Posts Tagged surfing

Michoacán Rocks

Posted on May 12, 2010 by 3 Comments

In the morning I had plans to cook up a huge breakfast (really, I promise) but discovered that I had left my pots and pans on some rocks at the previous camp site. I piled them up planning on washing them after cooking dinner the night before (beach sand and salt water is a great way to scrub camp cookware) but simply forgot and later drove away. Oops.

Since I haven’t seen any cast iron camping cookware in Mexico (haven’t looked either), I decided to back-track up the road and see if I could find them. I left Angela and Bode at the beach. For possibly the first time this trip, I went for a long drive in Red Beard by myself.

And, I found all my stuff right where I left it. Nobody washed it either.

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After getting back to Maruata, we decided to keep moving south with Ane, Andres and Luca and go look for another good spot. We took turns leading, but ultimately ended up at Barra de Nexpa – another notorious surf break. It was huge. Over 12 footers. Once again, we weren’t even getting in the water. We parked under the palm trees and watched the surfers for the rest of the evening.

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There was quite a crowd here and the whole place is built around surfing. There are multiple places to camp, some cabanas and several restaurants. There’s exactly one surf shop, but they don’t do rentals. Andres has started shopping for a board and we’re starting to wonder if we should do the same. When else will we have the daily opportunity to just paddle out from our front door?

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The kids played and played. Angela walked up and discovered Bode was teaching Luca how a dog plays fetch. After a moment of thinking about it, she just started tossing sticks at them to retrieve with their mouths. Pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened 9 months ago. We all went to bed early after an excellent sunset.

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Over the past few days Bode has asked if we can go to Madagascar (and pointed to it on a map), Istanbul and now Tibet. I don’t know where this kid is getting his information, but none of those places are on our route.  He’s pretty persistent, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Filed Under: Michoacan

The Emerald Coast

Posted on December 3, 2009 by 2 Comments

Backing up a bit and picking up where we left off in Florida….

After swimming with the manatees, we drove up the coast and stayed on Saint George Island. A forgettable town, but they have a state park.  Then, we drove west along the coast through Apalachicola. Great name and a nice little town on the ocean. While driving through, we picked up some country radio and coincidentally the chorus of the song at that moment was constructed around Apalachicola. Tough to rhyme. It had to be some serious work to write that song, so it must be a great town.

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You really can’t get better than driving to white sand beaches on a sunny day in November, can you?  Jason found a beach bar/restaurant on Google Maps in Mexico Beach, Florida that looked interesting, so we found it along our way and decided to give it a try .

It had a playground on the beach, service in the sand, college football on 10 TV’s and fried pickles. All of us were happy. It was a nice day and we were feeling pretty lazy, so we stayed here most of the afternoon.  Long enough to hear from one of the employees who just got fired – but was still expected to work the rest of the day. Not smart.

This guy went around and spewed venom about the owners all afternoon, telling other employees where to set a match to the thatched roof if they wanted to burn the place down (seemed pretty accurate) and telling us about how the owners are laundering drug money.  Apparently, all the bills being deposited into the local bank are over 10 years old – something that just doesn’t happen since U.S. money is taken out of circulation fairly regularly. Anyway, his dad heard all this from the local banker, who was alerted by the FBI. All of this from a jilted employee making the rounds on his final afternoon. Check, please.

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We stayed a little further down the road at Saint Andrews State Park. There was a playground at the campsite and lots of kids, so we were pretty much set for entertainment. This was also a bit of a local surf spot. The problem was (as I saw it) that the break was right on the beach. You had to hop off your board before you were stuck in sand. If you wipe out, you’re in 1 foot of water. Not much effort to paddle out, I suppose, so you take the good with the bad.

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Filed Under: The South

Surf Canada?

Posted on October 9, 2009 by 6 Comments

We woke up and decided to head to Salt Springs Island, but then almost immediately turned around and went to Tofino – four hours across the island. It was a good time to go, as the weather was perfect.

The drive was long and winding, but we managed to find a few diversions along the way.  Kennedy Lake is huge and looked spectacular but there doesn’t appear to be any way to get to it by car.  Totally Pristine.  We did manage to find a few places to pull over and scramble over boulders and explore some rivers.  Bode decided it was time to graduate to the DSLR – those point and shoots are for kids.  As long as Jason and I can now have proof that we are sometimes in the same place at the same time.

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Closer to our destination, we pulled over at Long Beach and found a great spot with tons and tons of… surfers? The waves were perfectly formed – it all makes sense now.

Bode immediately found a 6 year old friend who had been boogie-boarding that morning. His dad said the water was about 8° C, and they lasted only 20 minutes with a 4 mm wetsuit.  I didn’t need to bother converting that – I wasn’t going in. Everyone had serious wetsuits, but several had dry-suits.  Under their dry suits?  Wet suits.  I wasn’t surfing.  The waves looked so perfect that Jason talked a bit like he might go tomorrow, but I know better.

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And I thought it was too cold to surf in SF. These people are hard-core. I heard that the swells on to the north are the largest in the world, and that there are pro surfers coming later this month for a major competition – the first ever “Cold Water Classic.”

We got into Tofino late in the afternoon and checked it out. Well, mostly we checked out the playground in the center of town (great zip-line!) It is a really cool little surfer town. Except for the frigid water and chilly evenings, it kind of feels like Mexico.  On the way into town, there are surfboards tied to trees with signs that say something like “Bob’s surf shack” and an arrow pointing down a dirt road.  We even managed to find a taco truck. The town consists of a few restaurants and stores, 10 tour companies, 10 surf shops and 3 glass blowers (required in these kinds of towns for some reason.)

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Our campsite was incredible. Right on the beach. Weather- we’re totally lucking out, it was still perfect and supposed to stay that way for the rest of the week.  The Germans at the site next to us passed over some cooked oysters and I even tried one (are you proud, Mom?). Not too bad actually, but I still wouldn’t order them at a restaurant.

Bode and I left Jason to make camp and dinner while we goofed off for a couple hours on the beach. Bode was down to his last pair of dry pants (too many beach stops this afternoon) so was wearing his skivvies. He does usually wear them. The temperature is dropping with the sun and  he is still running around in the surf and petting every dog that comes by. The sunset was amazing. Once the sun went down, the nights got pretty chilly. I’m not a great cold weather camper.

Campsite game time came and it was Bode’s turn at our new favorite game – Name That Tune. What does he hum? The Kinks‘ “You Really Got Me”.  I can be with that kid all day every day and he still surprises me.  Later he asks… “Do The Kinks have other rockin’ songs?”  Yes.  Yes they do.

So with all this great weather and scenery, we planned on staying awhile.

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Filed Under: British Columbia

The Dude Abides

Posted on September 28, 2009 by 3 Comments

Beach time!

Christin needed to get one of her fire pots to her friend in Seaside and we were all over the mission. The weather was stellar, so we were off. When we arrived at Moe’s we were greeted by a wide open door and the sign below. Nice.

Moe is the quintessential surfer dude.  He came riding in on a rusty old Schwinn cruiser with a tall boy in the drink holder. He’d surfed two sessions that day already. The dude abides.

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Within an hour he had gathered a group of friends and we walked, guitar and blankets in hand, to the beach for a bonfire. He said that he loved to ‘make home’ and that we should go down to the water and enjoy the sunset. Um, no problem, Moe.

He did his best to convince us that the weather was normal, and if I didn’t know any better I think I’d be staying at Moe’s forever. Clear and warm Oregon coastal evenings?

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Downtown Seaside is a bit touristy – Oregon’s Santa Cruz, but out at Moe’s it’s a little different. A bonfire, warm sand, friends, hot dogs (did I mention I LOVE hot dogs), sunset…  you just can’t take too many photos at Magic Hour.

A forty year-old beach bum and a four year-old kid have a lot in common.   Playing is the one and only priority.  Bode has a new hero and who’s to say he’s wrong.  Moe might be our new hero.

Oh, and Bode’s #1 favorite thing about Moe – he had an XBox. I’m not sure what game it was, but Bode got to drive a garbage truck through the streets of Paris.  He’s asked every day since to go back to Moe’s. According to him,  the beach and bonfire were okay but he wants to play his video game and drive around Paris.

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Filed Under: Oregon