Desert life is majestic and zen-like. The heat that bakes everything to a crisp, the danger in every plant and animal. The still quiet of the wide-open sky. She is our lady of love. She makes us complete, and we harmonize with her completely. Who would Marco Polo be if he never left his beloved Venice, Fawcett, Shackleton, and Drake? They felt the urge to explore the furthest boundary of the map. Our home will forever be the desert. Ours is a visceral trip, though, mixed with a touch of culture and a bit of unplanned searching. The Map is all filled up, and Instagram has all the travel pics it needs. Where is the edge, then? I suppose then it’s in your own mind.
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”Hunter S. Thompson
Venice beach has had its day. In the mid 20th century, an Icon home of legends, skaters, musicians, artists, intellectuals. Being there in this day, however, holds just as clear a feeling of righteousness as any other. When your there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. Your head and your heart will be at odds and in complete agreement the entire time. The scene of hucksters, homeless, and hamburgers overwhelms the senses. Every inch is covered in tents and vendor stands. It is gritty, and the smell ranges from piss to the best smelling food you could ever smell. Over-priced T-shirt stands dot the boardwalk. Take a short stroll away from the boardwalk to the shore, and you’re transported to an entirely different world. It becomes quiet except for the sound of waves crashing and birds sounding.
Soft sand gets everywhere and is unbelievably abrasive. You still feel the urge to lay in it, roll around and dig your feet in it. Venice does an excellent job of keeping the beach clean despite what you hear. The city combs the beach every morning with tractor equipment, and the sand is clear of all the rumored hypodermic needles and glass. The ocean wasn’t polluted as we have been told, and a day spent barefooted is always great.
The surf scene was relatively good. Remember, we are “Desert Rats.” not beach rats, so it was good for us. The wave at Venice ranged from 2-4 feet tall and was perfect for a day of surfing as an un-experienced surfer. We will forever crave the rush of a breaking wave and the taste of the salty ocean water. The power of the pacific is awesome, and the vibration in the air is that of pure bliss.
Go, my friends, explore. Don’t be afraid to seek out the places and live in them for the moment. Feel the vibrations. Seek the edge.