I’d been hearing rumors for several years now about a skatepark being built in Baltimore, Maryland. I had heard about fundraising concerts and I’d seen the stickers and t-shirts being sold for fundraising for as long as I can remember, but here in the northeast most skateboard rumors remain just that… a rumor. So as the years went by my enthusiasm wasn’t quite peaked for this rumored park. I chalked it up to “it was never getting built!” It got to the point where I didn’t even think about it anymore, but thanks to a few die hard Baltimore rippers the park came to fruition.
About 6 months or so ago my friend Andy Neal, from the Balto, DC area, texted me and sent me a picture of the pool being completed. His connection to the park builders, Artisan Skateparks, got him the inside track on the construction, and as good pool pals go, he sent me inside info on the construction and completion of this park/pool/bowl thing! As soon as he gave me the info I needed to seek, find and ride this park I’d been hearing about, I called my son Clayton, who was away at college, to get his ass home for the weekend so we could go on yet another skateboard adventure together. Like all good sons and pool rippers, he arrived back home on Friday evening and our Saturday skateboard adventure would begin bright and early the next morning.
The thing I didn’t take into account was that this was late winter, early spring. The next morning we woke to a very cold and wintery deal. But my stoke to ride new concrete wasn’t going to hampered by a little cold air. The sun was shining and my son was by my side, as always, and the adventure was on! The skateboard gear was loaded into the car, the address info was entered into the GPS, the car was filled with gas and the cooler was filled with drinks and off we went to ride what I thought at one time was all a pipe dream.
We drove for about an hour and half from home, when the GPS told us that we were only about a mile from the place. We took a few wrong turns and we started getting annoyed. I wanted to ride this place real bad and as any skater knows, there’s not much patience when you need to rip! Finally we got turned around and we saw a few guys skating towards a brick building. Clay and I quickly parked the car, grabbed our gear and headed in the direction that the other skaters went.
As we approached the park, we weren’t that impressed. The street park was kind of run down with old weathered ramps and rails and really crappy attempts at building concrete bumps or jump ramps of some sort, but above the street park, I saw a bunch of skaters standing around the pool. Clayton and I quickly ran up to the top and were blown away at what we saw. It was a big, beautiful, concrete pool with all the trimmings, i.e. pool coping and tiles! It is sort of an ameba shape with some round and square walls all blended together. It would make for a fast -as- hell bowl. The pool is smooth and the coping is set well. It is a little too far out for my liking, but its a small thing to get used to. As I said, it was late winter, early spring, so there was snow on the decks surrounding the pool, that the locals shoveled out of the pool. It didn’t stop us. We quickly padded up and got busy trying to figure out where the speed lines were.
About two hours or so went by before we knew it and fatigue and hunger soon started creeping in. We decided it was time to take our last runs and grab some food and get back on the road home. Once on the road, Clayton and I stared reminiscing about the session and the fun we just had. We quickly both agreed that we’d be back real soon. This was another successful pool adventure and we were stoked –yet again– to have completed another skate trip. We drove most of the rest of the way home listening to good music and laughing, having realized how lucky we are to be skateboarders.
Get your daily grind,
Special thanks to Geoff Graham for the images. Skate. Ozzie