After six years of working approximately 70 hours a week, with only the odd bit of time off, Chenoa and I decided to leave the shop with the boys this January and take off for an entire month.
The plan was to quickly rip down to Laguna Beach with our five-year-old, our new born baby, a travel trailer and a bunch of bikes. Nothing but 30 days of relaxing, recharging at the beach and a ton of riding. What could go wrong?
The day of departure arrived and we were ready to roll, sort of…if you have kids you know that leaving on time is really leaving a couple hours late, which caused us to miss our ferry. Our two-hour delay turned into a 14-hour delay and our first day’s destination of southern Washington ended up being a Walmart parking lot in Victoria. But an early start on day two would have us close to our schedule.
We woke up on day two at 5 a.m. to our five-year-old barfing all over Chenoa and our bed, not a great start but we still made the ferry and made it to Olympia for a night of camping and a lot of unscheduled laundry.
From there it was obvious our three-day drive would take way longer, so the ride stops along the way were cancelled in the interest of getting to warm sunny weather. After 5 1/2 days of what I can only describe as…oh I can’t put that in writing, so we’ll just say it was no fun. (kids don’t handle ten-hour days in the truck very well) we arrived in Laguna Beach, found an amazing camp site and settled in. Sadly, I am more stressed at this point than when I left. But let the fun begin…
Laguna Beach gets only 12 inches of rain all year, so the chance of a sunny vacation is pretty high. In the first three days of our stay we got all 12 inches and flash floods to go with it. It was still warm and we managed to squeeze in a couple of road rides between storms, but the mountain bike trails were closed and things were not looking positive. With the crazy drive, the cranky kids stuck in a trailer, and now no mountain biking, I was ready to pack up and come back to work so I could relax a bit. Who’s idea was this and what was I thinking!
After a few days everything seemed to settle in, we all relaxed a bit and the rain turned into 20 degrees and clear blue skies, the trails opened up and the riding is amazing down here; steep, killer views and a great mix of flow and technical riding. Even the road rides along the Pacific Coast are awesome, especially when it’s so warm.
So I guess like anything worth doing, it takes some work to make it happen. In reality it was only a week of a little chaos, but we now have three weeks of bliss, and we can ride every day if we want, so yeah, it is definitely worth it…Ask me again though after our five-day drive home, I might think differently.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’ in Laguna Beach