Tag Archives: sand

A Tale of Two Climbs.

The thing about tequila is… just kidding.  Unlike this story, today’s tale of misadventure has nothing to do with tequila. It has to do with lots and lots of vodka and one damning, ill-conceived shot of some horrendous cinnamon liqueur. (It was free.) And also, some unfortunate weather.

I woke up on Saturday morning and asked myself, “Where am I?” And then I looked down at my watch, which read 10:30, and asked, “Is that a.m. or p.m.?” Friday night was a doozy. I think…

Here’s the back story: Red Bull’s Frozen Rush, a truck race that took place on ski slopes, has been the center of our universe for a while. It didn’t just go off without a hitch on Friday. It was a great success. So, we celebrated.

Saturday morning didn’t go quite as smoothly. As laid on the floor, gingerly sipping ginger beer and forcing down some DiGiorno, I heard from various sources how terrible the roads were. Sheets of ice = general consensus. It was 12:45 before I deigned to attempt a homeward journey. I successfully (if slowly) navigated 90% of the trip, which was great, because I didn’t have my license on me. But then, I got less than halfway up my mountain-climbing road before my car, Ethel, would go no further. The road hadn’t been sanded at all and the car just couldn’t gain any traction. I bumped the first of many snow banks and somehow turned my car halfway around before it began sliding, sideways, down the hill. I’m not sure if it was the powerful over hang or extraordinary mental fortitude, but I remained calm. I was able to get the car facing the right direction, which gave me false hope. From that point on, I had absolutely zero control over the vehicle. I slid into a snow bank, crawled out of the rut, slid straight into another one, five feet down the road. Rinse and repeat.

As much as it pained me, I decided I had to leave Ethel. The question at this point was whether to hike up to my house or down to someone else’s and call for a ride. Down was a lot shorter. But my phone was dead, so I’d have to knock on a stranger danger’s door and request to use his or her phone, reeking of poor decisions. I opted for the climb.  Continue reading

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The Science Behind The Sand Behind Sandy: The Garden State’s Run of All-time Waves

Between “Superstorm” Sandy and New Year’s, the East Coast experienced a run of swell that will probably become Tri-state lore. Yes, the window of opportunity was unusually lengthy. Yes, the Mayan calendar was involved. But the main reason why we’ll be talking about Dirty Jerz’s “Doomsday swell” and its siblings for years to come is that when they hit the ravaged coastline, they turned into immaculate, occasionally monstrous waves. Waves for days, you might even say. The likes of which haven’t been seen around here in, well, possibly ever. Some may call it divine justice, but it’s more like environmental recompense: It turns out that there’s scientific evidence that Sandy is actually behind the Right Coast’s firing good fortune.

“That swell before Christmas (the “Doomsday swell”), I think that might have been the best I’ve ever seen Bay Head [New Jersey],” says Billabong rider (and local legend) Sam Hammer. “There was like a four-hour period there where I’d never seen it consistently that size with the shape it had. And it wasn’t getting smaller. That just… doesn’t happen,” he laughs. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it look like that.”

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Epic NJ Surf (Bay Head) : Tony Hawk

Here’s some footage of the all-time “Doomsday Swell” in Jerz from a guy named Tony. Tony Hawk. I don’t think it’s that Tony Hawk, but maybe. Anyway, it’s shot in Bay Head an’ it gets real interestin’ right up aroun’ 2:40…

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Semi Mixed-Up Midway Ruminations

Here’s some nonsense from the intern log I had to write for NYU:

I have sand in my car.  In the cup holders and the back seat.  I have sand in my sheets, though I just washed them.  I have sand on my bedroom floor and in my backpack.  The ports of my computer are jammed with sand.  There is sand in all of the pockets, of all of my clothes.  In my ears, in my eyes.  I’m sure there’s sand in my sinuses.

I arrived at LAX for the first time on a Sunday, around lunchtime.  I procured my criminally overpriced rental car and managed to find my way to the 405 South: what seems to be, upon initial inspection, the most unstable freeway in the continental United States.  The weird, grated concrete feels a lot less safe when driving a borrowed Ford Focus between hurried Californians hurtling along at completely unreasonable speeds.

With a sigh of relief, I pulled off the freeway into San Clemente.  There were literally surfboards everywhere.  I saw an old Porsche with a board strapped to the roof and fell in love a little bit.

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