Inside the safety of the harbor, hiding from Mavericks, we paddled around with Taco and Tipsy. Positioning themselves stoically in front of the kayaks, scanning the water for seals and jelly fish they "protected" us on our paddle.
Yup! As we all are doing awesome things in life, I wanted to brag about how excited I am to be in the water all weekend taking photos for the "Longest running longboard surf contest on the West Coast"!
Check out the event here: https://www.santa-cruz-longboard-union.com/
Long story short, I'll be at Steamer Lane snapping photos of young guns strutting their stuff, salty dogs riding the nose, and even duos styling it up! I am very excited to provide a different perspective than most viewers receive. Talk about front row seats huh? Here is a preview of the perspective you are going to get:
For some reason, living out of a van and taking photos for a living bewilders people. Here are some of my favorite questions I am often asked and how I want to respond:
Where do you poop?
Typically a toilet, usually a public restroom. I belong to a gym, so I'll often use their restroom throughout the day. However, I will dig a hole if I am backpacking like everyone else!
Where do you shower?
The puddles on the side of the road worry me, so I just don't shower... NO! My favorite shower is the ocean, however a river or creek will do.
How do you make money?
Well, I am a photographer. So, I sell prints (you can buy any of the images you see on the site acutally), I do free lance work, and work with a couple of companies meeting thier media demands.
Do you ever hang out with people?
Nope, just a loner that lives out a van who climbs, surfs, takes photos, reads, draws, etc. NO! I have tons of friends all over the country who I talk with and a great community in Santa Cruz that I spend almost every day with! Those people are who you typically see in the images.
How do you cook?
I try to have community dinner everynight, or at least cook for/with somebody nightly. I think there is something special about sharing food with all people. Recently, there were six people sharing a meal in the back of the van! Great converstations!
Sometimes all you need is time with a living creature!
At It's Beach in Santa Cruz, dogs swarm the beaches visitors. With a lengthy beach, a beautiful arch, and endless dogs if you are ever feeling down you can change that with a simple visit to this beach. I love coming to this sand pit and cuddling with those dogs who fancy me. Sometimes I get to throw a ball for a few different dogs and/or pet them until their owners say it's time to go!
Maybe you are not into the whole beach scene, that is chill as well because there are plenty of places to play with dogs away from that sand which never leaves your body!
If you have been dreaming of those airs you saw last month here are a few:
Consider me spoiled rotten, for I was able to hit the valley for a few days with my typical climbing partner. Two days and total of 10 pitches (plus two misinformed adventure up and down-climbs) my body and mind has been whipped.
Saturday started off with Surprise (5.10a) which ended up being my first valley 10. Exciting to open the door to a new milestone for climbing. The finger crack was really fun and what a surprise it is when the crack just disappears for a hot second and you make a few moves across some slab to a jug. Finishing off that day, we headed for some 5.7 cragging at knob hill.
Stoked to get after it, Sunday we climbed Absolutely Free (5.9). This gorgeous route definitely did me in on the route finding! Going WAY off route on the "first" pitch up a random gully, because I misread the topo like a dolt, forcing myself to down climb the 90 feet I had just climbed. Not to mention, my partner was like, "hey man, maybe it is to the right?" so there was another 120 feet of up and down climbing to start the morning. Yup, about 210 feet of up and down-climbing. On the bright side, all gear was saved! Only to find out we shouldn't have roped up because the route went left through a grove of trees and meandered around for about 200 feet more. I'm just shaking my head at myself right now.
However, once we got to the base of the first pitch we were ready for some bomber hands and Absolutely Free provided just that! A classic Yosemite adventure route with splitter hands and low-angled, finger lie-backing. Not only was the climb stellar, the view up-valley staring at Half Dome and Royal Arches was phenominal!
Pismo Beach to Santa Cruz
Waking up to some 10 foot bombs in Pismo, I threw on my wetsuit and grabbed my board. Without putting much thought into it, I was in the water until the wind picked up. Cold and tired from the long morning session, I hopped in the van and headed for Santa Cruz.
Turns out the waves where at home the whole time! The road trip was a nice way to spend a few days away, changing the daily routine, and reminding me there is a huge world out there that needs to be explored!