The Sk8Bus Skate Camping Trip in Washington State

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you probably already know. But for those of you that don’t, there are some really fun hills to skate in National Forest areas with hikes, waterfalls, and views of mountains nearby. Camping is wherever you can find with no fees and the hills have unique sweepers, dips, and potholes to slalom. I decided to leave the camera behind (forgot my camera, actually) and enjoy a skate camping trip the way one is supposed to, by participating. The whole skate/camp thing is one to experience for yourself, but I couldn’t help but get some iphone photos of my recent experience with the Sk8bus going to a National Forest this last weekend. Scroll down to the bottom to see the lil’ GoPro edit Ross Druckrey made.

In the Sk8Bus for this journey was Casey Morrow, Pat Haluska, Noah Throckmorton, Colby Looney, Ross Druckrey, Kurt Derow, Jordan Koehler, and Dan Mullaney, and me, Jon Huey. We left Portland on Saturday morning and drove east until we reached the Bridge of the Gods. After crossing the Columbia River, we were now in Washington state. We were to meet up with another group from Seattle once we arrived at the first hill meeting spot.

Casey Morrow leads us down up the Columbia Gorge on I-84.

You gotta pay the troll toll to get into this boy’s hole. You gotta pay the troll toll to get in. You want this baby boy’s hole, you gotta pay the troll toll.” – Frank (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)


The Sk8Bus, lead by Casey Morrow, assisted by Patrick Haluska is quite a unique experience to have. Driving around with a ton of homies hitting hills or skateparks along the way is the epitome of a rad skate trip. The boards, helmets, and camping gear are all in their place while the bus seats thirteen. And this bus is mostly for the homies. Really, homies of any gender. It’s not NOT for the ladies, but if you see the decoration on the walls and ceiling you’ll know what I mean. Sticker remixes, clipped out buttholes from Buttman porno mags, and other obscene porn clippings are the result of young male heterosexuals fueled by lack of sexual relations and boredom in the back of the bus on long road trips. Some would argue there are also creative critiques on the political atmosphere. In other words, they cut out pictures of Trump’s face and also a bunch of buttholes and replaced Trump’s eyes and mouth with the anuses.

Mixed in with the sticker remixes and collage work is a cutout from the 2016 Skate Slate Photo Annual where Casey Morrow bombs a super steep hill at dawn, while he was sick.

We arrived at the meeting spot which was a quick and narrow forest run with a short hike to a waterfall near the top of the hill. Outchea’ in the forest there’s no cell service, so having the plan coordinated ahead of time was important. One group from Seattle apparently drove right by the meeting spot, didn’t see anyone, and drove to the next spot, eventually spending hours looking for us. Sorry guys. Meanwhile, we waited until one group arrived, we all went down to the waterfall, a few other cars full of riders arrived, and we went back up to get ready to ride.

There was a constant rainbow at this waterfall.

We made sure to skate like ninjas, gearing up in the shadows, and getting dropped off at the top by the big bus with “SKATE EVERYTHING” on the back, advertising exactly what we are doing. Luckily we had no trouble with people or authorities.

The first hill had some sketchy blind-ish left-right sweepers. Cars and trucks driving uphill were on everyone’s mind as we rolled down around these corners. The corners are really fun, but get narrow (like one lane) because of all the debris on the sides of the road from the rough winter. We all agreed that it’s most likely volunteer mountain folk who’ve cleared the branches and rocks over time. Our bus was so big for one of the next hills we hit, we had to cut some branches to make room. Shout out out to Daniel Meastras with the hook up on the leaf blower. Daniel, Ryan Wilk, and Samuel Sparkowich all helped clear out one of the runs that was particularly dirty.

Casey makes clearance for the Sk8bus.

Casey gets his cut up.

Some other dudes in our group went as far as using a more heavy duty leaf blower to clear the road. It was awesome.

Pre-bomb rest/stretch sesh.

I love this area so much because it is secluded and has lots of features. If you’re trying to go fast, there’s only one hill where sliding is something you might need to do to stay on the road. These roads have so much character with their many dips, drops, cracks, and potholes for you to choose your own adventure. Casey, Pat, and I switched off driving the bus so we could all get skating in.

Stephen Keimach left with some rash from a crash. When a big pack lead by Pat Haluska went through a huge patch of debris in a corner, Pat fell and the rest of us shut down or crashed out. Luckily, Stephen’s was the worst injury.

Watering hole.

Casey, Pat, and Dirty Dan cool off.

Jordan Koehler and the crew max and relax at the waterfall upstream from our camp.

Ross Druckrey and Pat Haluska try to knock down cairns.

Jordan starts our fire. Many of us cooked on the fire, some by simply putting canned food next to the fire.

We cut out early to get our camp set-up by a creek right off the road. After checking out our camp, we hiked up the creek to check out the waterfall. It was epic and tall. There was a cairn set up near the water and they are notoriously hated unless you are up in a mountain pass, so Casey started throwing rocks to knock it over. It became a game as I would go set some up and then we would all try to knock them over. We hiked back, set up camp, had dinner, and waited for the sun to set and the moon to rise.

Around midnight, the outlaw commenced down a recently paved road. Noah Throckmorton and I substituted driving for Pat and Casey, who had some beer and wine during the evening. After chilling at the top, I was the starter and got a little video of them pushing off into the moonlit night. The race was for bragging rights. I didn’t hear anyone braggin’ about it yet, but it was Chris Bush.

Pre-race banter.

Riders get ready under the moonlight.

I wasn’t the only one documenting the start.

You can tell Pat takes racing seriously.

The next morning started late, but we got to hit a familiar hill for me which brought back some great memories skating with Billy Meiners, Casey, Noah, and JP Rowan “back in the day.” We checked out a view of Mt. St. Helens on the way to bombing an exciting hill full of potholes that was pretty much new to everyone in our group.

Jordan Koehler, Dan Mullaney, and Kurt Derow check out the view of Mt. St. Helens.

Ross Druckrey filmed some GoPro during two of the runs we skated on the second day. It cannot capture the sketchiness of the roads that well, it captured the fun we were having bombing the hill onsight. One of the hills we hit had a huge crack going across the road and a bystander was frantically warning us about it as she watched us safely blast through at about 35-40 mph. That was a rush. Here is a lil’ Instagram edit Ross Druckrey made from the hill bombing.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and ride. Shout out to the Sk8Bus for making awesome trips happen.