California Adventure in 1996
It was the summer of 1996. I decided to travel to Southern California via train with myself and my boogie board. I would depart from White Sulphur Springs, WV to San Juan Capistrano, CA (where the swallows come home) to pay a visit to my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin: and also pay a visit to the Pacific Ocean. El Nino was in town this year, and San Clemente had a familiar break (T street) that I was anxious to meet again. My girlfriend and I had just broken up after a roller coaster, but lovely at times 4 year relationship. To say the least I had a very heavy heart.
The voyage began…train trip, broken heart, boogie board, and suitcase full of supplies. Layover in Chicago, Sears Tower observation deck with girl I met on train, drinks at the train station, drinks on the train…Came in through Needles at night, arrived in LA in the morning. Rental car, grey Dodge Stratus if I remember correctly, California Plates :D…I had to get to Mexico!, hadn’t been for a few years, so excited to be on the west coast, body tingling with anticipation, I’m smiling…, picked up hitchhiker in San Diego, he happened to be walking to pick up his car from shop (VW bug/he had dreads), ended up at Dog Beach, he brought back treat, I was happy, returned dude to shop to pick up car, thanked dude…Crossed the border, couldn’t stop driving, beautiful offshore islands, got to Ensenada, walked around, met weird dude in pizza shop, went to bar, drank dos equis, went to ocean, ahhh…chillax break, back to San Juan Capistrano.
That was day one!, so I will compress the rest.
The rest of this trip was very interesting. For one day I stayed with my family in San Juan Capistrano and enjoyed their pool, perched atop a hillside overlooking the ocean in the far distance and the 5 in the nearer distance below. But I had so much fun in San Diego that I decided to spend the rest of my vacation there in OB (Ocean beach). For the next week I explored as many beaches and breaks as I could on highway 1 from San Diego to Los Angeles. El Nino brought huge waves into dog beach, where I found myself alone in the Pacific surrounded by mountainous swells that I was a little sketchy about. I was used to riding the east coast waves of places like the Outerbanks, Virginia Beach, and Florida. There were a few local surfers out there with me. Right now I can still see the look of excitement and epicness on their faces. I’m privileged to have shared that moment with them.
The day came to head home, and I was once again faced with a two and a half day train ride across the country…..Train trip, smokers car, a beautiful girl named Audra fleeing from her demons in Phoenix, that layover in Chicago, and finally the arrival in White Sulphur Springs. Granddaddy was there to greet me, along with mom, and my cocker spaniel Cookie.
Glad to be home! what’s next?
(me in 1996)