DUDE OFFERED ME A TACO
I was surprised this morning how much energy was in the water at Salt Creek today. It wasn’t huge but it was fairly consistent and punchy. The bulk of the morning I spend body boarding the shore break with friends. After a couple of hours and an influx of new eager wave riders, I decided to exit the liquid stage. My friends decided to whether the crowd increase for about an hour longer and I strolled up the hill cursing under my breath as I often do at that very steep hill. I was already cramping and tired before the incline delivered a final blow to my desire to exert myself physically.
As I often do, I run into members of the Salt Creek Community. There are some truly amazing people from a variety of wave riding disciplines that I have enjoyed surfing with and talking to over the years. Ezra rolled up and parked his car in between the traffic lanes going each direction to check the waves. We had a 15 minute conversation that included how Salt Creek was more like a community than a public beach because of how many wave riders have surfed this beach for a long time and many people know each other from over the years. He said, ” I wonder if it is like that at other beaches?”. I would like to believe so but know that Salt Creek is a special place.
He parked in the lot and proceeded to strike up a conversation with a pretty gal and I waited for my friends to limp up the hill from their surf session. After chatting with everyone for 20 minutes, hunger kicked in and they all zipped down PCH to Chronic Tacos. We all agreed to get back to the coast and check Aliso Beach in Laguna due to a rapidly draining tide that favors the shore break. I headed up to Laguna Hills to get a juice at Mother’s Market and do some shopping.
Jack beat me to Aliso and had already rained on my parade texting me that it was too small. I was already headed there so I decided to give it a look anyways. The winds were perfect and the water was a sparkling blue-green. I was on the phone with Scotty Carter telling him that conditions were perfect minus the surf. When I told Scotty I thought it was 3 foot a guy cooking at one of Aliso’s barbecue pits said, “Nah, it’s like 6 foot out there right now!” I laughed and politely told him not today. He went on to make a comment about how rough it was to which I explained, “that is Aliso Beach.” He offered me a canned beer that I declined telling him, “Thank you, but no I recently quit. Nobody likes a quitter”. He laughed and said, ” You aren’t all that bad”. I showed my appreciation and continued down to the water’s edge.
There were waves for sure. It was possible even to ride them with travel time in the barrel but just not enough energy to compel me to paddle out. There were gentle offshore winds, beautiful water color and glassy conditions. The winds were feathering back these little wedging peaks back so I snapped a couple of photos on my IPhone. Knowing I would not paddle out there I walked back up the sand berm and made my way toward the dude that offered me the beer. I told him to watch for lifeguards and Laguna Beach Police Department whom I have seen write tickets for alcohol on the beach. He appreciated that and then the dude offered me a taco. Regrettably I had to decline. I was so full from a large juice and a couple of organic food bars from Mother’s that I could not eat anything more. I felt bad for having to decline. He had the chicken perfectly barbecued and all the fixings for a taco meal and told him everything looked great.
Call me an old sap but that generous offered seemed like the world that has long passed us by. We are so technologically connected and so inter-personally disconnected that friendly encounters like that seem so far and few between. It saddens me. They were very nice people and I enjoyed talking to them. It is those types of dealings with strangers that gives the world hope and we all should take note of how small conversations between strangers lead to meaningful dialogue and friendships. In a perfect world, the dude offered me a taco and I was hungry. In today’s world, this afternoon at Aliso Beach, I had already eaten and wasn’t hungry. I do appreciate their gesture and hope that people take note of this and look to have conversations like this wherever they go. They mean so much more than we give them credit for.