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Lauren Sweeney's Odyssey, Part Two on JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine

Lauren Sweeney's Odyssey, Part Two, Colorado, Utah & California on JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine

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Lauren Sweeney's Odyssey Part II: Colorado, Utah & California
Photos & Captions by Lauren Sweeney; Surf Photos by Chris Grant
JettyGirl Art, Photography & Culture

Lauren Sweeney, Cardiff by the Sea, CaliforniaWinter slowly melted into spring and as the days got slightly warmer and longer, I couldn't help but count down the days until the season's end. Not to discount spring skiing by any means. I happened to have a few epic spring shred sessions in the park! Once the season ended, I packed the car and headed west back to my home town in California. With no real agenda, I camped as I pleased and began to fall into the rhythm of life on the road. Once back in California, I'd surf for a month in order to mentally prepare myself for the fish cannery in Alaska. I've never experienced a more perfect month of May in my life. Flip through the photo gallery above to see how it went...

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Caption Index - Photos ©Lauren Sweeney; Surf photos ©Chris Grant/

1 .ODYSSEY PART TWO - Lauren Sweeney's journey to experience the world outside the surf bubble continues...
2. AIR - Spring shredding is my favorite! The snow is soft and it's sunny. Although it wasn't super warm, here I am trying to get closer to the sun.
3. FLAT BOX - Backside boardslide on a flat box in the park. I call this my gorilla stance because although I'm trying to look stylish, it really looks like a gorilla popping a squat. Ha!
4. GOLD KING - Little method grab.
5. KINK BOX – Frontside boardslide on the kink box in Gold King terrain park.
6. MERC - Springtime at work means short sleeve shirts and less people. In good fashion we shredded at work too! Here's me singing with a shovel as my microphone. At least nobody was loading the chair behind me, because I obviously wasn't paying attention. Oops.
7. YES - I love spring and I love the mountains. But it was time to continue the odyssey and head west. 
8. MOAB - Heading west on I-70, my first stop was Moab, Utah. I'd always wanted to go there ever since I read Edward Abby's book Desert Solitaire in 11th grade. I had made it.
9. MOAB CAMP – Found an awesome campsite right on the Colorado River, just outside of town and a short drive from Arches National Park.
10. MOAB CAMP - Unfortunately there was no running water at the campground, but it turns out that sponge baths are amazing! However, a thunderstorm down poured right as I set up my tent. I had what I considered to be a lake inside my tent when it was over. The joys of camping.
11. SLICK ROCK - I rented a mountain bike for a day and attempted to ride the Slick Rock bike trail. Check out my outfit. A complete tourist and loving it!
12. SLICK ROCK - This bike ride has made it onto one of my top ten things I've done thus far in my life. 
13. SLICK ROCK - Although I may have made it up this hill, I can't say I rode the entire way. There was some walking.
14. SLICK ROCK - The views in Moab are unreal. This one was taken from the Slick Rock bike trail. Everything out there is so massive it's as if you are seeing the world through a tiny insects eyes.  
15. SLICK ROCK - The bike trail was only a 12.5 mile loop, but I didn't even know if I was going to make it. Here's my face after the ride, you can only imagine what my legs felt like the next day. It's like hiking through the woods with giant flip flops on.
16. HUNTER CANYON - I spent days hiking through canyons. This is Hunter Canyon.
17. ARCHES - Made my way to Arches National Park in Moab.
18. DELICATE ARCH - The first hike I did within Arches was this one to Delicate Arch (pictured here). It's a 3 mile hike to one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
19. LANDSCAPE ARCH - I forged on and hiked Devil's Garden where I came upon Landscape Arch.
20. ARCHES - Instead of turning back, I hiked the primitive loop of the Devil's Garden trail. It only adds 1.5 miles to the trip, but it's a very long 1.5 miles. Half way done and on top of the world.
21. ARCHES - Along the primitive loop you come across these rocks that look like crazy fingers.
22. ZION - The next stop on my journey home was Zion National Park. The view from my campsite wasn't too shabby.
23. ANGEL’S LANDING - My favorite hike in Zion had to be Angel's Landing. It's 5.4 miles straight up to the top. There's even sections where chains have been installed for the weary hiker. At certain points the trail is only 3 feet wide with 1200 foot drops on each side. Here's me as comfortable as a mountain goat.
24. ANGEL’S LANDING - Sitting at the pinnacle of Angel's Landing.
25. ZION CANYON - This is the view you get of Zion Canyon from the top of Angel's landing.
26. ZION - Other hikes through Zion provide glimpses of seasonal waterfalls. A solid snow pack earlier in the year provided this one. I felt lucky to see it.
27. BULL TACO - I finally made it home and you would think the first thing I did was surf. Well, the ocean wasn't too happy to see me because the surf looked gnarly. Howling winds, giant walls of whitewater, and seeing that I hadn't surfed in 6 months, I wasn't about to drown my first day back. So I ate at the best food establishment in Cardiff, Bull Taco.
28. VIEW - No restaurant in town has a better view than Bull Taco's. Outside dining at it's finest.
29. CAMP STORE - Bull Taco is connected to the San Elijo Camp Store which happens to be my old summer job headquarters. There's no better place to get an ice cream novelty after eating lunch.
30. WAVE - The ocean calmed down and sent some of the best spring surf I'd ever seen!
31. PREPARATION – Getting ready for a surf is a lot easier and faster than preparing for a day on the slopes. Board, wetsuit, and towel.
32. D STREET AIR - Although snowboarding and surfing are almost opposite in technique in my mind, it seems like even after 6 months away, I hadn't skipped a beat.
33. ESSENTIALS - When you have no job, all you need are the essentials: skateboard, surfboard, and a suit. Throw it in your car and let the good times roll.
34. ORANGE COUNTY BACKSIDE SNAP - A short drive up the I-5 with the essentials in stow plus some left over swell, equals good times!
35. ORANGE COUNTY TAILSLIDE - This beachbreak was like a liquid skatepark on steroids. Heck, I felt like I was on steroids, frothing every second!
36. ORANGE COUNTY DROP - Guide to having a good surf: go right, go left, and repeat. Going left!
37. ORANGE COUNTY SNAP - Going right!
38. HAPPY FEET - My feet were so happy to be in flip flops after 6 months in boots. But these feet have to make some money to fund the odyssey. Back into the boots they go for 3 months of working in a fish cannery in King Cove, Alaska.

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