10 years ago I quit my favorite job of all time and drove away from Seattle with just a basic gameplan for an uncertain future. At the time I never knew it was the perfect snowboard brand filled with people who held a lot of my same beliefs on what a quality life means. It was a little risky to leave, but at the time the economy was picking up, jobs were plentiful, we didn't know what the Great Recession was bringing, and I was full of hopes and dreams. All I wanted to do was live at the beach and surf my brains out. And it worked out fucking awesome! Why not take that same chance again, only older, a little more experienced, more broken down, but still with those hopes and dreams of an 43 year old? Today, almost exactly 10 year to the day, I'm once again letting intuition, guesswork, wanderlust, ADD, and trust be my guide. Because I am so stoked on the company I work for, it was with a lot of regret that I put in my notice at work today. There is hands down, no better company than Patagonia if you're into action sports, quality gear, and supporting the cause. I didn't necessarily love my particular job, but I would've stayed there forever if it was located at the beach instead of Reno. There's a slim chance I transfer somewhere inside the family, and I'm working hard to make that happen. But that's really beyond my control. I have 2 weeks until I don't need a clock of any kind and can wake with the sun and go to sleep by the moon. I'll spend every single day biking, hiking, clownin, slapping high fives, drinking coffee, inter netting, slothing, reading, fishing, and/or surfing. Even with a tuneup on the Subaru, and since I live relatively low, I have roughly 200 days worth of cash to burn through before I must make a decision. And I also have 65,000 Alaska Airline miles in my back pocket. That's all before the emergency fund gets drained.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
― H.P. Lovecraft
So with a bit of fear and in no hurry to just take any old job, I'm gonna take a little adventure and try to shake that out of my system. First stop is Idaho...as long as it doesn't burn down before I get there. The mountain bike trails in Sun Valley are gorgeous and empty. There's friends and fish I need to catch up with over there also. After a couple weeks, I'll head north to Lewiston and catch up with my old man. That town blows, but my step mom just had a quick scare with the dreaded cancer. As quick as possible, the Seattle leg of the 2013 Jeff Experiment begins. Hope to catch up and surf with The Worlds Greatest Landlord, By By Bybee, World's Worst Dad, and possibly Galapagos. There's a surf zone in the Pacific Northwest that seems to be calling my name. I will have to go see what's going on over there and camp among the moss. When I get into some sort of surf shape, the plan is to head to some long, cold water left point breaks, possibly Chile Chile has those, and it's been in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Empty, cold, lefts. I'll head down to Portland first to hang with my mom and brother for a few days. There are just way too many P-Town peeps to pop in on, but I know where to find them. Plus my family can look after my camper and car while I'm out of country. I'd like to work on my Espanol while I'm in South America as well, and I'm in luck. There's an awesome school in Pichilemu. After surfing and cramming my brain full of knowledge, then it's onto the completely unknown. I'd love to expat somewhere. Or I'd like to end up back in Santa Barbara. Perhaps I end up back in Sun Valley slingin Hendricks & Tonics with a cucumber slice to my old boss Gumby all winter. I'm letting people, experiences, and Dumb & Dumber be my guide.
Friday, August 9, 2013
My camper needed a few minor adjustments after test camp #1. The door handle nearly fell off last time due to all the rattling and a few other screws got the Loctite treatment. Then it was off for test spin #2 the last couple days. Since there was no surf in the forecast, I set sail south, down the 395, along the Eastern Sierras with no real schedule. My only plan was to drive till I was bored and/or felt the need to stop. Only a couple hours and it was time. That first night was spent along the West Walker River breathing fresh air and reading next to the fire. I like fire. Fire good. Fishing along the river the next morning I landed a few mini fish, but the water level was very low and the going was slow. So I packed up my shit and moved down the road to the East Walker River where all the big fish live. I wasn't fishing at the best time of day, but there was a big ol thunderstorm heading my way and it was now or never. The river has some really hard access points, it always seemed like I wanted to be on the other side, but no way to get there. The first hole I picked was just impossible to reach, too deep, too fast, and too many bushes everywhere. Could've used a machette. So I drove back and dropped in on another hole that was even deeper, way slower, and fish were rising all around. This is where all the big old rainbows and browns lived. And they were safe with me around. Because, although a couple of the littler guys went after the flyies I was chucking at them, they never jumped on my hook. But it was definitely a gorgeous stretch of water that I'll hit up the next time. With the storm approaching it was time get out o there. I cleaned of the grit and grime with some some hot springs near my campground. There really is a lot of weirdos at every hot springs. The night ended with ZzzQuil, a fire, and more reading. I'm very boring. Today was a little more hot springing and fishing. For tomorrow I head back to the desk.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Sweet baby Jesus, please give me the strength to not quit my job this week and hit the road in early September. It's a big world out there with so much to experience and do, but I should remain here, in my cube, waiting, just waiting, like veal. And for Christ's Sake, I should not be camping along Trail Creek, biking over Heidelberg Hill to Adams Gulch to Chocholate gulch, and fishing the Big Lost with friends in Idaho before hopping a plane to South America for a month or two even though I can use my miles and the whole trip would be really cheap. There is no reason I should bounce around jobless at 43 living out of my 13foot trailer living my dream when I get back. Just stay the course, steady as she goes. Keep loading up the 401K and fixing the body with the health insurance. Live for the 2 Days off each week and occasional Paid Holidays. Stop dreaming please.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Mid way through summer and I'm just getting into the swing of things. A wonderful cortizone shot a few weeks ago knocked out the iliospoas tendonitis pain in my hip...for now. So I've been ramping up the spandexing. I'm pretty sure I saw mountain lion and bear tracks during today's ride up at Lake Tahoe. Also, my camper is campable and near remodel completion. A little more finish work and the Boler will be 100%. So I went camping last week as a test. Although, in all honesty, the camping consisted of backing into my buddies driveway in Crapitola and surfing my face off for a couple days. My last wave of the trip was all time. I'd been watching the waves and noticed random giant wide-swinging set appeared at regular intervals at a peak between the Hook and Sharks. So I claimed my peak and picked off tons of smaller ones between the bigger ones. Then an overhead, near-closeout wave popped up and I scored the pocket for what seamed like forever, just waiting to get ejected, which never happened. Just a screamer for a couple hundred yards. I continued to mindsurf that sucker for the next few days. Next week, on may days off I'm gonna find a river with fish, a trail to crush, a hot spring to soak the legs, and a hidden campground to get weird at. And there will be a bean bomb.