Team manager Travis Knapp-Prasek and team rider Elijah Fleishman hit up the digital hitchhiking known as Craigslist and wander through the streets.
Words / photos by TKP (unless otherwise noted)
My room mate Eric (who needs to mail in his rent money) asked me what was up with Elijah. Had I seen or heard from him lately. It had been a few months, since Avenues & Alphabets came out. Turns out he was up in Mckinleyville / Arcata working at the Satori Warehouse. Our sales rep Joe had just called me minutes before Eric asked that question. I called Joe back and Elijah was right there with him. He said he was going to Burnside and if I could get to Arcata in 2 days he would wait. To the ride shares!
Digital hitch hiking, so much better than sitting on a corner with your thumb up. I’ve only been picked up once with that method, out here in SF by a bunch of longboarders known as the Sunset Sliders. So using email as your thumb, it’s a lot nicer. I found a ride North in an old Volkswagen Van from a guy who spends his life climbing the gnarliest mountain faces in the world. He mentioned he did El Capitan in Yosemite in a day. That shits crazy. We had another lady in our car who was returning to see her boyfriend after 5 months of disappearing from him. She loved her cigarettes and claimed she was vegan to counter act her smoking addiction.
Riding north is nothing new. It’s fucking beautiful. The climber driver was falling asleep from time to time but he started bumping some hype jams including Justice which livened up the mood. I arrived to Arcata and met up with Joe who is the most hospitable person in the world. He had food ready and we enjoyed watching OFWGKTA take some awards on MTV. Skate kids on the come up.
The next day was a visit to the warehouse. It had been a while. Andrew, Jordan, Lezley, and Dez all doing there thing. Craig roaming around. A new dog. A collection of every single Creation Deck. I found myself walking down a new stretch of beach at one point, admiring the waves wishing I had my surf board. Elijah was scanning the rideshares like a crack addict looking for their next fix. He wanted to get to Burnside bad.
We stopped by Ampt, their new video will be done by November 5th. Elijah scored a rideshare from 2 punk kids who were holding onto a bottle of green magic they had scored from Elijah through somebody else. Pretty wild eh? We hit the road up North. 5 dudes in a little car. Bags on your laps and 7 hours to Portland. Yikes! Somehow it went quite smooth. You learn taking off your shoes to give you 3 more inches of stretch room is the most heavenly feeling in the world.
Arriving to Portland at midnight we roamed the streets. Pushing around and continuing to look for rideshares to Seattle on my dying phone. We skated through the night, and then found a rooftop protected by a barbwire fence to hop and pass out on. Always pick the buildings that are for lease to sleep on top of. That way ya know its highly likely the are empty, but still in stable condition.
We awoke, shralped burnside, made some friends with the locals who had slept there and I got a phone call from a guy with a ride offer to Seattle.
We shredded while waiting for the new ride share. He eventually showed up and he was stoked. A world class runner who has figured out how to convert diesel cars to veggie oil for as little as $150. My first veggie oil ride. Awesome. Kevin was his name. He told me he got in a pretty serious bike accident, got awarded $100,000 then his wife divorced him and snaked all the money from him through some crazy legal shit. He honestly didn’t seem so bummed. He was actually the most stoked person I’ve met in my life. He spends his life driving that veggie oil car anywhere. A full time ride sharer. One of his regular customers is a girl who hops freight trains, she got caught hopping into Canada and they told her she couldn’t come back for a year.
Seattle. Fuck. I had no idea what to expect. Elijah directed us to his homie, Elijah (who I will call Elijaah because I think he smokes more herb than Elijah). Elijaah was awesome. Seriously one of the best peoples I’ve met in my life. He was living out of his truck on a plot of land with a bunch of artists, musicians, and good hearted folk. They had a chicken, black berry plants, grew their own tomatoes and peppers, a plum tree, and a fig tree. They let us crash for days.
Elijaah was born in Seattle so he knew where everything was. He took us to some amazing spots in his Biodiesel Benz. Only 2 of the windows rolled up but it was fucking rad! Thank you Elijaah for showing us around. Without you we would have been quite lost.
The spots in Seattle are amazing, and so are the people. I don’t know what it is. I was told it has the highest suicide rate in America. People never got bummed on us skating. They were always open to us shredding, there was only one exception but the guy eventually gave in and let us skate the ledge he was sitting on. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a city so quick. What is it about you Seattle? Why are you so fucking rad in the Summer? I’ve been told you don’t wanna be there in the Winter, so shit, I guess we scored.
Everyday Elijaah would take us to this little artist compound on top of one of the hills. They had pianos, guitars, and underground night club / bar, and the people were all super friendly. We would hang out there, make music, and just relax after a day of skating.
I am going to go ahead and say Seattle has some of the best spots in America. And lifestyles in the dry months. Go there if you get a chance. It’s the shit.
I was itchng to get back to SF because I heard the waves were going off, and sleeping outside was starting to wear me out. I found a rideshare late in the day and caught it to Redding, CA where I slept behind a Motel 6 off the freeway. Atreau had called me a day earlier saying he and the Function crew were doing a demo in Redding.
From there on out it was back to sleeping in a bed, showering daily, and not having to carry around a big ass bag everywhere I went. We put on a contest at the Redding park, the locals ripped, and we discovered some more awesome spots.
Thanks to all the new friends we made along the way. Keep ripping! – Travis