Another Summer has come and gone. A full circle that started last spring in Mexico then the road trip North to BC and now back south. Here are some photos and Journal writing of some of the adventures.
April 26, 2015
Rio Nexpa, Michoacán Mexico
Back at Rio Nexpa after a few years. It felt really good to board that plane in TJ and land in Colima a few days back. After finishing up an amazing trip on the Grand Canyon, the following week was a bit emotional. My Grandma Riggs waited until I returned to take her last breath and let me say goodbye. It was nice to see her one last time and hold her hand and say farewell even though she couldn’t respond. She was such an remarkable lady and truly loved her family. The week in San Diego was a special time of remembering family and paying tribute to a lady who loved me so much. I will always be grateful for the relationship I shared with my Grandma. She always stood by my side and supported me in any endeavor I choose.
So now I sit on the top floor of our room, coffee by my side, journal in hand, with nothing but the beautiful Pacific out front. I am back at a familiar place, but this time with Kanami-chan. The feeling I get when I am in Mexico is overwhelmingly warm. I feel back at home, comfortable, happy to eat tacos, drink licuados and sleep to the sound of the ocean.
The first few surfs have been in the fun 3-4ft range and today picking up a bit. It is great to be back on the “Chorbel” pace of Mexy life. Wake up late, cafesito, surf session and then a big brunch at Chichos. Good livin in Mexico.
April 20, 2015
Rio Nexpa, Mexico
I sit here in Paradise, one more morning, one more cafesito and one more journal entry. I love how traveling brings you to meet new faces and to see old familiar ones as well. The other day when Kanami and I were taking a walk up the point, I noticed two vans pull right up to the edge of the river mouth and park. I looked over to Kanami to tell her, “I think I know who is in that van.” Jono Slade and his crew pull out and we walk up and embraces are exchanged. Jono is a rafting buddy from the Kern River who is on a six month journey to Central America and we happen to cross paths. Small beautiful world we live in. Beers and good food are had at Mary Jane’s Restaurant. Talk of the Road and travel fills the night. The next morning we all pick off some fun lefts and then have breakfast at camp.
I get so stoked when friends are out there living the dream. The work was put in, they prepared the vehicles and the journey is in place, this makes me happy.
May 3, 2015
Manzinillo Bus station
It is 11:20pm and we are waiting to board our bus for Puerto Vallarta and on to Scott and Vanessa‘s epic wedding weekend. Our last stop was my lovely Pascuales. With the rising swell and lack of rooms at Nexpa, we headed north. On arrival Kiwi Dave received us with open arms, cold cervezas and talk of the largest swell of the decade. We met a group of guys who are down for the big summer surf. I didn’t leave getting the barrel of my life, but I did paddle out on a borrowed 9ft gun in some massive surf. I managed to catch one wave and made it to the bottom before bailing and then have to swim in after my board. It felt like I was swimming the Zambezi with no life jacket, scary shit. The three other guys that did paddle out that day all had some sort of PFD or floatation device. After I made it back to shore I decided to call it a day.
Over the weekend we were able to witness some massive waves and barrels. The whole pro scene of surfers were all using jet skis and doing step offs. But a few brave warriors gave a go with solo paddle power. The ocean was producing a crazy amount of energy, easily 25ft waves.
The force of the giant swell and the high tides also brought quite the destruction to some of the local establishments of the area. Yesterday after our morning surf we all pitched in at Dave’s place to build a barrier in front of the property. We dug trenches, piled tires and sand bags to make a blockade so we could deflect incoming tide and waves. All of us waiting around for the high tide to peak at 5:00pm and it appeared that our work was saving the place. Then later on in the evening while we were down the road eating at Freddy’s Hambergesa stand, Nature made her big push.
The increasing swell brought waves and water through most of the beachfront properties, including Dave’s place. The water knocked straight over our wall with the push of one big wave. There were a few of the Kiwi surfers around and Pols, Daves son, as one 4ft wall of whitewater washed all through the property wreaking havoc. Luckily the guys all sought refuge while jumping and hanging from the beams of the cabana as the wave washed under them. By this time the whole town is on high alert, incoming pro surfers and their entourage are leaving hotels and seeking safer options in the city.
Dave comes back to the Hamburger shack, which is in a safe zone, and just says “It’s Fucked.” Mother Nature was in full swing and she did not seem to be letting down. We ran back through the police blockade towards Dave’s to try and save what we could. We did our best to salvage what we could, putting boards up on the platform, then Juj came back with the truck and we loaded all the most valuable; fridge, tools, cables, fishing gear, jet ski on the trailer, anything we could quickly grab before another rogue wave would come. It was absolute chaos what the ocean was doing. It was sad to see the damage down to the town, but impressive to see the force of what the ocean can do. Respect.
I have had some chill days in Mexico, so I decided to type up a few journal entries from our Grand Canyon trip this past spring. Epic trip, great weather, friends and fiesta.
April 2, 2015
Mile 60ish, Grand Canyon of the Colorado
A boatman’s dream is to float a river, days on end, surrounded by a bunch of beautiful friends. This dream is actually taking place in my life right now. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado, 21 days!
The crew consist of friends I have made traveling the world and some new ones as well. Besides a few in the group, it was all our first Grand Canyon rafting trip.
The group consisted , of, myself, Kanami, My dad, Mike, Chris, Britt, Maddie, Darryn, Tim, Haley, Ashlee, Sean, Scotty, Mary-Reid, Ru and Diana. 16 friends from around the world and 21 days of Bliss.
All the preparation and waiting is all worth it for these amazing days. I am sitting on my boat, just staring out into this amazing canyon. The energy is breathtaking and everyday we awake to a new dream. The most amazing this is I get to share this with 15 amazing friends and loved ones.
April 5th, 2015
Easter Sunday, Granite Camp Mile 93.8
To Sit and be still with the sound of the river, deep inside this canyon is more than just a dream. We truly are the Lucky ones. We fall asleep and wake to the sound of the river. It is amazing to be able to dips those oars in the water, crash through big standing waves and look around and see the joy that whitewater gives us. The other day we camped at Hance rapid and Chris, Darryn and myself ran a few laps down the rapid. It has been about 6 months since I sat in a kayak and God does it feel good to be in a boat charging through some whitewater. Then yesterday I had my dads best friend, Mike in the front of my raft, hitting the biggest waves and also a sixer before noon. Woohhooo
So no shit there I was at the bottom of Horn Creek Rapid watching my dad high side, spin backwards, and lay down in the ducky through some of the biggest waves and make it through without a flip, truly amazing. The night went on with some hooting and hollering around the campfire, bottles to beaches, driftwood for days and a wild Tiger. Ohh party time on the Grand Canyon.
So how do I feel after 21 days on the Grand Canyon?
Amazing, blessed and lucky. I was in Natures playground, a beautiful amphitheatre on rock and water for 3 weeks with some of my best friends.