Humdrum Attacks of the Saber-tooth

I’m re-reading The Log from the Sea of Cortez by Steinbeck right now, and as always, I’m mentally transported deep into the heat of the Cataviña desert, or to one of the many perfect peeling pointbreaks, or to a sweaty cove on Bahia Concepcion watching the sun rise up over the Mexican mountaintops. Each trip I’ve taken over my 20+ years of South bound sojourns, I’ve always expected adventure. This quote by Steinbeck struck a chord with me.

In time of peace in the modern world, if one is thoughtful and careful, it is rather more difficult to be killed or maimed in the outland places of the globe than it is in the streets of our great cities, but the atavistic urge toward danger persists and its satisfaction is called adventure. However, your adventurer feels no gratification in crossing Market Street in San Francisco against the traffic. Instead he will go to a good deal of trouble and expense to get himself killed in the South Seas. In reputedly rough water, he will go in a canoe; he will invade deserts without adequate food and he will expose his tolerant and uninoculated blood to strange viruses. This is adventure. It is possible that his ancestor, wearying of the humdrum attacks of the saber-tooth, longed for the good old days of pterodactyl and triceratops. ~John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

I seek out the pterodactyls and triceratops. I think it’s why I travel in general. Baja, just provides more opportunity for things to go wrong. I thrive in that uncertainty. What happens if…

Not all my trips to Baja are misadventures though. Sometimes I do return with no loss of limb, life, or vehicle.
This trip I’m sharing with you here was just a fun surf trip with my buddies Donagh, and Josh.
It was pretty uneventful… We did get skunked on surf, and we got pinched for $80 by the cops in Ensenada for going 3km over the speed limit, and we free-dove with spearguns for our meals, and we were visited by curious baby dolphins we thought were sharks, and we spent three sleepless nights providing blood to test-tube sized mosquitos…

Just another humdrum trip.


Also published on Medium.

Check Out William's Latest Book

There Ain’t No Pageantry in Cockfighting

A short novela recounting a surf trip to Baja turns South when the engine my '71 Volkswagon seized, leading me on an adventure down Baja 1000 roads, encounters with transvestite prostitutes, and drought ending weddings.

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