Sometimes You Chase, Other Times You Are Found…
The fair winds of adventure blew me west across the Pacific Ocean to Maui this last week. This was a business trip and I left with mixed feelings. The thought of being in such a wonderful place trapped in meetings seemed more like punishment. To my surprise, lady luck once again showed me favor and took me on an adventure that filled my soul.
This winter I have had the good fortune of chasing solid winter storms in my never-ending quest for fresh snow and adventure. With no storms brewing on my ski horizon, this trip was somewhat of a welcome break from the endless miles being racked up on open road solo adventuring. With no expectations or set agenda for free time, the days were wide open to be filled with whatever rolled my way.
My first day with my time off, I got out of the resort. After a jaunt down the road I found myself removed from the business end of this trip and wandering around the town of Paia,The first stop found fresh fish tacos wrapped in wax paper and PBR on tap. I sat to eat and watched the sun dance with a playful sparkle on the surf rolling in. Without even knowing it, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Eyeing the surf, I knew I was in way over my head and opted to go explore the lush forest. Finding a not so well-marked dirt road just out-of-town, I strapped on the day pack and headed down the dirt path. Within steps I was surrounded by a lush environment completely engulfed in the most unique flora and banyan trees I had ever seen. Winding up the trail, I kept pushing to the final destination, a swimming hole with a nice rock outcropping to jump off. Soon I was at the water’s edge and with a bit of nervousness I began the swim across the swimming hole to the cascading water of a small falls. The water was so clear and cool it reminded me of the rivers in Idaho, it was total bliss! With several solid hours of adventuring it was time to head back to work. On the way back, I kept a watchful eye of the white foam chasing me down the shoreline. The next day, I knew I was in for a treat and a lot of work.
The rest of my time off I spent in Paia being chased and munched by large waves pushing so effortlessly into the north shore. Having a healthy respect for the water and an undying need to go play and experience these big beautiful waves, I laid my long board out and paddled out to the surf break like a wild-eyed child. In short, it has been a long time since I have been so physically exhausted while at the same time just so overwhelmed with the joy of feeling so alive. For two days straight I spent several hours paddling through six to eight foot waves smiling like a carefree kid. The rush of feeling that swell push me back towards the shore is like trying to explain first tracks on a powder day, there is absolutely nothing like it. I was fortunate enough to experience this wonderful feeling a few times. The rest of my attempts to pop up resulted comical falls, dodging coral resting just mere feet below the water and extended breath holds as these gentle giants roared and tossed me with reckless abandon in every direction they could underwater. While not the most pleasant experience every time, there is something to be said for the absolute beauty I saw swirling above me as I waited for the wave to pass and the chance to resurface back into the sun and much-needed fresh air. I came to the realization that I’m much more solid on two planks in snow then I ever will be in the surf, but the chance to play amongst this new playground was worth every tumble I took.
Each night, I’d return back to our nice little digs on the island and listen to our guests recap their day of shopping and dining on the island. I could only smile inside as I began to realize how much adventure I was able to sneak in on a business trip. Not until I was safely nestled on my red-eye flight back home did my thoughts begin to truly sink in. All winter I have been chasing my frozen white love and for a brief moment, the liquid love found me and rejuvenated this spirit with another fine adventure.
Sometime we chase adventure, other times when we least expect it, the adventure finds us and for this I am truly thankful -