you may get wet

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Old enough to know better. Young enough to do it anyways.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Do You Know the Street Value of this Mountain?

Before I had surf buddies, I had ski buddies. While I was down in Southern Oregon over the holidays, I had a chance to catch up with some of them and rekindle my love affair with the mountains.

When I was five years old, my parents took my two older brothers and me to Mt. Bachelor for a family ski vacation. Problem was temperatures on the mountain maxed out at -30 degrees. Not to be deterred, my dad and I crashed and careened down the bunny hill until my smile was frozen solid and his hands were black.

From that day on I was hooked.

Twenty-five years later and a disproportionate amount of my life has been spent on the slopes of Oregon. In particular, on Mt. Ashland. Yesterday, OS, Dak, Spoons and I found Mt. A in rare form. A massive storm had shut the mountain down for two days with blizzard conditions. On the third day, the storm passed, the sun shown and a foot and a half of powder beckoned. We skied until we could ski no more. Roughly about three hours. We’re all in pathetic ski shape, which would have felt embarrassing if I could have felt anything other than complete exhaustion.

P.S. – Today I feel stiffer than I do surfing backside.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Take 'em out at the Toes

In Cabo last summer I had the misfortune of stepping on a sea urchin. Five months later and the urchin is still puttin’ some serious hurtin’ on me. Two months ago, a long-buried spine bubbled to the surface of my foot. After repeated Epson salt soakings I thought my toe would lose its pig in a blanket look and return to normal shape; unfortunately it’s only become more inflamed – adding ketchup to the little piggy.

At this point, I’ve been unable to run for nearly two months, which means my only form of exercise is surfing and cycling. But freezing temps, hurricane winds and enough rain to drown Noah (of Biblical fame, not Winchester) mean my only exercise is none.

With this sort of training regiment firmly (or not so firmly) under my belt, I headed out surfing yesterday with Nash, aka Winchester. We drove through snow, climbed over wind-felled trees and sludged through mud only to find the break sloppier than Britney Spears on a Saturday night. We plunged ahead and were quickly swept south by a strong rip. After one failed attempt to pop on a ledgy, three headed monster of a wave I found myself all the way on the inside. Little did I know at the time, but that would prove to be my best ride of the day.

Well, maybe I’ll get a new toe for Christmas, then my foot will fit in a ski boot and I can start skiing to fill the void left by surfing. Or maybe I’ll just have to join Chum and OS next time they skip town for a sun-fueled surf sesh in Mexico. Que suerte!