A Day In The Hood

8:30 am
Woke up with a bloody nose. Mental note: Oregon is dry as a Sahara creek bed and consuming some sort of liquid during the day would probably help. Day is clear and bright, and I feel lucky because it’s been cold and wet the past couple days. You never know when a rain day’ll sneak up on you in the Northwest.

Keir Dillon. Photo: Jennifer herowski

11:00 am
Got ready to shred along with the entire town of Government Camp. Everyone seems to be here for the same reason. Parked next to the High Cascade digger van and its cargo of clever hessians from Utah. The van gets a new paint job every year. This year the theme is, well, see for yourself …

The snow is unusually sparse for this time of year, so High Cascade and Windell’s camp areas are within spitting distance. It made for a festive, circus-like atmosphere. High Cascade’s park area was chalk full of jumps, rails, a quarterpipe, and three different sized halfpipes. As on-hill manager Tonino Copine remarked, a Ferris wheel would’ve fit right in.

The High Cascade superpipe is cut every other night. Last night was a cutting night, so today things were on. Campers got to ride with a slew of pros, including Trevor Andrew and Keir Dillon, who were filming for their Mack Dawg video parts—big air-to-fakies and general dominance all around. Despite the unavoidably soupy landings, longtime pipe digger Scotty Wittlake made everyone look silly by landing absolutely everything he tried off the kickers. Finnish recruit Ami Voutillainen was also laying down the law around High Cascade-ville.

Scotty Wittlake. Photo: Jennifer Sherowski

Waged an all-out war with the sun. My weapons (Coppertone SPF 48, Oakley reflective lenses, and bad fashion) were no match for the solar flames that licked the glacier. I was burnt to a crisp. But fashion faux pas in an effort to avoid the sun was all the rage on the hill. The bandit look (wearing a bandana over your face old-West style) was in full effect among the diggers, AKA Tonino’s Mafia. Every last one of them wore solid black with hoods up, which may have kept the sun off their skin but had to have felt like a convection oven on the inside.

Afternoon activity time, which, since the sun doesn’t go down in Oregon ’til 9:00 PM, involved more painful sun exposure. The High Cascade street course and skate ramps in downtown Government Camp were mobbed. Danny Kass and Jeff Anderson impressed campers with sketchy stunts, while Danny had to stop every few minutes to give autographs. Jeremy Jones slayed the bowl along with the High Cascade skate staff, who gave an absurd display of how good you can get by skating that thing every day.

The digger van, if you know what I mean. Photo: Jennifer Sherowski

Dinner—either vegetarian or meat food, and not at all like the sickly green drivel I remember from summer camp as a kid. The younguns are fed well at High Cascade.

Nope, the sun still hadn’t set yet. More skating, wandering aimlessly around the encampment, shooting off smoke bombs and peeling out in spray-painted vans (if you were Danny Kass, Lane Knaack, or another hooded member of the Grenade crew). But things remained for the most part “under control.” Due to events involving stolen go-carts and alleged members of the High Cascade staff last summer, public drunkenness is strictly forbidden among camp employees.

Dreaded curfew … extreme exhaustion from fun summer-camp activities quickly gives way to the depths of slumber. Okay, so I didn’t go to sleep at ten o’clock … but you don’t have to know everything.

A special thanks to Ang and the rest of the High Cascade staff who helped make summer camp funner than ever this year. For more information on the camp, go to: