Words: Travis Knight
Film/Photo: Jenn Heng / Fred Zahina
Making your way further down this sandy abyss of homes of ancients and the protection of wild and plant life, (such as the Marin Dwarf Flax, an endangered wild flower that freely blooms about the shiny dunes) you will find yourself walking along a scattered wasteland of old military bases.
Plateaus of weathered cement pop up randomly for at least a quarter mile along the coast. Built by Spanish military in 1812, in the year 1997 it was then and now still is administered by the National Park Service. In the midst of these sporadic structures, you can find the Battery Chamberlin. This huge artillery battery was named after Captain Lowell A. Chamberlin who served in the Civil War. When 1976 came about, the location of this beast of a weapon was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Journeying on, you will come across the banks that we are skating in the following video documentation. This spot is super hit or miss. One day you can go there with a twelve pack and skate for hours, another day you might get a hundred fifty dollar ticket from some belligerent, smart ass, water polo playing cop. The latter was the case for us. These swine came in hot, (probably fresh from the academy) giving us false history lessons and ranting about how we were committing a felony. However, the strange man who called the cops was drastically a much larger sight of tomfoolery. This 70 year old clown was sunbathing, wearing a speed-o mind you, in the heaps of glass plastered upon the ground surrounded by some mindless drivel that some teenagers painted on the wall while on the influence of bath salts. I guess we were disturbing his chaotic idea of peace. That day was a miss. Following weeks later when this little edit was filmed, we had to pull some guerrilla type maneuver on a hill across the way where we waited for a motorcycle cop to disperse from the entrance. We skated hours on end, for the fog submerged us from the road. That day turned out to be a hit.
Somewhere in the region of Baker Beach, taking place back on May 17th, 1959, an eighteen year old by the name of Albert Kogler Jr. was fatally attacked by a great white shark. The horrible incident was actually the only shark attack on Baker Beach. Also from 1986 to 1990, the northern end of Baker Beach was the original sight for the Burning Man Festival. Sometime in 1990, police allowed people to rage and build the gargantuan, wooden effigy but would not allow them to burn it. Well that kind of fucked that off, so the hippies flew east to wreak havoc in The Black Rock Dessert located in northern Nevada.
In the following video we didn’t get laid at the Cliff House, or battle any sharks, or even dance with any hippies. We just rode our skateboards and had a great time. So if your ever in the Sunset District and don’t know what to do with yourself, (which is usually inevitable) take the expedition through Baker Beach. Adventure patiently awaits, dwelling somberly in the heart of the great Pacific’s murky fog. -Travis Dylan Knight
Video: Ben Ericson