SEEKING HAPPINESS. It all started with one of those phrases that you love to hear and love to hate -“Lets go cold water surfing!”

Nevertheless, without hesitation, stoke was already at a critical mass and our wild ways took over. The journey would take us westward to the raging shores of the Olympic Peninsula. After 1,500 miles in a ‘71 VW we finally converged on the windy shores of the PNW. As adventure would have it, only moments after arriving, we were met by a group of fellow climbers, surfers and van lifers to kick off what would soon be known as the “the three days of shitty waves.”

Despite that fact we charged on, sipping our morning coffee, half in our wetsuits and fully consumed by the post card quality landscape that was in front of us. “This is why we do this” we all thought; “this is why we’re here.” As the waves rose and fell, we fought till our fingers were numb and our hair resembled that of a head full of seaweed. The long afternoons were scattered with naps, lying like lazy lizards on washed up driftwood and sipping room-temp IPAs with our toes in the sand. As night fell, van windows illuminated and tailgates were laid down flat to make room for our tired bodies and heavy eyes. What a place to be alive.

After our smiles had soaked up as much salt water as we could bare in those three days, we turned the nose of the van back east and at 55 mph headed towards the desert. In true road trip fashion we pulled into the dry lake bed that was to be our home for the next few days and were met by a similar pocket of desert climbers who held this place as sacred as any sandstone temple could be. Finally warm and dry, we dove into the new vertical playground that was before us. Much like any group of like-minded adventurers, a similar scene played out on the hardpan of the desert as the sun went down and the headlamps clicked on. Our howls echoed across the night sky as we sang and swayed with the wind whipping our laughter into the dust.

Its days and nights like these that might make us all wonder what we are really doing when we return to our lives surrounded by sirens and stop lights and tucking our chins into our chests as we tinker on our phones. Why is it that we spend our weeks dedicated to the things that keep us far away from places like these? Why is it that we put our wealth ahead of our wildness? There may be many different answers to that question depending on who you ask, but I can tell you one thing: I’d rather stare up at the stars than down at a screen any day of the week. How about you?

By Erik Gordon

Photo Credit: Will Saunders, Will Saunders Photo or @willsaundersphoto on Instagram.

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