surfing (162)

Rollin’ Again


I gave up skateboarding after a fractured arm a year and a half ago. Mature decision.

But I still had the fever. On the Waldo Approach, I’d fantasize no cars and being able to carve across 5 lanes. Each time I saw smooth and/or fresh pavement with the right downslope, I’d get excited.

Yesterday I got out of the dentist’s and was looking at the smooth pavement, and thought, Why not? Got on my board for the first time in a year, felt a bit creaky, but started rolling and the feeling came back. It was so much fun! I decided to start skating again. Bunny slopes. Not pushing it any more. Better to skate carefully than to suffer the spills that go with the thrills of more aggressive skating.

I must be one of the least-accomplished skaters around, but I love it.

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Night Vision Binoculars


Foster Huntington was arriving after dark Tuesday and I texted him, got a flashlight? He texted back … got something better than a flashlight.

When he got here we walked out into the dark. He said, “Close your eyes.”

Whereupon he fitted this helmet with night vision binocs on my head and said “Open your eyes.”

The dark night was alight! 10 times as many stars. I could see a galaxy. Trees, road, paths, animals all bathed in ghostly light.

It’s like a third world: formerly I had day and night. With these you have lighted-up night. Sure, you can see at night with a flashlight, but it doesn’t light things up 360°. Also, people and animals aren’t aware that you can see them. Foster says he’s been out at night with them, and he can walk right up to rabbits.

Surfing in primo spots at night (they are waterproof, but you sure wouldn’t want to lose them); hunting for mushrooms in secret spots; mountain biking at night without visible light — possibilities are endless.

The only problem is that apparently, the good ones are really expensive.

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A Night on the Beach

Spent first night after Equinox on beach in this beautifully constructed little shack. Had a wooden floor!
I like the ephemerality of beach shacks. It’s always a surprise to see them, and they’re never there for long.

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Home Sweet Home on Baja Beach

I’ve probably posted this before, but I just ran across it again. 1983 Toyota 4×4, a few years before they had independent suspension for front wheels. The Baja natives preferred it because the front axle was stronger. Air Camping tent, made in Italy; this was before rooftop tents were even known in the USA. Up off the beach, or desert floor, no worry about snakes or scorpions, breezes blew through mosquito netting. I’d drive 12 miles east of San Jose del Cabo, then down an arroyo to beach, then let air out of tires and go another 2 miles on soft sand to a secluded spot where there was surf, fish and a shipwreck. I’d orient the tent so that I faced the water, put up the 12′ by 14′ flea market tarp (anchored by hanging sand bags), and spend 4-5 days in solitude. No need for clothes.

In summer heat, I’d pretty much stay inside the shade from 11 AM to 5 PM; the sunrises and sunsets were exquisite times of day. Go surfing or paddling or swimming, run on beach, wander in desert. The tropical desert in Los Cabos area (just below Tropic of Cancer) is subtle. When you get to know it, you see all kinds of life and beauty therein.

I’d remove all signs of having visited the beach when I left.

Of course, I hear there’s a house there now, and I’ll bet some gringo has blocked beach access.

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Camping on remote beach Sunday night

Boy! Partly due to injuries, including a compoundly fractured arm from — yes, I know — skateboarding, stupid! — I pretty much quit surfing about 3 years ago. Plus it was getting more difficult to spring up from prone to standing. (Ah, what didn’t I take for granted in younger years?) But also, I really like what I’m doing in producing books and that’s meant a  lot of indoor time. And the water is so cold, and it’s such a hassle struggling into a wet suit and…and…

During these years I haven’t felt that great. Not bad, but not energetic.

I got a wakeup call when I visited Bob Anderson at his home in the Colorado mountains a few weeks ago. Bob’s the author of our book Stretching, and my visits there have always included long runs, walks, snowshoeing or cycling. Except I hadn’t been there for maybe 10 years.

We got in his car and drove about 45 minutes to a remote unmarked trail at about 9000 feet altitude, and went on a 4-hour round trip hike to the site of a plane that had crashed in the mountains in 1952. I realized I was out of shape. The next day, we “earned our dinner” by hiking up and down some really steep rocky trails with hiking poles. It was a wakeup call.

I’m swimming more, starting to ride a pedal assist bike, and getting back out with my Haut 10′ Surftek board. My 2nd time out, yesterday afternoon, got 3 rides, one prone, two kneeling. Working on getting up, but with some torn hamstring tendons plus codger stiffness, maybe I won’t be able to. Yesterday, I thought, even kneeling on a longboard is fun. Get over it! (One surfer here said to me as he showed me his new kneeboard, “I’ve gone over to the dark side.”) Not really.

Point is not to give it all up because age is limiting your chops.

I felt so great last night after getting out of the water.

How could I have forgotten?

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