When I was a teenager, I remember taking all the money I had at the time($22) and filling up the tank of my Volkswagen Scirocco and taking off for the entire day. This was a real treat for me back then. As I lived with my grandparents at the time and had no money even tho I had a job at Orchard Supply Hardware. Lets keep in mind that minimum wage at the time was somewhere around $3.35, which meant I was broke as it was only part time. It was 1987 and I was a young artist who didnt have a place in this world. So, my escape from my small town life was “escaping”. After i filled up my tank, I took off across from the East Bay towards Marin County, past San Quentin Prison, up over Mt Tamalpais and down into Stinson Beach…which at the time was a tiny coastal village north of San Francisco….it’s still a tiny coastal village, but the magic of it has long since past.
I took Hwy 1 up north to the even SMALLER village of Bolinas. Talk about a hidden gem on the California coast. The residents are sooo bent on being invisible from the general public that a vote was passed that absolutely NO signage to the village was ALLOWED. It’s a quaint little place in a beautiful location on the Pacific Ocean and also the place I learned to surf as a teen. I fell in love with surfing and fell in love with the Pacific due to my dad, who introduced it to me when he and my mom were still married. I was 6 mos old when he 1st set my toes into the sea, which was back in Oceanside Ca. But thats another story.
Here I was, back in Bolinas, with a shitty surfboard, ZERO dollars and a smile on my face. I DO need to say that Bolinas is also home to some of the largest concentrations of Great White sharks on the West Coast of the US.
I parked my crap mobile near the beach entrance and checked the surf. As per usual, it was shit. Windy, foggy, wrong swell direction, and freezing cold water. But hey, I drove ALL this way right and I spent my last $22 bucks…of COURSE Im going surfing!
The surf was AWFUL, but the experience being in the cold Pacific Ocean, at one with nature, not a care in the world, yet also very fearful of the Man in the Grey Suit…all equaled a great memory.
After surfing, I was starving and had no money, so I went into survival mode and had the goal of feeding myself something, anything!. Although I am not one to steal things, I did find a property with cucumbers and onions growing, so I picked a few and headed back down towards the beach. I found a lemon tree along the way and took just one to add to my lunch. I planned on hanging until the sun went down, so I took a cup of sea water and placed it over a small fire I made on the beach. I kept the sea water in an old coke can that I cut in half and placed it high above the fire. In about 2 hrs the sea water evaporated and left a chalky residue within the can. THAT, my friends was fresh sea salt that I sprinkled on my sliced cucumber and onion salad that I made. I didnt have a bowl or utensils, so I put the veggies in a plastic ziplock bag I had in my car and squeezed the lemon juice in, added the salt. I sealed up the bag, and let it sit in the sun while I took a lazy, semi-chilly beach nap as the fog rolled in and out of the Bolinas Bay. I was rudely awakened by a local dog who rushed up an started sniffing madly at my face with a nose covered in sand which made its way ALL over my face. Guess I was done sleeping. I made some cheezy chop sticks out of some twigs I carved with my pocket knife.
Wow, was I hungry. I opened my sun drenched veggie bag of love and ate like I was a Christopher Columbus type dude. It was a delicious, citrus & salty based lunch right off the land.
After a 4:30 lunch, I decided it was best to leave and make the hour+ drive back to the East Bay. It was rush hour, so it actually took 2.5 hrs of shit Bay Area traffic to get back home, but here I am 26 YEARS later, recanting the memory that will last a lifetime….traffic or not.
Go…travel…explore…venture out into a world that is soooo large that you will discover something new EVEN in you’re OWN backyard.