Surf Trip 2019

I went on a surf trip with some buddies. It didn't go as planned.

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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.

THE BEAST, courtesy of Van Craft (thanks again)

THE BEAST, courtesy of Van Craft (thanks again)

We didn't.

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.

The gang exploring the wharf in SB

The gang exploring the wharf in SB

Our gloomy sunset

Our gloomy sunset

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.

El Rocko De Morro

El Rocko De Morro

I don't think Morro Bay likes me.

He thought the waves were cute but I thought he was cuter

He thought the waves were cute but I thought he was cuter

Between sets, from above

Between sets, from above

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.

Nerds

Nerds

Hey thats my job

Hey thats my job

The highest of fives to anyone who can spot the animal that scared the crap out of me

The highest of fives to anyone who can spot the animal that scared the crap out of me

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!

Thats not what the ladder is for (or is it…)

Thats not what the ladder is for (or is it…)

Big Sur is always magical.

Obligatory Bixby Bridge Pic

Obligatory Bixby Bridge Pic

Taking advantage of our rear windows

Taking advantage of our rear windows

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.

Not pictured: Asian tourists freaking out

Not pictured: Asian tourists freaking out

Breathtaking as always.

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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

Not me (its Nick)

Not me (its Nick)

Also not me (its Cody)

Also not me (its Cody)

HEY WAIT IS THAT ME?? Nope its Luke

HEY WAIT IS THAT ME?? Nope its Luke

(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.

Our little stretch of coast for the night

Our little stretch of coast for the night

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Half the group getting ready to paddle out and surf NO WAVES while the smarter half stay warm and laugh at them.

Um do you see any waves? Because I sure don’t.

Um do you see any waves? Because I sure don’t.

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.

Le Chef de Cuisiné, Sir Nickolas

Le Chef de Cuisiné, Sir Nickolas

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.

Sweet Sweet SC

Sweet Sweet SC

paddling out for the sake of paddling out

paddling out for the sake of paddling out

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:

@codywarford12

@codywarford12

@nickdrammissi

@nickdrammissi

@tannerhumes

@tannerhumes

@brody.harford

@brody.harford

Luke dosent have an instagram, but we like him anyway

Luke dosent have an instagram, but we like him anyway

Myself, if you want to see what I look like since I never post myself:

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Thanks for reading!!




















Alberta

OH MAN

OH MAN OH MAN

Alberta easily made my top 5 list of favorite places in the world. Whats the other 4 you ask? BACK OFF MAN MAYBE ILL WRITE ABOUT IT.

Anywho, Alberta was awesome. To show you that, this is literally what a pee break looks like in Alberta

LITERALLY JUST A RANDOM PULL OFF THAT HAD A BATHROOM

LITERALLY JUST A RANDOM PULL OFF THAT HAD A BATHROOM

I should also explain however. Alberta is home to the voted, number one most scenic highway in the world, the Icefields Parkway. Its covered in national parks in the Canadian Rockies so its just eye candy as far as the eye can see.

The kickoff to Alberta was special. We had the privilege of visiting and walking on top of the Athabasca Glacier. It was my first experience with anything like it and I was blown away.

All of us about to go HAM on a glacier and by HAM I mean walk with care and caution as tought by our guide here

All of us about to go HAM on a glacier and by HAM I mean walk with care and caution as tought by our guide here

This was the peak of summer so we were walking on a melting glacier which, when you hear that, seems sketchy. Then your guide tells you about Moulins and Crevasses and how they're death traps, so you get a kick of adrenaline from your brain saying "PAY ATTENTION RIGHT NOW IDIOT"

But this you see our other tour guide and you feel a bit better

But this you see our other tour guide and you feel a bit better

But the nice thing about melting glaciers is that youll get some of the best drinking water EVER

Bottled AT THE SOURCE

Bottled AT THE SOURCE

Group Pic

Group Pic

After our glacier trek, it was time for a two amazing rest stops followed by my favorite stop on this trip: Banff National Park

JUST ANOTHER PULL OFF ITS DUMB

JUST ANOTHER PULL OFF ITS DUMB

Just another dumb looking lake, totally stupid (p.s. can you spot the animal shape)

Just another dumb looking lake, totally stupid (p.s. can you spot the animal shape)

And on to the town of Banff. Banff is a stereotypical Canadian town where strangers smile and say hey to you and its creepy or nice I haven't decided yet.

Downtown Banff, home to a Billabong store, a zoo, and a pissed off laundromat lady who really needs to calm down it was just one bag of clothes.

Downtown Banff, home to a Billabong store, a zoo, and a pissed off laundromat lady who really needs to calm down it was just one bag of clothes.

Banff is simply amazing. The weather, people, and places are all just pleasant. What else made Banff amazing, is that it was also home to my favorite place on my favorite trip, Lake Moraine.

 

Why Moraine Lake Robin? Why not Lake Louise? Don't you know Lake Louise is the most photographed lake in the world?

Lake Louise is trash. It looks like someone poured milk into what was once a pretty lake and was full of selfie stick toting tourists.

I SATURATED THE CRAP OUT OF THIS AND ITS STILL TRASH

I SATURATED THE CRAP OUT OF THIS AND ITS STILL TRASH

Please compare the top picture of a garbage bin to the amazing, jaw dropping picture below of Moraine Lake.

I MEAN WHAT

I MEAN WHAT

A MAZE ZA ZING

A MAZE ZA ZING

After I had my mind blown in Banff, it was off to Calgary for the Calgary Stampede. Imagine if a fair had a baby with a rodeo, and thats the Calgary Stampede. I had lots of unhealthy food and finally SOME POUTINE.

Poutine, for those of you who might not know, is a Canadian standard that sounds terrible on paper. Its comprised of french fries, gravy, bacon, and cheese curds. Disgusting right? WRONG. Its amazing. I imagine its the Carne Asada Fries of Canada.

After the stampede, we exited Banff National Park, and entered Yoho, home to our last scenic stop at our last glacial lake.

A quick picture of hands down the tastiest cookie I've ever had.

A quick picture of hands down the tastiest cookie I've ever had.

THE SCENIC PLACES JUST DONT STOP

THE SCENIC PLACES JUST DONT STOP

Emerald Lake (above) was just as scenic and way less crowded so I'm just assuming this is all of Canada.

 

After Emerald Lake, the gang did get to go white water rafting but I don't have any pictures of that, so just know that it was wet, wild, and COLD like having sex in the snow with a bear (I imagine).

That basically concluded my trip in Canada. Again, I don't know how I got lucky enough to visit there as a job. I remember having a thought about a year ago thinking how awesome it would be to be to visit Canada. At the time of writing this, I've already been there again and know I'll find myself there again soon. 

This trip has opened my eyes to how addicting traveling can be, and how if any time, now is the time to do it. When else are you going to be able to truly travel then in your early twenties? in a few years your going to find yourself trapped by your career or by family. I strongly feel that if you have the means but are either just nervous or cautious, be like Nike and just do it. The memories made will 100% be worth an extra year behind a desk.

 

 

Also, Im still strongly considering buying a bus and living in it down by the river.

British Columbia

"Work" Trip numero dos

After my stint in SF, I arrive in Vancouver, BC excited to have a few days to myself before my second trip officially starts. I made plans to shoot and enjoy the much more temperate weather but LOW AND BEHOLD MY BODY BETRAYS ME. 

I got sick and the most annoying type of sick. Not the "oh man, I might need to go to the hospital" sick, but the "Well I feel good enough to eat this soup from subway, but not good enough to do anything else" kind. Luckily of my three days in Vancouver, it only took up two, so I was able to shoot with the ever awesome Bella Bucchiotti.

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Canada in "Summer"

It honestly felt like home (weather wise) except people were nicer. We drove to a spot I cant remember, but it was halfway between Vancouver and Whistler.

If I remember correctly, it was like warm enought that I didnt need the longsleeve that I was wearing that day,  but cool enough that I wasnt dying. 

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They don't have proper beaches though so SUCK IT CANADA

After a lovely day shooting, I got some much needed shut eye and started trip two.

The folowing morning we gathered round the van that would be home for the next two weeks and did our silly introductions of name, where we're from, and what your superpower would be. Everyone was all "Flying!", "Be Invisible!" but I said to freeze time so I could sleep more BECAUSE I'M NOT AN AMATEUR.

Anywho, we depart from Vancouver and head off to stop one: Whistler.

Whistler, for those who don't know ladies and gents, hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is a hub of attractive ass athletic people. Its the Colorado Springs of Canada basically. This trip also had a bit of a different dynamic, where we had another group from the same company join us for basically the entire trip.

US

US

THEM

THEM

Night one is also where I found out that APPARENTLY IM A DELICACY TO MOSQUITOES.

But day two was my introduction to Canada. The group gets to do whatever they want in Whistler, which for me meant getting as high as I could (ALTITUDE WISE CHILL)

pffft whatever its just a mountain

pffft whatever its just a mountain

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I N U K S H U K

This what greets you on top of Whistler, a statue made for the 2010 olympics crafted after the Inuit made landmarks of the past. Makes for a hell of a photo op as well.

View going down back to civilization

View going down back to civilization

So Whistler was a great introduction to Canada.

We left whistler after two nights there and went off to our next stop: Wells Gray.

Our first introduction to this park was a blind conga line led by our guide Stacey to our first proper waterfall. 

Not Pictured: Mosquitoes going to freaking town

Not Pictured: Mosquitoes going to freaking town

The hype didnt dissapoint

The hype didnt dissapoint

The great thing about visiting during this time of year was that it was during peak snowmelt so every waterfall we came across was PUMPING with a huge amount of water, so that was neat.

We were able to stay in Wells Gray in some nifty cabins and enjoy a proper campfire

WEENIES

WEENIES

B R E K K I E

B R E K K I E

It was the first proper time that our groups mingled and it was reminiscent of a high school dance where each group were on opposite sides of the campsite until our guides (chaperones) initiated a mingle sesh around the fire (the alcohol helped).

The next morning was time for hike to another waterfall, but this time we could get a little closer.

Okay,  PRETTY  close

Okay, PRETTY close

DA CREW

DA CREW

After the brief stint in Wells Gray, we were off to Jasper National Park for the picture that is now my screen saver.

This isnt it, this was just a random lake we stopped at for lunch. Yes, we did swim, no I didnt have a towel.

This isnt it, this was just a random lake we stopped at for lunch. Yes, we did swim, no I didnt have a towel.

THIS is my current desktop background

THIS is my current desktop background

Jasper is also home to where Robin said "Yeah I can ride a mountain bike 13 miles without a problem", HA no I can't. It was up and around a mountain but since I'm an idiot I just took the bike and went. Half the time biking was spent making sure I was on the wrong trail (my phone didn't have service in Canada so I did it old school), while the other half was making as much noise as possible to scare any bears away since we were in BLACK BEAR AND GRIZZLY COUNTRY.

PROOF (captured from the saftey of inside our van)

PROOF (captured from the saftey of inside our van)

And as we spent our last night in Jasper, the next day we were off to Alberta, and more importantly Banff National Park, where photographers dreams are made (continued in my next post :D)

 

As always, thanks for reading!