Seemingly only in California can anyone imagine a cowboy and surfer comparing notes. These two iconic figures somehow flourish seamlessly together in the wide expanse of California’s coastline, desert, mountain, and ranch land. Their two cultures thrive in two environments, ocean beach and prairie canyon, all of it within the diverse borders of California.
Both lifestyles, rooted and shaped by geography, converge at the intersection of sprawling lush pasture land and the golden shores of the Pacific. It's here where the Mariana Trench and Continental Shelf helped form this divine western landscape known as California. This "bear" of a state is home to some of the world's most revered beaches and reef points along its Coastal Range. To the east, the Central Valley is literally a breadbasket to the world, while the high Sierras provide the invaluable snowpack irrigating the valleys below and feeding the ocean beyond. It is all related. In this vast mosaic of terrain, two cultures of lore exist, in some cases side by side, and confound our notions of what it actually means to be a surfer or to be a cowboy.
Across the deep purple hues of sundown in the ranch land of California’s Central Valley, the scent of sage and livestock hangs heavy in the evening air. Cowboys herding the last strays into their pens, look to rinse away the grime from their day’s work, tired but gratified. The sounds of a train echo in the distance as the moon rises over the Sierras. With sundown comes the satisfaction of another productive day on the range as small rodents and wildlife begin to emerge from the midday heat. The day started at 5am and this cowboy is ready for a good meal, a snort of whiskey and his flannel bedroll.
A hundred miles to the west, as the ocean fades from blue to black, a surfer returns through a coastal meadow to his van. The surf continues to roll in as the last rays of sunlight spark the inky night sky. Warm air from the valley swings west through the canyons, replacing cool, salty air with the scent of coastal live oak.
The van backs out from the sandstone ridge with the sound of crunching dirt under its tires. Cold and wet, the surfer reflects through his rear-view mirror on an afternoon well-spent. He dreams of days like this and smiles as the anticipation of another epic day of surf lies ahead.