Eleven miles east of Route 41, three miles north of Oakhurst, California you will find Kelty Meadows Campground, deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Arriving at this quiet and thankfully cool stand of sequoia trees after a long drive from Reno, we made camp and went to bed quickly. In the morning the sun woke us up early along with the calls of moose and the beckon of Yosemite valley. A two hour drive away higher up in the mountains, the valley opened up in front of us as we came out of a tunnel on the east side of the valley. With El Capitan in the foreground and Half-Dome in the background complemented by a picture perfect sky, our day in one of the nation's oldest and most prolific national parks would was off to a magnificent start.
After visiting Brideveil Falls and Yosemite Falls, two waterfalls that have been parched for water for decades but were in full flow for us, we received an unexpected message. For weeks we had been in contact with a man who manages one of skateboarding's most influential brands, Santa Cruz skateboards. Because we would be in the area during time that he was traveling, we learned that we could only meet him early the next morning, four hours away in Santa Cruz. Sitting in the bustling center of the far off Yosemite valley, we decided that we had to leave a day early in order to make this important meeting. Setting off on yet another six hour driving day, we returned to Kelty Meadow, packed up and departed, leaving the quiet trees and dirt roads of the Sierras behind us.
Waking up early the next morning we crossed the Santa Cruz mountains, coming into view of the Pacific Ocean for the first time among the thick morning fog. It dawned upon me then that we had officially driven cross country, a satisfying feeling but with the understanding that there is still much distance and time to go.
Touring NHS distribution was an incredible experience. With so many influential brands of the skateboarding world housed under the same roof, walking through their halls full of creative talent and business acumen was inspiring. These are the trend-setters, the taste-makers, the people who make skateboarding what it is. To see all that in motion was a unique experience, a rare look into the process behind the skateboarding world.
We will spend the next few days in the San Francisco bay area, seeing the skateparks and the nature and whatever else may present itself. The slow-down of the trip has officially commenced, and not for a few weeks will we be jumping from one place to another, rather relaxing and engaging, taking more time to appreciate and reflect.
Top to bottom: Brideveil Falls, Kelty Meadow campground, Yosemite Valley