I made the trek to the north bay against my better judgement, leaving a good wind at crissy field for an unknown wind 45 min away and breaking cardinal rule of windsurfing- never leave wind for wind!
The wind was dying. 20k+ on the outside but a shlog to get there.
I hedged my bets and made the trek in with 4 kiters to Zaijeck beach.
The sign at the trail head should have been the first warning but went right on by.
Honestly, I had more on my mind- with the excitement of a brand new lightweight slalom board!
A 10 min hike in down an access trail, down a dirt trail, through a locked gate, across the railroad tracks, back up the hill & finally down the bluff to the beach.
At least I had my flip flops!
My gear fit nicely in a board bag that I carried over my shoulder.
Its all about the journey I thought to myself.
The shlog out to the wind line was like a graph of diminishing returns.
The further I got from shore, the further the wind line receded.
The kiters on their race boards and 11m kites were wizzing past me and I could hardy break onto a plane in 8-10k.
If there was any way to covert me to kiting, this was probably it.
I decided to pack it up and head back before loosing any further ground as the wind was switch more east. I knew I would be downwind of the launch but there was no real good exit from water.
The low tide exposed some nasty rip rap with exposed rebar, razor sharp shells and oh, I forgot the 10 min minute walk up to the beach in the calf deep mud- sinking with every step
All I could think of was climbing out of a power deep day at Tahoe but this was no powder- just mud and I had no epic runs, Just a shlog.
It looked to be about a 1/4 mike walk back along the train tracks.
Did I mention my feet were already cut up from the climb up and down the rocks?
I looked around- a path of thorny bushes and poison oak to the right or the train tracks.
I opted for the latter and was actually enjoying the trek getting a nice soft massage on my feet with every step on the wooden planks of the rail track.
That was until I head the train whistle from behind and looked back to see an Amtrak train coming around the bend at full speed.
My first reaction was to drop the gear and jump out of the way.
A split second went by and I imagined my new board, carbon mast and boom all getting run over my the train.
I hobbled down the bank with about 10 seconds to spare- rig and board balancing between my arms.
The rush of wind in front of the train nearly knocked me over.
I could see the conductors face looking down at my nearly 2 stories above on the double decker train wondering who in the world is walking on the train tacks in a wetsuit carrying what looks like a surf board and a rolled up sail.
The again, This was Pinole. Stranger things have happened.
As I waited for the rest of our group to derig and drink an few beers on the deserted beach, I thought – it probably could have gone a whole lot worse.
Cut up and bruised feet sure beat a pile of carbon and styrofoam splinters along the edge of the train tracks.
Full story at http://stevebodner.blogspot.com