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Posts tagged ‘road trips’

what i did on my summer vacation

Did I tell you about the crabs? I don’t think I told you about the crabs.

In August, I went to Seattle to talk to the crew at evo.com, who are a brick and mortar and online retail outlet. They sell all our favorite toys, basically — skis, bikes, surfboards, whathaveyou. They’re trying to crack the code on how to do retail in an internet world and so far, it’s working out for them, thanks to a combination of fun, in-store events and extensive online inventory. Founder Bryce Phillips is convinced that the outdoor industry needs brick and mortar stores and he’s out to find a model that works. You can read more about that whole thing here.

But you were wondering about the crabs. After hanging out with the crew at evo and eating amazing food at Joule, I hopped in the car and drove out to Westport. That sounds easy enough, I thought. And then I started driving, through Seattle traffic, which is no joke; though the military base traffic outside Olympia, also no joke; through the fork in the road with the unlit signs; and then through a whole long stretch of dark, tree-lined nowhere. I drove west, chasing a sliver moon as it slid toward the horizon, the trees standing as dark shadows on a still-darker sky.

In Inverness amidst dark store fronts and criss-crossed bridges, I nearly miss my turn. I’ve driven enough stage races to believe, maybe wrongly, that I can find anything, any small dot of a town in the middle of nothing, any start or finish line randomly drawn across a road somewhere a long way from anywhere. But this darkness was another thing altogether and the mailboxes dotting the road offered the hint that anyone else existed in the world at all. Another punk song, another few miles. Finally, a right turn and there.

Of course, in the daylight, none of this was any kind of drama at all. It was just a road like any other road to anywhere. I woke up in a renovated motor inn, called The Loge, with an espresso machine and a tap room. Whenever I find an espresso machine, and I’ve found them in some unexpected places, I know I’ve found my people.

Try surfing they said, it’ll be fun, they said. So off we went to surf at Westlaven State Beach, which has a convenient jetty. Jetties and surfing go together like peanut butter and chocolate, on the whole. This one had some weird bendy shit going on, but on the whole, it lined things up alright. The wind blew onshore. And the water was quite simply the coldest water ever.

Everyone said it wouldn’t upwell in August, but everyone was totally wrong. The thing about upwelling is, that you can’t use the offshore bouys to get a temperature reading. The near-shore water temperatures can be up to ten degrees colder. The bouy said it was 58. This was totally not 58. Totally not. Anyway, upwelling. It’ll freeze your brains. And every other part of you. Next time, more neoprene.

Also no one told me about the crabs. There were crabs and they were giant, just scuttling around on the sand in the shallows. Sharks, orcas, whatever. Get those crabs away from me, man, get them away.

But you’re wondering about the waves. Yes. There were waves. And also, like every surf line-up every where, there were a four or five locals on the best peak surfing circles around me, the weird girl with bare feet in freezing water, who clearly wasn’t from around those parts.

You’re never especially anonymous in a surf line-up as a woman, and this was no different. They weren’t mean. Locals are rarely overtly mean. They just politely and smoothly owned the peak. No harm, no foul, I’ve done the same. There was in fact something soothing in the routine of it, large crabs, freezing water, and dark roads aside, surfing is the same the world over.

Surfing rewards patience. And eventually, I got a few just before I turned into an ice block.

tour of utah 2016

tworiders

I have more! In an actual gallery! You can look at them if you like.

what’s in my bag

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We were sitting in a van with not especially functional air conditioning in an especially hot part of the planet talking about not much of anything. The landscape blurred. The air conditioning labored.

We got to joking about the weird things we carry. My bag and its collection of odd ball contents had already become a running joke among us. Hungry? I got you. Bleeding? Well, I can fix that, too. At least temporarily.

I promised my friends I’d make a list in the spirit of Glamour’s recurring feature. It pretty much goes without saying that Glamour’s bags are way more, well, glamourous than mine. But I’m pretty sure I have more snacks — and snacks always win.

So here goes!

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chasing bike racers

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Wiggins downplayed the perception that there is conflict between Froome and him. “We’re just two very competitive guys going for the same spot,” he said. He also acknowledged the team’s attention has switched away from him to Froome. “I don’t want to say I was abandoned, I think that’s the wrong word,” Wiggins said. “But I look after myself now and I go out and train and stop at garages and fill up water bottles and things like that.” — Wiggins captures California, unsure of what lies ahead.

Photo Gallery

Some extras from the Potts-Cunningham story for Mountain Flyer.

the map

He drew me a map, the paper torn from my notebook. We stood over the hood of his white truck, a diesel converted by hand to run on vegetable oil.

We were stopped by the side of a road running through the cow pastures. The grass gleamed green from the winter’s rains. Only the wind interrupted the silence. The fence lines marched straight until they disappeared over the crest of the hill.

There’s a climb here, he said. Then you descend a short ways and turn left. HIs pen traced out the switchbacks of the twisting descent and the sharp bend of the turn. In small tidy print, he spelled out the names of the roads. After the schoolhouse, you turn right…

— Read the rest at Adventure Journal. 

 

Gavia Goes to Vegas

I went to Las Vegas for Interbike. Here’s a story I wrote about it. Sometimes I write all serious and factual like. This is not one of those times. Enjoy!

Gavia Goes to Vegas