I watched and re-watched a couple of films recently where the main character sets out on an epic physical challenge either for self-discovery or for survival. Reese Witherspoon didn’t do it for me in “Wild”. Bill Bryson’s “Into the Woods” made me realize that too much of the great outdoors can be outright boring. The Revenant just put me to sleep several times over a course of five days.
Then one night in March some 27,000 feet over the Atlantic a French movie came to me and and struck all the right cords. In “Comme Un Avion” (“Sweet Escape”) a fifty year old industrial designer trades his childhood dream of becoming an air mail pilot for going on a kayak adventure. Even though he’s clumsy, doesn’t get far, takes too much gear and gets drunk way too often, I felt inspired. I knew that a kayak was the way to go.
Paddling down the Los Angeles river has been my first choice of trek until I found out that only 3 miles out of its 48 are navigable. That somehow just did not meet my requirements for epic. Because of the friendly proximity of Pacific Ocean to my house one morning I decided that it had to be a sea kayak journey. I would just walk to the ocean with my kayak and leave. Every epic adventure should start with a highly convenient first step.