Surf trips aren't like other road trips. Waves are fickle. Swell direction, wind and and hydrodynamics dictate how they break. When the stars line up, you move slowly. Driving down the coast, you make frequent stops inspecting the waves, looking at maps and debating before pulling out the boards and the wetsuits. When the waves are bad, you make up time, speeding along highways to get to another area. Everything gets sandy and your wetsuits stay wet.
Stopping in San Francisco, Dan and I met up with Nolan, a friend from Maine, and headed south. Nolan works for Grain, a company that makes wooden surfboards from locally grown cedar trees. With four days of free time and 470 miles of roads snaking along the coast, we left the Bay Area on Sunday night. Unlike most of my travels in the last two months, this time we parked at night in open lots and poached campgrounds, leaving before daybreak to avoid fees. Measuring our latitude by the quality of the Mexican restaurants, we headed south towards LA. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon we stopped to surf. All day we searched.
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Mark Twain. This was late September, but you get the picture.
Empty Road along Big Sur.
Get up and go.
I pulled the shift lever out of third, let off the clutch and coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Route 1. Peering over the out of the passenger's window I turned down the music.
"Damn, those are huge."
"Ehhh, I doubt they are rideable. There's no consistency and the outside sets would fuck you."
"Not to mention, the paddle would be a chore."
"Keep going?" I said shifting into first.
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