The Peelgrimage: Part One

In an effort to avoid over analyzing our experience, I'd like to look at the idea as opposed to the activities. Two guys, travelling in a mildly modified cargo van, sleeping on the side of the road, searching for surf, eating, drinking, and working when we have to. I'm aware this is something most people can't accomplish. Tied down to a desk, a dog, an apartment or an idea. So when Chris came to me, willing to split the cost of gas and sleep in a small space while we wandered from Washington to somewhere south of San Diego, I agreed before he finished his first sentence.

As long as I have access to the internet, I can, hypothetically, be just about anywhere. So we settled on the month of March. Chris would fly into Seattle on the 2nd, load his shit into the van, and head south as soon as possible. Logistics were our only issue. When and where to surf, etc. A problem that would be remedied following a few phone calls.

Three logs lay atop our cargo van as we pulled onto I-5, with the front end pointed due south. The bed Karissa and I built the year prior would serve as both sleeping and storage space. Chris brought quite a few cameras, an assortment of wetsuits and a duffle bag with all sorts of other stuff. I packed equally as light. We had arranged to stay at Point Mugu, a military base on the coast of California, just south of Ventura. Ten days in that area, and then south toward San Diego.

It was almost midnight by the time we pulled into our friend Angel's driveway just north of Portland. She fed us roasted chicken and peach pie. The next morning we ate a late breakfast before getting on the road around noon. The second day of our trip would take us all the way to Williams, CA, where we would sleep in a truck stop parking lot. On the the third day we went to see my friend Steve, who was visiting his mother's vineyard, somewhere to the west of Cazadero.

Rough roads turned to gravel. Our cargo van creeping through the corners. The vineyard sits on something like forty acres, seven of which have been planted with grapes for syrah and pinot. That afternoon, after exploring a small piece of the property, we drank wine and watched the sun set through a clearing in the trees. Set on Santa Cruz, we said our goodbyes and then wound our way through the woods, arriving at New Brighton State Beach shortly before 3am.

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