Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Dance

Here is the final poster for the event. We got
it up on our facebook page but I have to
apologize for forgetting to post the final
version here on the blog. 
Well, we have a big thank you to Yasmeen! She organized an phenomenal event in New York. The Dance-Off Competition was a huge success. All the proceeds from the event went to Bridge of Love, for which we are grateful. Yasmeen was also able to get donations from a few organizations like Blue Sky Longboards.

Yasmeen sent me some pictures (you can see some really cool ones here) and the event looked like a ton of fun! I really wish I had been able to attend but distance prevented me. Instead Bridge of Love sent a representative who lived in the area.

I am looking forward to next year's dance contest. Maybe we should organize one here in Utah too.

Thanks once again to all the New York boarders. It really is awesome to see great people who want to use longboarding to help others, who want to have a good time and help others out at the same time.

I put a few pictures below but, you really should check out all the pictures from the competition. The dancing looks good and the fall leaves are beautiful. Click here to see them.

These are the winners from the event.  Ian, in the middle, got first,
Steven Vera on the left was second and Jason T. Quinn on the right won  third.

Just chilling and watching the event

Everybody excited about it all



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What We Will Do Differently

Longboard For Love is trying to look forward to next year. However, in order to adequately plan for the future we need to look back on what we learned from the past. Let me tell you, from our recent trip, we have learned quite a lot. We did our best and got advice from a lot of people, but we were not totally prepared for the trip. After a month on the road we feel pretty confident in our knowledge.

Our "Final Map" plan. We were so excited when we
finished the plan....and we threw it out the first day!
Mapping it out
Last trip I spent months and months going over the route again and again. However, all I had at my disposal was Google Maps. I had to redo the route about eight different times. Then...after the first day we had to throw the whole map out the window. It failed. Thankfully Kenton brought his phone which had a GPS. All we were able to do was each night we planned out what we could do the next day. We only had a few days planned out at a time. I said before I had no idea where we were going, only south. That is the real truth. Next time we will make a rough but realistic plan, and definitely bring a good GPS with a great battery.

Ben Smith, who went across Utah on his longboard, had a good idea. His support drove the route in a car before he did it on a board. This showed them problem places and allowed them to plan. I think this is a good idea. However if we had done this before we might not have actually done our trip. Some of the roads were sketchy. Although maybe we would have planned a better route instead.

Rob Thompson who first
used Longboard Larry's
trailer
Self Supported
We really wanted to do our trip self-supported, meaning we carried everything with us. We can now say we did it... but we aren't sure we will do it again. The backpacks did save us money on cars and gas, but they really slowed us down. Days where someone took our backpacks for us we went about twice as fast, and we enjoyed life quite a bit more. I still suffer from chronic lower back pain as a consequence to my heavy backpack and the repetitive motion of pushing the board.

Backpacks are probably a no go. We may look into the longboard trailer idea from Longboard Larry. The best idea, in our opinion, is to have a support vehicle.

Press
Now that we have done a trip we will definitely contact the press earlier. That helped us out a ton. More people offered to let us stay a night in their yard or home. People donated more, people honked and cheered on the road which helped our moral. Getting the press earlier will really help

Enjoy the Journey
If we do another long-term trip, we will try to "stop and smell the roses" a bit more. With the backpacks we
were slowed down a lot. In order to make our goal of 650 miles we were always in a hurry. It was stressful. Our schedule was typically as follows:  7:00 wake up, hit the road by 7:45, 8:30 take a break, take a ten minute break every hour afterwards, at about 7:00 pm we would start looking for a place to stay. At nightfall hopefully we were ready to sleep, and then do it all over the next day.

On a future trip we may try to be less ambitious with our daily mileage, or more realistic, and thus be more free to take joy in the journey.

Homework
Kenton was enrolled at the BYU-I Business School during the trip. He was doing all he could online. This was stressful for Kenton. We will plan better and take a hiatus from school during the trip.

Relay Race
In the future we will probably do some form of a relay race. This divides into two trains of thought. One idea is to make it competitive. A couple of teams going 24 hours in shifts. Maybe a 250 mile race with one member of your team going at all times.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reminder: Dance Contest!

Everyone in the New York City area. Do not forget about the Dance-off Contest on November 9th. Be there or be square. 


Dracula's Dash For Hope 2013

My sister Sydney, my mom, my beautiful wonderful wife Jamie, and me wearing my hobo jacket Jamie hates

This year I was able to attend Bridge of Love's annual 5k, Dracula's Dash for Hope. Instead of helping at the booths, like I did last year, I actually ran the race. I was able to convince some of my family to come which was a sweet experience. Before I went on my mission to Romania I would run each morning with my mom so it was nice to run with her again. 

I'm not a fast runner and I haven't been running much lately so my time wasn't that good. I got 32 minutes even. I remember thinking, "Oh awesome! That is the same time I used to get in high school!", then I remembered that I used to get 20-22 minutes. It was a disappointing moment in my life to see I've slowed down by ten whole minutes.

My family are pretty fast runners though. My mom won third place in her age category. My little sister placed as well. She came to run for my dad who had a last minute problem come up and couldn't make it. Since Sydney was registered as my dad she won first place in the Men's 50-59 age category! We had a good laugh about that and let the race officials know about the mix up. Bridge of Love still gave her a medal which was nice. 

Great morning and great event. Here are some more pictures below.


Laurie Lundberg thanking everyone for coming to the race

The center of the activities

The start line for the kids race

Monday, October 7, 2013

We Can Dance If We Want To...



Good news for those of you in the New York area. Longboard For Love is helping to sponsor a longboard dance-off contest on November 9th. We have been in contact with Yasmeen, a member of the Longboarding New York City group. She is putting on the event and all of the proceeds will go to Bridge of Love in order to help the orphans in Romania.

Information about the event:
  • Skaters will perform a combination of freestyle and dance tricks for a total of 60 seconds. The tournament will be set up as a one on one (one will win, one will lose), tournament style. Through cheers and jeers, the audience will decide who moves on to fight for another day! 
  • The last two standing will do a dance off of 30 quick seconds, to show off their stuff!!
  • Hippie jump contest will follow :)
  • Helmets are recommended! 
  • Join at your own risk!
  • Registration is $5, the money earned will be donated to charity!
We hope that those of you who can will attend the event. I know that it says helmets are recommended but I strongly suggest wearing a helmet anyway. 

Those of you who don't know about dancing on a longboard are in for a treat! Dancing is basically complicated footwork on the board. Since longboards are large there is room enough to step around, move, shake and boogey. The tricks are really cool to see and so dance competitions are not uncommon. Here are some photos from a recent competition done in Berlin. You can kind of get the idea. 

So everyone sign up and go to the event! It will be a lot of fun and you won't want to miss out!

Here is a video showing what is possible with longboard dancing.




Monday, September 30, 2013

A Goal Realized

Here is the picture hanging up in my apartment right now.
A few weeks ago Kenton and I both received a package from Bridge of Love. Inside it, was a letter and a picture. The letter was from Laurie Lundberg telling us about the visit to Romania that Bridge of Love made this summer and the picture was from the kids in Romania. 

The letter said that when Laurie spoke to those in charge of the sister organization there, Podul Dragostei, they informed her that, just recently, three teachers had offered their time on a volunteer basis as tutors for the kids. Isn't that amazing! It is wonderful that they are giving of their time. It was decided to let them continue teaching on as volunteers since they already have a paying job and are happy to help.

The foster parents told Laurie Lundberg that it would be nice for the kids to have computers and computer classes. It would be helpful for their education and help them have the skills needed to find jobs in the future. Bridge of Love felt that this fit nicely with what Longboard For Love promoted so the money is going towards a teacher and a computer lab for the kids.

Laurie told the kids and foster parents about our longboard trip which will help make the computer lab possible. They were extremely grateful. To show their gratitude they sent a picture of the kids and had the kids sign it. I was very touched and it is now hanging up in my apartment.

This whole endeavor and this blessing would not have been made possible without the help of all of you. Kenton and I did the trip, but it wasn't enough without the generosity and love exhibited by all who gave of themselves in some way. Bridge of Love, and the children in Barlad Romania thank you all.

I had hoped to help other people and possibly inspire others for good through this trip. Instead I find myself greatly helped by being inspired, changed, and uplifted by the loving giving example I saw through this adventure. Longboard For Love, especially Mason Bennett, wants to thank you all as well.

Huzzah for Humanity!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Hero's Trail

Confessions
            I am a bibliophile. I simply love books. I recently realized just how many I have when Jamie and me moved into our new apartment in Provo. We brought down boxes full of books, and we only have one bookcase! After three days of organizing, and reorganizing and sending books back home we finally figured it out.
            There are books from many different genres and subjects. Storybooks: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit,  and My Side of the Mountain. Personal favorites include: Dante's Inferno, Frankenstein, Les Meserables, East of Eden, The Neverending Story. We have biographies about Gandhi, William Wilberforce, Michelangelo, The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Myths and Fables with Beowolf, The Poetic Edda, Grimms Fairy Tales, and Anderson's Fairy Tales. Books on adventure and discovery in Kon-tiki, The Lost City of Z, River of Darkness. Religious books like the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Quran, Popol Vuh, The Apocrypha, Book of Jasher, Baggiavad Gita, Dammapada, Confession's of St. Augustine. Philosophy and thinking with Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Viktor Frankl, Buscalia, and Taylor Caldwell. Poetry from Shel Silverstein to Shakespeare's Complete works, to Mihai Eminescu, Robert Frost, Paublo Neruda. History with Gibbon's Rise and Decline of the Roman Empire, and Gardner's Art through the Ages.
           
 Merlin and Barron
            While the list is long it represents a very small number of my favorites that made it into the bookcase. Books and reading really mean a lot to me. One book that has been important to me is by T.A. Barron. In second grade I was starting to feel that the Bailey School Kids books were becoming too simple and repetitive. I branched out to the harder books and found myself intrigued by The Lost Years of Merlin. I read it and loved it. I fell in love with the characters and the world which was created in the pages. The morals and love of nature spoke to me.
In his sweater. Photo courtesy of www.soentpiet.com
            In the years following I devoured every book Barron wrote. I love how he helped teach me the impact a good person can have on the world. I followed the Merlin series to when it was five books. Then eight, then eleven. Until they were reprinted as a series with new titles. When I was 17 T.A. Barron came to Utah with his new book, The Hero's Trail. I took my little brother with me to go see him. We drove about a half hour to the auditorium where Barron would be speaking.
            We sat there nervously waiting for this great man, this creator of worlds in which we had spent so much time, to appear. He was announced, and up the isle he strode, skipping up the stage steps...he tripped! My brother and I looked at each other in amazement. "He's human!" I thought. "He wears funny green sweaters and trips sometimes!"
           
Small and Simple Things
            As I listened I thought to myself how he was another person, just like us, who does wonderful things. That was the message he spoke about. That each of us walks a trail in life, the Heroes Trail, and by the strength of our character we can surmount obstacles and make a difference in the world. The book, which I bought and had signed, shares stories and quotes about people, mostly young people, who have made the world a better place.
            I look back on my life and see this as one more learning experience that led me to who I am and why Longboard For Love did what we did. As normal people we wanted to make a genuine difference in the world, and maybe, at the same time, our example could ignite the spark of charity in anothers heart. Just as Barron helped do the same in me.
        
    "This world of ours is a truly wondrous place-full of great mysteries and great contrasts. Chief among those mysteries, I am afraid, is how a world with so much beauty and richness could also be home to greed, arrogance, and intolerance. How can a world that produces abundant fruits, inspires timeless poetry, builds lasting friendships, and creates chances for us to realize our dreams also contain the horror of war and religious hatred? That is the greatest challenge of our time, my friend; to tip the world's scale, to find hope where there might be despair, to help all living creatures live together in harmony" -T.A. Barron


            "Just as the smallest grain of sand can tilt the scale, the weight of one person's will can life an entire world." - T.A. Barron

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favorite Photo

We have posted a lot of pictures from our recent trip on the blog and our Facebook page. The photo below is my favorite picture from the whole adventure. It was taken by a photographer from the Orange County Register. Early one morning we met with the news, we shared our story with them and then they took a lot of pictures. The "photo-shoot" lasted a few hours but they were really flexible with our schedule and just followed us in their car and took pictures of us on the go.

As we were talking to them I had my hands on my board. The photographer snapped a picture and I thought nothing of it. Later in the newspaper article I saw it and realized she had noticed what I wrote on the bottom of my board. The caption for the picture in the article says, "Mason Bennett, 23, of Utah carries a hand-written question on his long board, "Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I am glad she picked up on that. I wrote a few things that inspired me on the bottom of my board. My hands are covering up the spot where I wrote a name for my board "Impetus" and on another spot I wrote a line from a poem as well, "Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread." All of them wore off by the end of the trip except for this inspiring question:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

photo courtesy of Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dracula's Dash For Hope 2013






It is that time of year again! Bridge of Love is hosting its annual 5K race, Dracula's Dash For Hope. I went last year and it was a ton of fun. Here is the information from the Bridge of Love website about the race. I hope to see you there!

Dear Friend of Bridge of Love,

We are excited to announce our Dracula’s Dash for Hope 5k and 1/2-Mile Kids’ Run on Saturday, October 12th at the Cottonwood Complex, 4400 S. 1300 E. in Salt Lake City.

Dracula is out to change his reputation of doom and gloom by helping to raise donations for abandoned and
Photo of the 1/2 children race from last year
disadvantaged children in Romania. This is our 6th annual charity 5k and it keeps getting better every year!

For 2013, we’ve added a shorter run for kids and planned fun Halloween-themed changes. There will be refreshments, medals, and prizes. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

Visit www.bridgeofloveromania.com to pre-register online or for more information about Dracula’s Dash for Hope. Race-day registration and packet pickup is from 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Please sign up early!

The 1/2-mile run for children under age 10 begins at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $10 and all participants will receive a medal.

The 5k starts at 9 a.m. sharp. The cost is $25 through Oct.1st or $35 afterward. Medals will be awarded to the top 5k runners in each age group. All participants will be given a race t-shirt and entered in a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses and volunteers.

While not required, we encourage race participants to make an even bigger difference by asking family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to sponsor them in the race by making a donation of any amount to Bridge of Love.

We are giving away a 32" LED Color TV to the person who collects the most donations. All others who donate $200 or more will receive a $20 gift card.

More information to assist runners who choose to seek out race sponsor donations will be provided following their online pre-registration. 
You can register for the race by clicking here.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wheel Shields

It has been too long since last I wrote. The summer has been a busy one. Longboard 650 miles, get married, move to California for an internship, move back to Utah, and start another semester of school. Life has been crazy, but life is good.

Recently I got an email from a company I talked about almost a year ago, Wheel Shields. They contacted me to let me know about their recent Kickstarter Campaign helping to fund their innovative product. Sadly, in the rush of moving back to Provo, starting a new semester, and starting two jobs I haven't been able to address the email until now. Sadly the Kickstarter is over. Good news though, they got their funding! Which means they are taking off and now the rest of us can order the product from their website.

Check them out. Especially if you are into distance longboarding. With the upcoming rainy and wet winter weather these will be indispensable.

 I'm excited to see this great idea opening up. Things like this help the wonderful sport of longboarding to evolve and move in new directions. I'm not sure personally how well they work but as soon as I get a set I will let you know. Until then I thought I would share a video of Rob Thompson (Guinness World Record for Longest Distance on a Skateboard (7,500 miles) and one of my boarding heroes) talk about the Shields. If he thinks they are good, I'm willing to try them out. On any upcoming distance trips I plan of having these.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mountain Bike Musings: Our One Escape Before Death

My buddies and I at our High School Graduation
When I was in High School my buddies and I had a "secret club". Every Friday our club would meet in this wooded area. There we would talk about our lives, catch up, tell jokes, read poems, build forts, and whatever else we felt like doing. Girls were not allowed because, while being great, they created drama, and this was our little moment to escape from it all.

In our secret special spot we had pounded a stick into the ground and called it, very ingeniously, The Stick. When we needed to have emergency meetings we would simply tell one another to "Meet me at the Stick" and we all knew where to go. It was our secret spot. At times it felt almost sacred to me because of the brotherly feelings and friendship we developed in that place. I would often visit The Stick alone to think because if felt so good to be there. Now, six years later, I still visit. The Stick is gone, the brush is overgrown but it still feels good to sit. For my group of friends it was a sanctuary of sorts.

I have my own special place like that. My personal private secret special spot. By my house is a mountain trail, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, on which I love to mountain bike. If you bike along the trail you reach an incline. Travel up the hill and you will reach some radio towers way up high. Before you reach the towers there is a path that goes right, up a small hill, down a bit, and you find some rocks overlooking the whole valley.

At the end of a mountain bike ride. On this particular day
there was a terrible thunder and lightning storm. The pathway
became muddy and my wheels sank all the way down and would
not spin. I had to pick up my bike and carry it up the mountain
through the rain to reach my spot. But reach it I did. 
It is a gorgeous place. That is where I most loved to sit and think. I would take all my biggest questions and thoughts there, and as consequence, on those rocks I decided a lot of things about who I want to be and what I really believe. My hilltop perch was so good for me because it was secluded from the world, but I could still observe the world from a high vantage point. The trip was long. From my house on bike to a trail that wound around the grassy fields to the hill that goes up and up. There have been times I haven't been able to make it to my spot, due to a grasshopper infestation or a snowstorm when I tried to snowshoe up. I felt really frustrated by these attempts and in a silly way it felt almost as though I had to pay the physical price to reach my spot where I would be given the answer to the questions I had. I had to make the journey to get my answer.

I feel like everyone needs a sacred secret place. Recently I was reading East of Eden and John Steinbeck explains such a place in a conversation between two characters. Adam Trask is walking in the woods with his father Cyrus. Adam shows his father the little stump where he used to hide. Cyrus replies, "I knew about it long ago. Once when you were gone a long time I knew you must have such a place, and I found it because I felt the kind of place you would need. See how the earth is tamped and the little grass is torn? And while you sat in there  you stripped little pieces of bark to shreds. I knew it was the place when I came upon it." Adam, quite astounded, asks why his father never came looking for him there. "No," Cyrus replied, "I wouldn't do that. You can drive a human too far. I wouldn't do that. Always you must leave a man one escape before death. Remember that!"

A picture of the trail. Courtesy of
http://www.bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org/
Now to the whole point of this post. So...a few days ago Jamie and I went biking up the trail to my special spot. I haven't been up there for almost four years. I was shocked and not a little upset to see how much home development has been done up there. In place of my field through which I pondered as I rode are tennis courts and over sized homes. You don't feel like you're really in nature until you're  basically at the base of the hill! I felt like my special place was being invaded. Not only that, but my mind, thoughts,  and ideals were being barged in upon. I didn't like how it felt, like when you have a belligerent acquaintance who loves to challenge your beliefs and feelings and constantly condescendingly tries to convince you you're wrong.

Just as much as we need to have our secret special place, I feel we must have a sanctuary inside. Where we hold what we know and who we are. Where we should be open to learn and think about new things, but also protect from invading "home developers" who destroy the sureness and serenity that comes to one who "knows" themselves.

We need to have a special place within and without.

When I am Full of Silence 
by Jack Perlutsky 

When I am full of silence, 
and no one else is near, 
the voice I keep inside me
 is all I want to hear. 
I settle in my secret place, 
contented and alone,
 and think no other thoughts 
except the thoughts that are my own.

When I am full of silence,
 I do not want to play, 
to run and jump and fuss about, 
the way I do all day. 
The pictures painted in my mind 
are all I need to see 
when I am full of silence… 
when I am truly me

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Much Gratitude

Now that the trip is over and done there are a lot of people I feel the need to thank. This whole endeavor was the effort of many and without everyone it would never have been possible.

First person I would like to thank is Kenton Durfee. Truth be told without Kenton there would be no Longboard For Love. I would not have attempted this trip alone. It would have been too hard, too dangerous, and too scary. I called Kenton over a year ago and asked if he wanted to go on a crazy adventure. I asked Kenton because I knew that he would be excited about the trip, but also that if he said he would come he would follow through with that. I wanted him to come because he is my cousin and very very close friend, and one of the hardest workers I know. This means we would ha
ve a lot of fun and I knew that he could help push me on the hard days.

Kenton, my mom, and I
Kenton sacrificed a lot to come. He was taking classes during the whole trip and
had to take time to submit homework and study (I guess I should thank Kenton's professors too. Thanks for being understanding of a few late assignments). Kenton missed some fun family events too, like when his sister graduated high school as valedictorian or another sister got engaged. I'm grateful he came though and this wouldn't have been possible without him. Thanks Kenton.

Thanks to my parents who supported my crazy idea and helped out so much. For helping me plan, making sure I was safe, getting me out there and back, and helping to raise so many funds for the orphans. I have the best parents in the world.

Jamie and I
Thanks to my wife, THE Jamie Bennett. A big thanks for becoming my friend six years ago and then marrying me recently. But thanks also for help with this project. Jamie took a lot of pictures, helped design the logo, and proofread just about every single blogpost. She allowed me to go on the trip the month before our wedding and supported everything so well.

Thank you to Bridge of Love. Thanks for helping us out by allowing us to help your cause. Thanks for the help with fliers and cards we could hand out on the trip. A big thanks to the Lundbergs for all they've taught me in life.

Thanks to S-1 helmets for getting us a good deal on your helmets. They saved my brain at least once on the trip. I'm happy that there is a company out there that is so concerned with real helmet safety instead of just making a quick buck with a cheap product.

A big thank you to Kahuna Creations. Kenton and I loved your products and every single day told each other how grateful we were for the Big Stick and how difficult the trip would be without it. The boards were amazing. Each day we would get a compliment on the board. Not just how good they were but how beautifully designed it was. High quality performance board and a work of art. Thank you so much Kahuna for the support, for sharing us on your Facebook, help with the equipment. We are nothing but grateful and impressed with you guys.


Thank you to the people who let us stay at your home or found us a place to stay. My parents, and Roz, the Burgons, the Nolls, the Salden family, the Hesselbeins, the Mathis family, the Wheelers, Durfees, everyone. Thank you.

And a big thank you to everyone for supporting us by reading the blog, or donating to help the orphans. This was a huge endeavor made possible by many people. I wonder if the kids in Romania will ever really know how many people gave a little love to help them out. It is amazing.

Thank you.

Picture I took from Facebook of the recent Bridge of Love visit to Romania. Looks like fun.
I hope to go sometime.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mazel Tov To Me!


Well, I've been away from blogging land for a while now. Sorry to just end the trip like that and then stop talking to you all. Apparently the world doesn't like it when you leave it all behind for five weeks on a crazy longboard adventure and then a honeymoon.

Wait...did Mason just say honeymoon? Yes I did. That is my great news I want to talk about. On May 31, 2013 I married THE Jamie Wheeler (now Bennett). Look how cute we are!


We haven't received all our wedding photos yet but I'm sure that I won't be able to keep from bragging about it cause...I'll be so happy.

Out of all the things I've ever done, getting married to Jamie has been the best and the greatest.

Monday, May 27, 2013

WE MADE IT!!!

Well...as hinted in the picture previously posted of Kenton and I at the San Diego Temple we....MADE IT!!!

After 25 days, 650+ miles, $6,000 in donations, 5 pairs of sunglasses (yes, it ended up being five...), poison oak, ticks, many roads, three sets of bearings, three sets of shoes, and so many wonderful people we met...the trip is done and over, and those kids are getting their tutor!!!

I have to say that after the very first day, , I wasn't sure this could be done. To be honest I didn't even know if I still wanted to do it. When we slowed down our pace in order to survive, I thought Los Angeles would be the furthest we get. Thankfully, we acclimated to the strains of the trip, we got stronger, and we got faster, and we remembered why we were doing this crazy thing. We had four days where family or friends took our pack and we were able to go twice as fast. With all of this, miraculously, we  made it!

I don't know what I'm happier about. That we made it without getting hit by a car, or that I didn't get any ticks.

Well the trip ended and Kenton and I took our first real moments to relax. One thing we had made a habit of on the trip was to take pictures by signs with city names on them. Our dream was to take one by the San Diego sign. We rode and rode and rode, but there is no sign on the coastal highway. My mom and little sister came to pick us up and they said they had seen one on the freeway, but Kenton and I weren't allowed there. Eventually one was located in the city, and we got our picture.


We then took some time to relax on the beach and chill in the pool. The next day Mom took us all to Disneyland!!! That was a really fun ending to the trip, what a magical place it is.

I'm happy we did this trip. We've learned a lot. We learned life lessons, learned our limits, learned things we will do the same and some that we will do differently for next time. The trip was really hard, but totally worth it. We got to help out a lot of people, inspire others, be inspired by others, and just be part of a great adventure. 

Thank you all for your support, and don't worry, its not totally over yet. Stay tuned for more posts and a video from the trip too, and next summer well...who knows?
When we finished we wanted to go to the beach...where we collapsed and fell asleep, and
dreamed of more adventures! We look like we just washed up to shore.

We luckily had enough energy to get up and enjoy the waves. That is me, Kenton and Sydney out there.

Mom made sure we were well fed. See the look of pure joy on Kenton's face
as he carries out a pizza that was almost too big to fit in the car!

Me happy as can be at the happiest place on Earth!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Words and Thoughts for the Sabbath

From Kenton:
Mason folding up his tent

Well my friends the 2013 longboarding trip has concluded. Being on the road, meeting so many wonderful people of California, and seeing the outpouring kindness from so many of you has made this trip a life changing experience for me. I want to thank all who have helped feed, shelter, pray for, and motivate me on this trip. Thank you! And thank you to all of you who have donated to bless the lives of the Romanian children. You have made a difference in their future, thank you!

One of the major things that I have come to learn from this trip is how much I rely on my home to get things done. For instance having a consistent bed, food, family, and protection relieves the stress of everyday living. Having to focus on my belongings and the protection of my body on the highway absorbs the focus of most of my attention when I would rather put my efforts toward a higher level, such as education.
The road to San Diego

I have found the importance of keeping myself close to God. Mason has done a good job of remembering to start the morning with prayer. I find that I usually begin longboarding by asking Heavenly Father for protection and guidance on the day of journey. It’s not uncommon to see Mason and I standing on the side of the road with our helmets removed, eyes closed in prayer to God. I believe that we have been safe from major harm thanks to the goodness of God; Mason commented that he "Felt that God has guided us to the places we need to be and that he has a plan for us for the rest of the trip." Honestly when I think of riding our boards for 650 miles, I am amazed that we have been so well protected. Since the trip has ended, I have heard how many of you have prayed for Mason and my safety. Thank you for praying for us, your prayers have kept us safe.
Still riding even though I fell Day #1

The first day of this trip, the trucks on my boards were loose and gave me a good turning radius. However, going down a puny hill the board started to wobble and I went down. I landed on my right shoulder ripping the sleeve and roughing up my left leg. It could have been a lot worse but I was still jittery and very gun shy the rust of the day, and for the several days following.

I tightened my trucks on my board and I have been able to ride much more confidently. The tightening allows me to not wobble and ride down much steeper terrain with my heavy backpack. At the end of the first day, with my 100% crash per day record, I dreamed I was hitting the road over and over again. Each time I hit I would jolt awake. I didn't feel very rested, but I awoke with inspiration to travel at a speed I felt safe. I could carry my board down whatever hill I wanted too. Mason told me that I could walk down any hill and he wouldn't judge me. Thanks Mason!




A speaker I heard in church quoted the Savior in the New Testament from Matthew 25:40. Jesus said that "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." As I think about this scripture I am filled with gratitude for the kind people who have given for the Romanian children.

I have seen strangers give money for the Romanian children; ask after our safety, offer direction, food, and their homes for us to stay. The giving of these people affects more than just Mason and I, their efforts bless the lives of the Romanian children and in the process they give back to God. With the conclusion of the trip I hope you will continue to give to your families, to strangers, and to God.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guess Where We Are Today?

Riding past a monument significant to me. Can anyone guess where we are? More to come later
today!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mai Multe Fotografii!


Happy as can be to have made it into the newspaper. Front page of the local news section!

We visited the S-1 Helmet warehouse in LA. S-1 made the helmets that keep our noggins
safe. A company that is truly concerned with helmet safety and making sure that
everying is well certified. They were really nice and loved hearing that Kenton
wears his helmet for a pillow when he sleeps.


On the left is Uncle Dale (Kenton's Dad) who joined us for a leg of the journey. Fun fact. He is riding
on the very board that got Kenton and I interested in longboarding, and look where it has got us now.

Past few days have been along beachside paths. California really is a beautiful place.

Made it to Dana Point and stopped for a photo

Kenton's family came for the weekend and stayed a few days to help us out. It was great
to see the family. They were such good sports with the two little kids. It was lots of fun to
have a fan club cheer us on every so often when we passed them on the beach. Love the
Durfee family.

We were hoping the sign would be bigger but this is the only one we found. One of our favorite
days of riding.


Stopped here for a break and to check the maps. We figured
 that my shirt functioned as a better lightbouse than this one
ever would.


Sha-zam! Newport, another beautiful city.

Four Broken Sunglasses


The demise of set number three.
I look so depressed because I know
I will have to spend way too much money
to buy another pair, that will probably break.
It's all for the children...

The sun is hot but the road is beautiful!

We met with another paper this morning and then headed down the road. Both of us have been amazed and happy not to have been sunburned for this entire trip, but today...we are fried.

As shown by the picture on the right I broke another pair of sunglasses. That is pair number three. All I did was pull them off my face and they snapped without any reason. Kenton and I have decided I was just too handsome and the glasses couldn't handle it. It makes me laugh because I remember talking about a documentary called Five Broken Cameras earlier on the blog, and it seems I am destined to do what that man did, just with my glasses. I've broken three and Kenton broke one (I say he "broke" them, more like they got so gross and dirty that when he put them on his face they left little racoon-like dirt circles around his eyes.)

Despite my glasses we have been in high spirits today. Due to our recent press coverage we've been getting a lot more attention. Early this morning we were stopped by a couple on a walk. They wanted to shake our hands cause they saw us in the paper. Other people have been honking and cheering as they pass us in their cars. At first we thought everyone was just mad at us today but they have been smiling and giving thumbs up signs so we think its all good. Some people have even pulled over on the side of the road to talk to us. It has been great to raise awareness and get attention to the cause.


On the road with my new glassses! Set number four.
Lets hope they last!

We passed into Dana Point and the sun was getting high and very hot (hence the sunburns) and I decided it was time to buy more sunglasses. Spotting a watersport store we pushed on over to see what they had. Right before we entered a tall nice looking man came outside and started asking us about our boards and sticks. We explained our cause and the equiptment and really sold him on the Kahuna Big Stick. He likes to paddleboard surfboard and thought the land version looked like a blast.


Near the end of our coversation I started heading in the store to buy sunglasses. Martin (the guy we were talking to, whose father happened to be Romanian) ran over to his car, and grabbed a pair of glasses and gave them to me. Just put them on my face and said I could keep them! Now he has to go buy new glasses, but he saved me $20 from his act of kindness. I really appreciate it, and my eyes have been appreciative all this hot and sunny day.


I'm just a kid on the side of the road and someone, Martin, gives. That is what has really impressed me on this trip. I've learned that people are good, they want to give, we all desire to help. It's not just Kenton and I on our crazy adventure who are making a difference. Its each person who encouraged us, who made a donation, who opened up their home, who gave water, who gave sunglasses. There are so many little acts of kindness that add up to this great effort helping these kids that most of you will never meet. It is amazing and reminds me of a quote I love from George Eliot.

"What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?"