Jul 18, 2017

A Surfer and His Dog Explore Arkansas

Hawksbill Crag, the most photogenic and iconic geological feature of Arkansas nestled in the Ozark Mountains. Photo by Cyrus Saatsaz

The spirit of the surfing lifestyle isn’t limited to the pursuit of great waves. It’s the seeking of adventure and new experiences, even when it involves traveling to landlocked destinations of incredible natural beauty.

Arkansas ranks among the most underrated of places in the U.S. in terms of natural beauty, hiking trails, and friendliness towards dogs.

The people in Arkansas are extraordinarily friendly, there’s plenty of southern cooking to enjoy, campgrounds are aplenty, and the state is an outdoor haven if you’re interested in a wide range of picturesque hiking trails that are friendly to you and your canine companion.

There are two versions of this story that are published online, click here for the HuffPost version and here for the GrindTV version.

Jul 25, 2016

These are 5 of the Best Places to Surf in Texas

This story was originally published in GrindTV.com which is associated with Yahoo.

When you think of Texas, thoughts of cowboys, horses, ranches, farms, tumbleweeds, oil, guns and BBQ probably creep into your head long before images of waves and surfing.

Yet, the second largest state in the U.S. is home to approximately 367 miles of coastline that runs adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, and surprisingly more Californians move to Texas than any other state in the country.

There's a strong contingent of surfers in Texas that probably makes for more of a cult following than a mainstream gathering, but its presence is still there. South Padre Island has a legitimate surf shop, while Austin's trendiness easily allows anyone with the surf lifestyle to fit right in.

A Texas surfer on a nice Galveston day. Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Sperre
Texas surfer on a nice Galveston day. Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Sperre

You're not going to find world-class surf in Texas, but waves are there to be had. Based off my own personal experience as a part-time resident in Texas, coupled with extensive online research, here are the five best places to surf in the Lone Star State.

Click here for the complete story.

Jul 5, 2016

A Surfer and His Dog Explore Baja California

This story was originally published in GrindTV.com which is associated with Yahoo.

Looking south from Coyote Cal's provides this beautiful view of the sun setting on Eréndira. Photo: Courtesy of Cyrus Saatsaz
The sun setting on Eréndira. Photo: Cyrus Saatsaz

When all's said and done, I've probably spent over a year of my life exploring Mexico. I absolutely love the country. And Mexico's crown jewel is its nearly 1,000 mile-long western peninsula known as Baja California and Baja California Sur.

It's a region that's relatively safe from banditos and drug cartels, especially when compared to the mainland. While driving at night remains highly unadvisable due mostly to unrestrained herds of roaming cattle, and various bad seeds that tend to wander the Mexican roads when the sun sets, Baja remains relatively free of cartels and the drug trade that has brought rampant corruption and violence to the mainland region of Mexico.

The last time I had visited Mexico was for a road trip from San Francisco to Los Cabos, located on the southern tip of Baja California Sur. Once you cross the border, it's a three day journey of over a 1,000 miles each way, in a world that is quite possibly the last vestige of the Wild West. It was certainly an adventure filled with many wild happenings. That road trip took up a rather large portion of my book Dogwild & Board: Stories, Interviews and Musings from a Surf Journalist and is featured in my personal travel blog.

I was excited to return to Baja. It's one of the appealing factors of living in the San Diego area, being so close to the adventure, excitement, affordability, debauchery and waves of Mexico. I didn’t have the time to drive all the way to the southern tip though. I wanted to go somewhere reasonably close, with some good surf and a cheap place to stay.

And unlike my previous adventure, this time I had my best friend Indiana (Indy for short) with me, a half-English Bulldog, half-Boxer bundle of fun and joy.

The drive from Tijuana to Ensenada is amazingly beautiful, with nearly the entire drive set right alongside the Pacific Ocean on a freeway that's in great condition, thanks in large part to the tolls that are affordable and highly recommendable. When you go beyond Ensenada, that's when the last remnants of the Wild West truly begin. Out here, and for the next 800 miles or so, with the exception of various small towns, it's desolate and barren.

Anyone who surfs knows the legends lore regarding the surf in Baja. And after searching various websites and surf travel books covering the region, I found a place that seemed natural to venture to: A small Mexican beach town named Eréndira.

Click here for the complete story.