THE LONG ROAD TO PUERTO

posted by / Magazine / September 4, 2003

“You kids nowadays is spoiled and soft in the middle.”This is the line we always hear from the Santa Cruz carps who’ve done their time in mainland Mexico. You know the type: the guys with thick leather skin, long mustaches and even longer pintails. They’ll tell you about the days before Puerto Escondido had an airport, and how they had to take a 12-hour bus ride with chickens and donkeys on their laps. Or about their drives through snowstorms and bandito roadblocks and how they had to pay off {{{100}}} federales along the way. After a certain amount of time, you get sick of hearing these stories. I mean, how heavy can it be? Isn’t it just like driving across country but with perfect surf out your window for most of the way? Besides, we’ve been going to Puerto for over a decade now, and have seen waves top 20 feet. When it gets that big, there’s no way a human can catch one of those big, barreling bluebirds. The only way to cage one of ‘em is to match power with power. Two years ago, we sat on the beach and ranted how we needed to drive a Ski down to Playa Zicatela — we just needed the will. And thanks to the carps, this year we finally decided: enough talk, we were driving no matter what! We formed the P.A.K. (Peter, Adam and Kenny) and divided the duties. I brought the truck and beach launcher, Pete brought the Ski, and Adam brought the trailer and a Costco warehouse full of supplies. With less than four days before departure, we went looking for a truck. Pete, being our best mechanic, came along to help pick out the lucky rig. After narrowing our choices, we found ourselves in Gilroy staring down a ’91 {{{Ford}}} King Cab 4 x 4 for $3,{{{900}}}. Its forest green paint job gave it a low-key vibe, and the Sacred Heart Auto League trinket on the dashboard said “Mexico” all the way. We told the salesman we’d be back with the cash. Adam and I showed up the next day, and asked the guy if we could take it to a garage to have it checked out. “F–k no!” snapped the salesmen. “You buy the truck now or get the f–k off my lot!” I almost lost it, but I knew there was something special about that green machine. I laid down the dough, signed the papers, and was soon on my way home in our new friend. She purred as we blazed down the highway at a solid 75 mph. There was no reason to have any work done on her here. Why fix anything until it breaks? Besides, everything comes cheaper and faster in Mexico.[For more on Skinny's extended Road Trip, check the October issue of SURFING. On newsstands now.]

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