Common Crew Arizona Road Trip

A four day escape from CA to AZ via the magic of minimum wage

2 Feb 2015

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Words and Video by Francis Castro Photos by Tak Kamihagi

From cramming thirteen people into two rooms meant for four, to a barrage of tinder matches, this trip was everything you would expect BMX to bring you; good times, great laughs, and memories worth talking about for a very long time. And, all of this made possible by the magic of minimum wage labor - we all saved up and eventually became stable enough to plan a trip. It was originally supposed to be San Francisco but the forty-five degrees it had to offer made us venture east instead. The drive consisted of three cars and an overwhelming sense of curiosity. Some of us had gone out of state with our bikes before but never rolling this deep and never being this lost.

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Common crew bmx Ghost Town Chairs TK

"It was a full blow abandoned town; cafe shops, gas stations, and a dozen wrecked empty houses laced together with some scattered belongings that were left behind on either side of every structure."

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This train was first thing you would see before entering the ghost town. From what we could tell it was a tourist attraction. We believe it also served as a distraction along side the cafe to keep tourist from the neighboring meth houses half a mile down the road. I actually tried climbing this damn thing and my pants got caught and ripped on my way up. I ended up in sweatpants for he remainder of the trip.

A little over half way to AZ we spotted these home/shack/crustybox things, all lined up, equal in size and distance but covered in graffiti with an extremely run-down looking appearance - like an abandoned piece of suburbia. Being the curious kids that we are we pulled off the side of the road to check them out. It was a full blow abandoned town; cafe shops, gas stations, and a dozen wrecked empty houses laced together with some scattered belongings that were left behind on either side of every structure. We peeped through some old store windows and gas station doors and eventually made our way about a half mile deeper into the town. This is where the houses were and one by one we began to go through them, finding things like images of demonic naked women on the inside walls, trap tables covered in every kind of pill imaginable, even some closets that still had an outfit or two in them. The floors of all the homes were not visible and remained covered in personal belonging ranging from mass amounts of VHS tapes, toys, trash, and cut open mattresses. One house had some old meth cooking equipment in it and in another I noticed a note that read “I love you daddy, I love you daddy, I love you daddy.” ready to be put on the fridge for the whole family to see. Really made us think... this was actually someones home at one point. We spent a good 45 minutes looking around the town and then proceeded to reaching Tempe.

"The Motel life itself was nuts, none of us had ever woken up in a situation where all your closest friends are sleeping a foot in a half away from you with pegs and bars hitting your back."

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Couldn't be anymore hyped to get another day started. 

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Trying to make the most out of the space we had.

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A long night ahead of us.

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Bumped into Austin just in time to watch him get the ender for his latest edit. 

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Spot guide Austin Aughinbaugh showing us around some Arizona street after a mandatory morning skatepark session.

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Super coach was more concerned about the blood on his floor. I guess losing three teeth isn’t a big deal.

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“It feels like my teeth went into my head.”… That’s because they did.

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I'd reserved the motel nearest to a University in the hopes that it would be packed with spots. It was, and luckily enough we happened to run into an Arizona local, Austin Aughinbaugh who became our spot guide and, by the end of the trip, a good friend. The Motel life itself was nuts, none of us had ever woken up in a situation where all your closest friends are sleeping a foot in a half away from you with pegs and bars hitting your back. It was fucking cramped, more fun than anything, but still cramped. Once everyone got ready the routine was just like back home; get into the car thats going to a breakfast spot you enjoy and go from there. After we would all eat we’d pick up Austin who lived only a few blocks away, then it was up to him to show us around. We went to a bunch of famous set ups and some we had never seen before - a productive good time all around. Later lunch would hit and we’d repeat the breakfast spot routine before going out to the next set of gems. We couldn’t get enough, but unfortunately the sun does go down in Arizona and it was way too cold to break out the lights so it was time to head back to the Motel and chill. On our second filming day Denim took a slam straight to his face which resulted in his ex girlfriend picking him up and driving him home. Aside from that extremely shitty bump in the road (understatement) the trip ran like this the whole way through.

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Austin Augie leading us into unknown lands.

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On the way back from everyones first house park session.

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Julian Arteaga and Ethan Corriere enjoying our last dinner in AZ. This place was too good.

"Some of us had gone out of state with our bikes before but never rolling this deep and never being this lost."

Before we knew it our four day escape was over and it was time to head home. I was sitting on more than enough footage for the video and everyone was more than content with the clips they pulled. Not to mention Tak laced up this amazing gallery. The trip was a success.

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On our way back! Common Crew’s first out of state team trip was a success!

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