate trip for SG, when I flew into and stayed in Norfolk and had a really fun solo skate sesh at the Virginia Beach park. The next day we hit up Trey Winslow’s backyard bowl in Chuckatuk, and yeah, it was awesome.

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RIP Black and White polaroid film

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Shipyard. Seward, AK