This episode of Every Monday Morning is all about big waves. Although we were in Santander on our way home, we took a 1500km detour to Nazaré and back. It was well worth the effort, the show was fantastic! There was some real surfing as well, we found a couple of nice waves along the way including my dream to surf world famous Mundaka in the basque country coming true.

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If the surf’s not up, let’s get barreled on concrete.

Rolling around Encinitas, I stumbled across a nicely shaped barrel of flowers. It looks like the house owner – obviously a guy named Jeff that is running his own surfboard company “Rat Surfboards”  – was eager to have his own, constantly barreling left in front of his property. Off course we had to try it and roll up and down the street for a while. If I knew there was a shaper behind this beautiful piece of gardening, there would be a story about. Maybe next time…

If you happen to be in SoCal, check it out here:

Don’t go to Iceland for a week!

Well, a week is better than not seeing this beautiful country. But it’s highly recommended to stay for at least two or three weeks. Other than that, I’ll let the pictures speak…

Van Conversion 101.

Getting a car in the United States is way easier than you think, so after owning one in Alaska I got a second one in Seattle. See how van #3 – meanwhile called “DocVan” – went from empty to into a fully equipped campervan. He’s got a kitchen, stove and 110V power outlets and it’s got the sound. So it’s the perfect vehicle to travel up and down the US westcoast, although AC and heating don’t work.

 


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A night at the Lenzerheide Bikepark.

While the westcoast still delivers some south swell, here’s the edit of last summer’s nightshift at the Lenzerheide Bikepark. Thanks to Lenzerheide for making it happen, thanks to theReto, Carlos and the crew for staying out with me until 2:30am! We’ll be out there again this summer and make it even bigger, so stay prepared for the next chapter…

 


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It doesn’t matter how hard you try to find a car, eventually, it will find you.

A good friend of mine gave me this advice years ago when I was looking for a campervan. Two weeks later at another good friend’s birthday bash it came to me. My beloved 1987 VW LT “John Wayne” was for sale from a third good friend. Fast forward seven years I was looking for a car to get around in Alaska. As I would take it down to California within the next three month, renting was not an option. So I went through craigslist, used car lots and basically every other option to buy a car in Juneau just to find out that non-residents aren’t allowed to own cars in the state of Alaska. Now that was a bummer. A Canadian car wasn’t an option either so I decided to travel to Haines with empty hands.

Luckily Bruce, my host at the Funny Farm was given an old van just a couple of days before I arrived. So here it was waiting for me his backyard. Worn out and so rusty that I bet it’s only the paint that keeps it together. A 1990 Ford Econovan with a running engine, working four wheel drive and all lights required. That’s all Alaska asks for to call a car streetworthy. So it was just a matter of days to figure out how I could get it on the street: just have a resident register it and get an insurance for an international driver.

First and most important: you need a car out here. The Funny Farm is way out in the sticks of the sticks and then you turn right. With so many down days to kill, you want to be able to go to town. Even though neither I or my travel buddies believed in it, #shitfuckvan was always reliable despite the never ending damage list:

  • windshield broken
  • driver side window: gone, fixed with plastic foil and tape
  • front right shock: broken
  • unprovoked engine overheating
  • strange noises while driving
  • wiperblades: fixed with tape
  • rust holes almost everywhere, you can even see the road through the hole in the bottom from the drivers seat and every now and then, the hull looses a few pieces
  • nice surplus: two boxes of spark plugs and two bottles of brake fluid in the cab don’t ad to a feeling of safety

On the opposite it sure has its advantages at a very low price: you get around and if someone is searching for you – like Ryan the other day when he wanted to invite us for dinner – he will find you.

You cannot hide with a car like this.

As it most probably won’t make it down to California (which involves a 2’500km drive through virtually unpopulated Yukon and British Columbia) “#shitfuckvan” will wait here at the Funny Farm for me to return next winter for another heliski-trip, so this story will be continued next winter. Either way, it will go down in history as the most fucked-up car I will ever drive.

 


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