TEAM – Adam Colton, Paul Kent, Aaron Enevoldsen
DURATION – 2 months
DISTANCE – 1,240 miles
HIGHEST MTN PASS – 7,414 ft
HIGHLIGHTS – Skating on chip seal 90% of the time, avocado smoothies and almond pastries, camel trek in Sahara Desert
Adam Colton, Paul Kent, and Aaron Enevoldsen teamed up in 2010 to revisit the pain, anguish and hilarity of traveling across countries with longboards. Morocco seemed to be a good choice as it is paved, culturally rich, and safe for tourists. They soon find out what the real struggle is… each other. In the attempt to circle the entire country by longboard, they lose their minds and go completely insane. So put on your 3D goggles and pour yourself some mint tea, you might find out something new about Morocco!
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Long Treks on Skate Decks: Morocco
We first met Adam Colton in 2005 while doing a story about him for Concrete Wave. We drove 10 hours west to catch Adam and his crew in the middle of Ohio on his first cross-country skate. The altruistic purpose behind Adam’s trip was to raise funds to build an eco-friendly skate park in downtown D.C.
For those of you lucky enough to know Mr. Colton, it’s easy to see why he has become such an influential skater over the last five years. He is a tremendous source of positive energy and has the natural talent to amaze and inspire the ever-growing longboard community. Adam can be characterized in southern-style, “tur-duck-en” fashion as a mystic sage inside a lunatic five-year-old inside a skater-savant.
Since that skate across the United States, Adam and his hearty band of long-trekkers have skated across France, New Zealand, Peru, Bolivia and, most recently, Morocco. Please enjoy a little Moroccan “road-life recap” and photo essay from our most favorite soul-brother, Adam Colton.
Words by Adam Colton
Photos courtesy of Adam Colton
Last year Paul Kent, Aaron Enevoldsen and I pushed our longboards 1,500 miles through the heart of the Andes pushing through Peru and Bolivia. Functioning off of cookies, stale bread, and bananas. Enduring such self-torture that you can’t help but smile when you think back on how hard it was. We loved each other so much that we all decided to be a team again and venture to Africa and torture ourselves in Morocco.
Soon we would spend 2 months, 24/7 together. Poop together, eat together, suffer together…all together as a team with no break from each other’s presence. Have you ever spent 2 months 24/7 with anyone before? Marriage does not count; most husbands and wives have parting times when they are at work. Aaron, Paul and I still to this day joke about how much time we have spent with each other and how we have not killed one another.
Sense of humor is a powerful thing. We pushed 1,200 miles all over Morocco, pretty much on chip-seal pavement (bumpy, rocky, tary pavement). To battle chip-seal we sang songs, made fun of how much our lives sucked, daydreamed about lovely ladies, and pushed real slow. Soon the chip-seal actually felt smooth, we had forgotten what it was like to push on smooth pavement. CRY.
The weather was pretty damn hot. There was a day we pushed in 105 degree weather. Both Paul and I suffered minor heat stroke and I totally felt like puking. To keep it together, I focused on controlled breathing techniques to ease my body/mind and thought positively about a town approaching soon.
The people in Morocco are almost too friendly. You have people all over the street inviting you into their house for tea. They would get offended actually if you declined the offer so you had to do it as politely as you could. Now, getting grabbed by a Moroccan to go eat at a restaurant is annoying, so one technique Aaron and I developed was to act very gay and touchy-feely with the grabber. They would back off quickly. Being gay in Morocco is not really accepted, though it is getting better.
Morocco is a country all about community. There is always a great deal of people outside sitting at cafes, hanging out at stores, playing board games, knowing each other’s business. It was really nice to see this community and all the people coming together and engaging in presence and conversation.
The Muslim religion is very present in Morocco. I will not miss getting woken up at 4am every morning by someone singing Arabic loudly from a speaker projected from a Mosque, hahaha. Moroccans pride themselves on being a free country where people can choose to practice what they believe.
There was a day where we got pulled 20 miles by some insane tail/side winds with our sporting sails. We would have gone 20 more but Paul ate it super hard. Dropped his sail a bit too low and it got stuck in his wheel, and sent him flying onto his elbow. Paul was super-bummed, thought he broke the camera and his elbow. All were good. This incident, however, would weaken Paul’s body for the rest of the journey.
By the end of the trip, Paul had suffered from heat stroke, horrible peeling sunburn, a nasty elbow wound, and diarrhea. He was a tough cookie. We have a joke; Aaron had it super hard in South America, Paul had it super hard in Morocco, and the next trip it is my turn to have it super hard, hahaha, we shall see.
I went to bed one night, but could not sleep because I had food poisoning. I was getting excess saliva in my mouth and sweating like crazy. I knew I was going to throw up which I did right outside the door of my tent. I was too weak to go any further. I threw-up twice that night and spent the whole night listening to stray dogs chomping on my throw-up right by my ear. That night, as well, I “diarrhea’d” so much it might be a record. I covered up my dealio with rocks. That morning there was a festival right next to where we were camping, so we hurried out of there before people uncovered my diarrhea landmines.
To skate a foreign country is an experience. We spent two months in a very different far off land. I have a theory that if one week before the trip is over you really want to go home, then you know it has been a good trip and you got your worth out of it. I was so happy to be back in the USA. I almost cried, no joke. It would have been tears of happiness, but instead I had on a perma-smile. I ate at this restaurant in the NYC airport for my layover before returning to LAX. I had the best Guacamole tortillas and a nice Bass Ale. These simple pleasures and familiarity were the world to me.
We aim to do one more trip together and have our sights set on Nepal for October 2011. I have 20 hours of HD footage of Morocco that I am going to edit into sweet youtube episodes, so stay tuned. Please check out the South America series if you have not already. More information available at www.longtreksonskatedecks.com. For more distance skating adventures also check out skatefurther.com; a site dedicated to distance skating.
We want to give a big shout out to all of our sponsors who helped make our trip across Morocco possible. Please check out these sponsors when you get a chance. Loaded Boards, Orangatang Wheels, Rayne Longboards, Longboard Larry, Daddies Boardshop, Paris Trucks, Patagonia, Sporting Sails, Silverfishlongboarding, Concrete Wave, Nemo Equipment, Royal Board Shop, and Go Pro. Thanks to Freshpaved for this opportunity to share a small part of our Morocco story and some pictures.