It’s a word that’s usually used (and overused, yes, I’m guilty) to describe incredible trips to exotic locations. But in this case, it was only California. And there were no fish harmed in the process. But I’m just home from the Patagonia Ambassador Summit, and can’t think of another word to describe the days there.
It was difficult not to be blinded by the famous faces and big names in the room, as the best climbers, surfers, skiers, ultra runners and fishermen in the world (and me) all converged in one place. But, as it turned out, they are also some of the kindest, coolest, most interesting, and most committed-to-the-health-of-our-planet people in the world as well. What an honor to be a part of this crowd.
The whole time was awesome, but a few moments keep coming back into my mind: Long talks about life and art with surf/film legends Dan and Chris Malloy. Talking fish conservation with Finnish film star, Jasper Paakkonen. Learning about spear fishing and riding great white sharks from Kimi Werner. Book talk with Kelly Cordes. Comparing climbing and fishing with Kitty Calhoun… The list goes on and on. Lots of plans hatched and dreams put into motion.
So many new friends, but also some amazing time with old friends Kate Taylor and Dave McCoy, where we cooked up ideas to save our fish and waters, talked philosophy and roamed the streets of Ventura late into the night. That’s Kate and Dave at dawn, after two hours of sleep, as we walked to get our pictures taken. Perfect timing.
I don’t know that I’ve felt this much inspiration, camaraderie and fun from a large group of random people since my college days. Only now, these are people with enough horsepower to make great things happen. And I think some great things will happen. Epic.