by Dan Malloy
After being on the road for a good part of the last 15 years, I have a lot of catching up to do at home. The truth is, for about ten of those years I didn't think twice about California, never felt home sick or that I was missing a thing. Well, that time has passed. I am not sure if I'm just getting older or whether I've figured out that there are a 100 lifetimes worth of adventure here at home.
A while back I had an idea that seemed like a really fun way to see our coastline – like I do the far away coastlines that I have visited over the years. I mentioned it to two friends and they were all in, planning and packing, and all of the sudden the trip was on.
So, three weeks ago, Kanoa Zimmerman, Kellen Keene and myself jumped on a train headed north with bicycles, a surfboard, wetsuits, flippers, a microphone and a couple cameras. The idea was to surf down the coast by bike, staying with friends, family and acquaintances, poaching camps when we had to, doing our best to earn our keep and to learn from folks that are doing good work and getting by along the California coast.
Here are a few photos from the trip so far.
[Above: Dan Malloy and his rig. All photos by Kanoa, Kellen and Dan]
Thanks to all of the folks that have put us up (and put up with us!) so far, from Point Arena to San Farncisco; Danny Hess for hauling us a bit further north; Ryan and Adam at New Family Farm for teaching us farm speed as opposed to garden speed and for the many grandfather stones; the Murch Family at Gospel Flat; Alice and the Hoopers at Oz; Casey and Alexi at Magic West Studios for the hot tub and guitar lessons; Kyle Field and Aya for chasing the glow; Brett and Macey at Proof Lab; the lady at Wild Flour Bakery for giving us an i.o.u. (the check is literally in the mail); the crew at Woodshop for once again letting us lurk hard and draft off of the ample good vibes flowing from your workspace; and especially Mariko for letting your home become our crash pad for the last five days in the city. I promise we will be gone in the morning!
[Kanoa and Kellen with the whole set up.]
[Adam and Ryan cultivating with their draft pony. These two put us up and put us to work for three days. They even showed us that some times fast is fast when you are getting food to market.]
[Not long before sundown we poached a camp on this beach. The waves were barely surfable but after riding and working for a few days straight it looked epic and was the only way to wash the dirt off. Thats my new trekking board that Fletch and I designed specifically for this trip.]
[No one for miles. Not sure if this is normally a surf spot but the sandbar was lumpy and fun this evening. First session on the board, trying it as a single fin.]
[Mickey, Bronwen, Oliver and Arlo at Gospel Flat Farm in Bolinas. The Murch Family consists of farmers, scientists, artists, commercial fishermen, homemakers, musicians and much more than I can explain in a caption. They put us up for four days and showed us very clearly that the old California spirit is alive and well.]
[On our arrival into San Francisco we found a fun little sand bar at Ocean Beach. This was my first session trying the trekking board as a thruster. Fast and loose. Stoked!]
[A long ride and no people makes even the shabby days look amazing.]
[Kanoa, Danny Hess, and myself walking back to beat the current.]
[Kanoa and myself. Poached camp and perfect weather.]
[Mickey Murch showing Kanoa and I how his self designed, hand built transplanter operates.]
[This is me holding my bike about an inch of the ground. Not sure how many pounds my set up is (my guess is a thousand) or how many miles we have rode so far. Such a blast to be on the road at home.]
[We wanted to get a couple photos of friend and artist Jeff Canham working in his shop. I was lucky enough for him to hand paint this little request on my new board. It's a phrase I have heard some of the old cowboys say in Lompoc. They say, "Slow is the fastest way to get it done right."
Dan Malloy is a Patagonia ambassador and one of most respected figures in professional surfing. He lives with his wife near Lompoc and is a believer in the self-sufficient, well-rounded life, with farming and ranching keeping his hands busy between surf sessions.
Update: Continue the trip in Slow if Fast, Part 2.