park gate

Summertime (And the Livin' Isn't So Easy)

The six long months since her father’s death have been the hardest months of Clarke’s young life. In an attempt to move forward and be herself again, she leaves for the summer to become a camp counselor. She has no idea how she’s supposed to make friends with her fellow counselors, but striking up a no-strings relationship with one of them is definitely one way to try.

Chapter 1: Arrivals

Clarke has never been to summer camp. She’s never been in charge of anything, let alone a slew children, but when she pulls through the gates and parks her car near the small office, she can’t help the thrill the shoots through her. She cranes her neck, trying to see everything at once. She wants to know exactly where she’ll be spending her summer. At first glance, it just looks like she’s about to drive into the woods. She doesn’t seen any cabins or recreational areas. She can’t even see the lake through the trees.

But, when she finally gets out of her car, she can hear voices inside of the office. She takes a deep breath and walks inside, letting the screen door slap shut behind her. The voices all stop and heads turn to look for the interruption.

“Hi,” she says meekly. No one smiles, no one says anything. They just keep looking at her and she kind of wants to turn around and run back to her car—pretend she never showed up here at all. But she doesn’t.

There are three of them staring at her. A girl with a tight ponytail and some kind of leg brace, leaning against the single desk. Two guys—one with close buzzed hair and a neatly trimmed beard, another with dark curly hair, dark eyes, and freckles.

“You must be Clarke!” Someone new joins them from a side office and Clarke smiles at him tentatively. “I’m Monty. Ignore them.”

She shakes Monty’s hand and he smiles at her. The freckled guy comes up and offers his hand and she shakes it, too. “I’m Bellamy. Raven and Miller,” he says, nodding back at the other two. “Staff meeting is in an hour. Raven, show her to her bunk.”

“Aye, aye, Captain,” Raven says with a sarcastic smile and a salute. She pushes off of the desk a little uneasily, but is confident as she walks toward Clarke. “Come on.”

Clarke follows her outside and pauses at her car. “Should I leave this here?” she asks and Raven peers over her shoulder and shrugs, but she doesn’t stop walking. Clarke hustles a little to reach her and they walk through the trees, down a narrow path that’s framed by small stones. Once they’re through the twenty feet or so of heavy trees, they break into the camp itself. “Wow.”

“We like to keep this hidden from the road. We don’t want nosy tourists driving up and thinking it’s a free for all,” Raven explains and Clarke nods, but she’s distracted. There are two lines of cabins with numbers posted outside of each one. Between the two lines of cabins, there are picnic tables and a small stage. If she looks out to the left, she sees a large building—probably the mess hall—and to the right, far behind the sleeping cabins, she sees sporadically spread cabins with rec areas surrounding them. And there’s still so much space. “You’re clearly a city girl,” Raven says, no doubt reading the look of awe all over Clarke’s face.

“Yeah, I am,” Clarke admits, focusing back on Raven. “And not super outdoorsy, either.”

“That’ll change by the time you leave, don’t worry.”

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Happy 80th birthday to the Golden Gate Bridge. On this day in 1937, this iconic bridge first opened. With towers extending 700 feet into the sky and over 100 feet beneath the San Francisco Bay, the bridge is an engineering marvel. In addition to driving, you can walk or bike the entire length of its 1.2-mile expanse, bounded on either side by spectacular scenery. Photo from Golden Gate National Recreation Area courtesy of Bruce Getty.

Once a year in San Francisco the city drains the lake for maintenance & general upkeep. During that small window of time, every skateboarder in the city jumps on the opportunity to skate these amazing pyramids hidden under typically grimy water. Last year upon stepping foot on the property I was immediately kicked out. This year was different. Thank you to Leif for waking up early so we could skate this.

Leif Hauge - Kickflip