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Back in February, I was invited to join the Quiksilver team down under as they continued their Roam campaign. You can see all of Mike O’Meally’s photos in the Roam Issue #4 zine right here. I wrote the accompanying story and shot some photos and video of my own I’ll be posting in installments here.—Blair Alley
Day five—Canberra to Wangaratta
Today, we hit the long haul to Melbourne, but of course O’Meally and Choi had some stops planned along the way. Albury is a small, isolated town with a skate park and some ditches worth checking out. It’s also home of some rough ground, but the crew made the most of the spots. Continuing on, we hit a bit of rain on the highway, luckily, we had a Bruce Springsteen CD purchased from a petrol station and it was blaring on repeat in the Toyota. Glory Days baby! Nothing gets the boys hyped up like some Boss. Our next stop was the historic, wild west-looking town of Chiltern. Epic photos were taken during the sunset on the train tracks. We fed the local cows some banana peels and pistachio shells. Cowboy Reese even jumped the fence and turned on the water for the big guys so they could have a drink.
Rolling on down to Wangaratta in Victoria, it was hard to find any vacancy due to the fire fighters needing places to stay while fighting the gnarly bushfires. We ate a great meal at a pizza joint and luckily found a mellow motel. Tomorrow—Melbourne!
Danny and Kyel, synchronized stretching in Albury.
Reese and the sunset in Chiltern.
Reese, Kyle, and Danny getting all Stand By Me in Chiltern.
Reese hopped the barbed wire fence and turned on the water for the heifers.
Day 6, Wangaratta to Melbourne
We drove through some smoky air and bushfire-gutted forests and made our final destination—Melbourne. First stop, the drains. This spot is known for its banks, wallrides, and a flat gap full of stinking, gutter water. Just as Kyle was warming up and Reese was sweeping a runway, Reese’s board went in the drink. It’s funny because one minute before, Reese was telling Danny about how the last time he was there, his board went in the water. After some artsy shots, O’Meally spotted an eel in the funky water and tried to bare-hand it out of there. No luck—those guys are slippery! We messed around on the banked ledges and D.I.Y. quarter pipe—Kyle and O’Meally both getting clips, then we dumped our bags at the hotel.
It being Friday, the Melbourne skaters have a tradition of meeting up at the Prahran skatepark for International Good Dude Day (IGDD). We joined them and had a fun session with all the locals (crackheads included), and a case of Coopers. The standard after-session pub is the Yellow Bird, and the crew all sat down to steak sandwiches. Jake Duncombe, Lewis Marnell, the Dirty Aussie Troy O’Mahoney, and many more were at the bar. Another case of Coopers was bought and brought back to the hotel as the night wore on with funny movies and tons of laughs with all of our friends.
The long drive to Melbourne had us getting restless!
The smokey hillsides from the out of control bush fires.
Sketchy eels in the water at The Drains in Melbourne.
Danny and O’Meally got some jams in after the session.
Reese and Danny chilling at the Drains.
Prahran skatepark for International Good Dude Day—Lewis Marnell, Fish, O’Mealz, and Ryan Wilson.
Back to the house with a slab of Coopers.