Roughly 700 voluntary muscles are attached to the bones of the human skeletal system, like the rigging of some wildly complex sailboat. Consequently, bodysurfers don’t ride waves so much as captain flesh and bone. After he won the 2017 Pipeline Bodysurfing Contest in perfect head-to-overhead conditions, Mike Stewart was asked why he devoted so much time to such a practice. He thought for a moment then replied, “Because you are the planing surface. It’s up to you to create the shape.” (Pg. 122, The Surfer's Journal, 26-5)
Del Puerto Canyon is a door to the earth's mantle, to Mars, to the past -- perhaps to a parallel universe.
The nature of Big Sur is to slide perpetually into the ocean. It is a land of slides. It is a restless place. Yet even by Big Sur’s standards, the scale of the May 20 Mud Creek Slide inspired awe in even the most jaded of geologic engineers.
A gargantuan spiderweb hangs across the steep dirt road. It shimmers, translucent in the sunlight, slack lines nearly imperceptible. As I duck the web and trudge further up the road's corkscrew turn, the thick brush, thistle, weeds and poison oak part, revealing an ancient looking stone bench on the shoulder above the road. Finally. More than a year after I first searched for it, I have found the mysterious, nearly forgotten memorial to legendary California novelist Frank Norris.
Jay Collins created art and surfed in much the same way. He drew sleek, stylized lines across canvas and wave with a potent cocktail of emotion, creativity, and great technical skill. His work calls to mind contemporaries like Patrick Nagel—Japanese minimalism and Art Deco with a hard shot of alt-1980s—and captures a stylish Santa Cruz of a simpler decade.
Time in the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center and a hike to the "Hands" rock shelter.
Jungian mysticism, the nature of chaos and diving for jade in Big Sur.
13 miles through the rain in Big Basin with newts, fungi, waterfalls, Macbeth and the Beat Friar.
What I lost by sleeping with William Blake atop Big Sur's Cone Peak on a cold Christmas night.
When surrounded by penises you realize that each one is unique. Not unique like the divine delicacy of a snowflake—grotesquely unique like the melting nose of a waxen clown. But still unique.