There are great elements to every day on the water that come together perfectly for you to embrace. Everyday you learn something new, you see something you've never seen before, you feel something unique to that day. If a person is open to new experiences and new adventures, then every day is a fresh, exciting journey.
I woke up last week, cracking early on a Monday, which I would never do unless the sea wasn't calling. The drive out to the coast from the house is an hour and change that is reserved for waking up, pumping tunes and yerba mate' directly into my veins. Just as this cocktail of stimulants converged on my system, the full moon peeked through the western clouds just moments before setting into the great Pacific. I feel like a Full moon setting is something that I must have experienced before but I couldn't imagine a more perfect, haunting light to follow to the coast.
As I ripped over the Coast Range, our gateway to the sea, the passing trees began to reveal themselves, little by little, until finally they exploded with sunlight and our endemic light drizzle.
In February, when you see sunlight cresting the hills and bouncing off their tops you kind of freak out. I usually mark the occasion with some strange hoot of a sound that I can't control. It sort of just happens, not my fault. I was still reeling from the moonset I had seen earlier when I rounded the bend and was slapped in the face with a sunrise rainbow. Again, I swear I must have seen this kind of thing before but couldn't recall it. Another new, maybe once in a lifetime experience facilitated by Cascadia's dynamic weather patterns. Good omen? Maybe.
My goal for that day was to surf a new board I got from Imagine Surf. That was it. I wanted waves, good waves and in February when the sun is shining on 8ft waves, you go.
One of the greatest things about SUP surfing in Oregon is that you don't just pull up the the beach, park, hop over a dune or two and slide into the surf all in a matter of seconds. Don't get me wrong here, there are days when that is all I want to do. There are days when I just want it to be easy. But that is not what surfing here on the 'People's Coast" is all about. For 50 years the entire coastline of our state has been public domain, hence "People's Coast" moniker. What that fosters, is nature surfing. Just you, your paddle, your board, reconnecting with nature's rhythm. Not a single man-made structure in sight. What it also creates, unlike anywhere else on the planet, is a whole boatload of gritty surfers who know what it takes to get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
SUP surfing in Cascadia is about weaving your way down a wooded path past massive fir trees that have stood their ground for hundreds of years, ever since this land was cared for by the Chinook people. SUP surfing here is about setting up your fire wood on the beach to spark once your session is over. It's about the arena of cliffs and trees that witness every line you carve and every drop you don't make. Our water here shines like a crystal, cool, Caribbean on Monday and thick like chocolate milk on a Tuesday. But what you get is a journey. You work for your reward. And what a sweet reward it is.