You know those nights when you're so damn restless you just don't know what to do with yourself? When you just don't feel like hanging out with anyone, but you sure as hell don't wanna stay home nothin doin? Anyways, I was having one of those nights. I decided to take a little trip to Horseshoe Bay to session the skate bowl there then having a little post-skate cookout by the ocean.
Horseshoe Bay is a bedroom community for weathly professionals who work in Vancouver, more or less. Pretty much every home on the North Shore with any kind of character has been bulldozed, but Horseshoe Bay still has shreds of its more grounded beginnings. It was crawling with tourists. I was a damn tourist. Why are we all so worried about being tourists all the time? We're so bent on traveling places, naturally, but everyone just wants to fit in whenever they're traveling somewhere, seem like they're not traveling.
I stopped for some supplies at a little grocer called the Bay Market. Classic little independent joint that's been around forever. Absolutely nothing fancy about it, almost shabby. But every other shop in the town was just awkwardly attempting for a quaint vibe but only end up seeming phony. Bay Market seemed to radiate nonchalantness. And I liked it
This guy named Deng, from Korea, owned the store- one of the chillest grocers I have ever met. We chatted about staying young, and he started to go on about this motorcycle out parked out front. It was an early 70's Suzuki Savage and it was his, naturally. "I have no practical reasons for owning it- it's terrible on gas, and I spend about as much time working on it as I do riding it, but I love the old thing." Right on Deng. Right on.
So I bought some weenies and beans from Deng and got outta there. Not that I didn't want to chat with Deng- he had some good things to say- I just wanted to get skateboarding. Anyways, it was one of the most wide-open bowls I've ever skated, which is perfect if you're just looking for a mellow cruise with lots of options for clean, endless cruising lines, which is exactly what I was looking for. Exactly.
I wanted to to catch the sunset and get a fire lit up before the light fell because I forgot my headlamp. I packed up and headed to my cookout spot. Not much to say about the skateboarding. It was skateboarding and it was fun.
After taking a minute to organize in the parking lot, I hit a short trail that brought me to a semi-clearing, way up high above the ocean and slightly inland. The low-slung sun threw shafts of golden light through the trees, making everything feel all fairy-tale like, as it always does. I bushwacked through deep groves of god-knows-what-type-of-prickly shrubs, over boulders, around little cliffs, and under fallen logs, making my way down to a craggy rocky outcrop, slowly realizing how damn difficult to navigate my way back out after dark without a light. Didn't matter. I was excited as hell.
I felt like a child, with a big grin on my face as I scrambled all over the rocks trying to select the best possible site for my cookout, which had over the past twenty minutes of bushwacking gained so much importance to me that I may as well have been closing a multi-million dollar trade deal, or something like that. The sun had just dipped behind the mountains painting the sky all golden and the wind had dropped. I was so excited that I nearly knocked my mandolin into the damn ocean while getting the fire going. Jesus I really was excited and was moving too fast!
After snapping a few pictures, I stretched out on my blanket and just lay there for a while, letting the heat of the fire slowly massage my happy jitters into a deep, warm calm. I breathed slowly, fully, and cracked a beer into my enamel mug as I observed the jagged peaks of the far shore in the fading light. I watched a tanker pass on its way from my small reality into the ether of global market. I watched a luxury yacht make its way back to the shelter of the West Vancouver Yacht Club. I watched an eagle float unhurriedly back to its nest. I watched a large beetle cautiously approach the unfamiliar warmth and light of my fire, the flames' reflections dancing along the lines of her smooth, dark shell. I knew I was going to have a hell of a time finding my way back to the van in the dark. I knew the van might not start right away, might soon require some maintenance- or hell, it might break down entirely sooner or later. Just like careers do. Just like relationships do. Just as all things do. But this was all okay. I turned my gaze back to the fire.