Abscond | A Northern California Field Trip – Vissla AU
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Abscond | A Northern California Field Trip

Holiday 2015 Collection | Abscond
A Northern California Field Trip

North of the Gate the forest gets thicker. The sea gets wilder. The wind whips harder. North of the Gate turns prehistoric, turns Land Before Time, turns land of the redwoods, mystic and magical. The trees collect moss and look like ancient, hairy arms of giants. North of the Gate, beasts lurk the woods and waters and from his cozy home in San Diego, many miles south of this land, Derrick Disney was awoken form his sleep by a low, nearly inaudible, subtle roar. Bleary-eyed, he stared into the darkness of his room but he knew the sound wasn’t from within. It was far away and it was one of two things: The roar of the wild surf north of that big red bridge, or the roar of a brown bear lumbering somewhere in those redwood forests. Perhaps, it was both. He listened closely and the roar whispered, Drive, boy…drive…

So Derrick loaded up his trusty ‘89 Ford Ranger with a 6’2” thruster, a 7’4” single-fin, a Coleman grill, a fiveman tent, a mexican blanket, and a thick hooded wetsuit, and he followed the call of the wild.

Along the way, he picked up Floridian turned San Clemente transplant Eric Geiselman — a jack of all trades, from surf to skate to film to music — to come along with him on this journey north. Eric brought along some shortboards and, more importantly, a guitar which never left his hands the entire trip, except for the few hours at a time while they’d surf. But every journey should have a minstrel and Eric Geiselman was just that man.

Hugging the coastline that snaked through Big Sur, the trees gradually got larger, the sea wilder, lineups emptier. Checking every cove and cranny, the two surfed a couple fun wedges that bounced off rocks, the sea beneath them eerily crystal clear. The boys camped near the beach and while they slept, Derrick heard that familiar growl rumbling in the distance a little louder this time. They were half-way there.

The next day they made it to San Francisco, the great city that holds the keys to the North. They stopped and visited the legendary artist/carpenter Jay Nelson who makes functional camper shells and tree houses and other unusually fantastic pods out of wood. Derrick and Eric wandered around his workshop gawking in awe before they all went out back and surfed the empty peak behind his house, high off Jay’s potent creativity.

That evening, they drove on further north. Lit by a glowing moon and bright stars they turned their headlights off on the empty, open road for a while and let the natural light guide them. They made it to a town somewhere in Mendocino and walked into a pub where they were befriended by a local woman who offered them to camp on her land for free. The boys took her up on such a gracious invitation and after setting up camp, two Canadians renting from the woman walked over, built a bonfire and Eric strummed his guitar for everyone until they fell asleep beneath the stars.

When they awoke they realized that they had arrived. The redwoods surrounded them from all sides like crimson skyscrapers. The air was misty and crisp and either something in the forest or something in the sea roared wildly, beckoning them. Naturally, the two boys gravitated to the sound of the sea and found a slabby wave that they shared with only each other, a large protruding rock, a colony of seals and whatever lurked beneath them. As the two took off on various waves, the seals barked at them in approval, a kind of applause that sounded like a familiar roar.

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Music: Blue Orchids - The Flood