The Double Dutch bus tour has been in effect under different names for a few years now. It was started by the PDX Downhill crew led by Casey Morrow as a way to flee the harsh winters of the PNW and, for most of the crew, skate their first dry roads since the race season gave way inevitably to the rain season. Last year, the Sunset Sliders joined in the fun for the End of the World Tour, which coincided with the Mayan prediction of the apocalypse of 2012. In true skater style, we blew out the local skate house with 30+ skaters laying their bruised, battered bodies in the game of two dimensional tetris to which we’ve become so accustomed.
This year, we were fortunate enough to be invited to stay at “The Orchid”, a 60 acre maze of greenhouses and fields containing all manner of flora and fauna, right on the Michigan coast. The warehouse quickly became home base for the two busses, as it boasted a 5’ ramp with one side steel coping, one side sauced pool, some fun boxes, a basketball hoop, an 8’ pool table, and access to a kitchen and sleeping quarters actually equipped to handle 40-some-odd people. The Sunset Sliders’ own Dead Fred quickly took control of provisions, cooking twice a day for the huge group of hungry skaters, once including a young sheep, a present from the father of a local grom, which Chubbs skinned and cleaned, in true Texas style, right in the back yard next to a Disc Golf putting green. Hunger satiated, the herd could focus their attention on rolling foot-long bombers, skating the ramp, shooting the shit by the fire, hustling pool or just hanging by the beach and watching the stars.
Every year on this trip, something special happens. Last year, the crew bonded over the inherent lack of personal space, the fact that the world didn’t actually end, and the generosity of strangers (the Sliders bus broke down on the initial journey in the rain forcing us to take refuge at a conveniently placed livestock auction house where we were dried and fed, the Texans said it felt like home). This year we had a bigger crew, less setbacks and injuries, and one of the best places to stay of any trip I’ve ever been on. Next year is already looking good.
Oh yeah, and we skated some hills, too.