5 Reasons even Surfers should get out to the Mountains with Reef Adventure Seeker Anna Ehrgott

Why would a surfer go inland? I wondered as I drove another 14 hours east from the Sierras. I had already begun missing salt water as I crossed Nevada and Utah, but as soon as I drove through the first high altitude mountain pass into Southern Colorado, I knew I was somewhere special. I rarely leave the coast for more than a few days, but something about the idea of a week in the mountains enticed me. I met up with photographer Alec McKeand who spends just about every single day hiking and photographing the San Juan Mountains, and I discovered why sometimes getting out to the mountains is almost as good as the sea.

1.  Hiking through the forests around Durango and Silverton, the overhead aspen trees dropped red, orange and yellow leaves, coating us with “autumn vibes.” 

2.  We got a bit of tunnel vision from the depths of a cave behind a thundering waterfall and trekked up peaks high enough to be forced to gasp from the lack of oxygen, a feeling that mimicked emerging after being held under a set wave. 

3.  As we drove around the state I saw parallels in pulling up at crowded trailheads and trying to find those secret lakes… not unlike surf spots. Finding those empty spots mimicked the feeling of scoring empty right points.

4.  Being immersed in completely new surroundings, crossing paths with a pitbull-sized porcupine, feeling small at the base of towering snow-capped peaks, and discovering unfamiliar land refreshed my love of travel and nature in a way that sticking to the coast could never have. 

5.  Hiking, camping, and exploring means being able to wear some solid gear, including my winter jackets and Reef Swellular Hi Boots.