I suppose it makes perfect sense why I was on the fence about making the trek to Wolf Point, MT for the opening of their new skatepark: I felt a bit guilty leaving the family for the weekend, the drive is looooong, the weather wasn’t looking necessarily promising, and I had a full week leading up to the trip and was feeling like laying low a bit. But, in hindsight, I am ever-so-thankful that the pull of adventure, another road trip, and logging a new experience beat out my own nay-saying to win the internal argument.
The drive from Missoula to Wolf Point is long – nearly 500 miles long. But with planned overnight stays in Havre on the way there and back, it was much more doable. Having more time meant being able to skate more of the parks that have sprung up on the Hi-Line thanks to Jeff Ament’s Montana Pool Service and other community partners such as the Montana Skatepark Association. Over the course of the three-day trip (when we weren’t driving), fellow MSA member and my wedding officiant, Kim Petersen and I were able to skate Big Sandy, Box Elder, Havre, Wolf Point and Malta. Not bad!
Once we rolled into Wolf Point, sniffing out the park proved to be a little challenge, even after asking several people. Alas, we spotted a swarm of kids and a crush of cars and were on our way. Normally, walking up to a new park I’m focused on checking out the actual park: the concrete, the flow, the lines, the details. In Wolf Point, it was impossible not to focus on the mud that collected on my shoes, and the mini stream of water we had to cross to even get to the ‘crete. Luckily, some pallets were thrown over this “Mini Missouri,” but damn … kind of gnarly.
Eventually things got moving. Brooms were in full effect to sweep out the (immense) amount of mud in the park. Billy from Evergreen fired up the leaf blower to blow the dust away. More pallets were found. Burgers were cooked. Skating happened. With nowhere to stand other than on the narrow deck, skating was pretty tricky given the number of people that showed up. Regardless, we all found a way. It was incredible to witness this day in an otherwise hidden part of Montana, and to witness a whole gang of rippers be created by virtue of having a new skatepark. So much goodness. I’m proud to have been there.