I went on a surf trip with some buddies. It didn't go as planned.
The PLAN was to cruise up the 1 in a camper van we got from our friends at Van Craft; and have stops in Morro Bay, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and Yosemite. That, however, is not what happened.
What happened was a not-so-nice storm ruined our plans to go farther north than Big Sur, but that didn't stop us from having some fun south of that.
Our trip started on a surprisingly beautiful day. We got acclimated with our van/home for the next 4 nights and headed up the coast to try and score some waves.
Turns out there wasn't much surf to be had up the coast, so we decided to drive up to Santa Barbara and play tourist before heading to San Luis Obispo for dinner.
Once darkness settled over the coast, we ventured a bit farther north into SLO to hit my FAVORITE place to have dinner in Central California: Firestone.
Firestone is home to THE BEST tri tip sandwiches I’ve ever had and of the six of us, it was 4 of their first times. The consensus? I’m not a crazy man, it was in fact the bees knees.
We were then left to scramble for a place to stay for the night so we found a random RV park in Pismo with the intention of surfing Pismo the next morning. However, Pismo didn't decide to show up so we headed to surf Morro Bay instead.
I don't think Morro Bay likes me.
The reason I say is, is because it damn near killed me. The swells were 10-15ft but it looked manageable so four of us paddled out. The paddle out was super deceptive because it was actually super easy. However after about 15 minutes of trying to get into some waves, a clean up set rolls through (for those of you who don't know, that means when an abnormally large set of waves rolls through and takes everyone by surprise often dragging them towards shore) and of course I’m taken by it. This set was around the 15ft variety and holds me below the waves longer than I care to be at the mercy of the ocean haha. The worst part? It breaks my surfboard leash. So I now find myself in who-knows-how-deep water in shark country having to swim through these big waves to shore. A slight panic attack later, I make it back on land and everything is fine. Just the ocean reminding me what it could do if it wanted to.
Besides my little scare, everyone else had a good time and we fill our bellies with some brunch. After that, were off to Big Sur!
Big Sur is always magical.
Whenever I find myself on that stretch of coast, I can't tear my eyes away from it. Big Sur always seems to have super big surf but why my friends and I enjoy it so much is that you can see these swell lines roll in from miles away. Just so much sheer force in those waves.
Breathtaking as always.
After getting our fill of sight seeing we stop in Carmel for some dinner before heading back down to Morro Bay.
Originally, our plan would have been to continue north to Santa Cruz since it's a mecca of surfing. However, it was raining (neigh, POURING) for the time we would've been there and the surf was terrible in that time frame. Our trip would have then followed on into Yosemite, but with the storm and the government shutdown, it seemed best to surf back down south.
So we find ourselves again in Morro Bay for the night and I find myself having PTSD from that morning (kidding).
Next morning, we go back to morro bay to check the surf just in case, and instead decide on going south and surfing Ventura instead, C Street to be exact.
We arrive at the street of C and OH MAN IS IT FIRING. We eagerly hop in as fast as possible and surf our hearts out for about 4 hours enjoying Fair to Good conditions. Here's some pics of not me surfing
(Pics courtesy of my roommate @brody.harford who apparently hates me because he didn't get any pictures of me)
After that, we (you guessed it) ate more food and tried to figure out where to stay for the night. We can either stay in Ventura or venture a bit farther south in hopes LA has some decent surf. Unanimously we decide to stay in Ventura at Emma Woods right on the water and surf C Street again in the morning.
Our campsite ended up having some breaks right in front of us. They weren't great, but that didn't stop 3 of the group for paddling out for a sunset sesh anyhow.
Half the group getting ready to paddle out and surf NO WAVES while the smarter half stay warm and laugh at them.
We finally all settle in and have ourselves a proper camp dinner of hot dogs and beer. A simple dinner, but probably the most satisfying of the trip for sure.
The next morning, we take our talents south since C Street decided to be a bit blown out. After a quick but great breakfast at Pete's Breakfast House (highly recommend) and a stint of rain we find ourselves milling about in San Clemente. Again, the surf isn't great but half the group goes out anyway. Another routine of dinner and camping, we stay in San Clemente with the intention of surfing Trestles the next morning, but of course, mother nature has other plans.
We awake to a poor to fair trestles, so again after a group vote, we instead head back home to far better surf in Cardiff and end our trip with a stellar 3 hour surf session.
And that's it! Trips don't always go as planned, but with friends it always tends to end pretty darn well.
Those on the trip in case you want to follow on future adventures:
Myself, if you want to see what I look like since I never post myself:
Thanks for reading!!