Sunday, October 26, 2008

Coal City

Cheese Grater and Maya Ruins in front of Skateaway

We arrived at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA today at about 4:00pm. It was a 6.5 hour drive from Hamilton. I was pooped. Probably due to the late night partying until 3am with the Kitchener, London, Montreal girls the night before. Well if this is the last weekend of derby for the season sleep becomes less of a priority, until that is, you're driving a car. About 5 hours in I started getting sleepy and had Cheese take over the steering while I slept in the passenger seat.

The Coal City venue was great. It was an actual roller skating rink, with 70s furniture, and decor, even shag carpeting along the skate walls. Unfortunately the lighting was pretty dim. The venue was probably made with romantic or dance skating in mind not some fast action sport with photographers like me trying to get photographs.

Vicadoom tries out the SkateAway floor

Not wanting to use a flash I shot my photos using the settings of ISO 6400, f2.8, 1/125. Even with the high ISO I was still shooting at about hald the shutter speed I'm used to. There were pockets of darkness located around the rink that didn't help. Despite the lack of light I managed to snag a few good photos of action that took place right under a florescent set of lights.

The HCRG travel team

Cheese made Canadian flag

The highlight of the trip was driving to the after party. Upon pulling up to the entrance and wondering if it was indeed the right place, a guy flew out of the door head first landing into a lump on the ground. Another guy came out shouting to someone still inside trying to pick a fight followed by a derby girl trying to diffuse the situation.

Meanwhile the guys in the car jumped out to see if the lump guy was alright. He wasn't moving and there was blood flowing out of him. While someone in the crowd called 911 I drove away to pick up the second wave of people, who also happened to be the paramedics. By the time we returned the bar was surrounded by fire trucks, police cars and an ambulance. The guy trying to pick a fight was gone and the blood on the ground had been washed away with water.

"That doesn't look good."

Despite the crazy drama we drove into, the skaters that were inside at the bar were all very nice people. A bunch of them that I talked to didn't even know what had transpired outside... until I showed them photos.

The quotes make the sign less demanding.

No comments: