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Jessica Clarke - Journal

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Posted 2016-09-16T14:52:37Z

Sep 16

The photos are in from my FD photographer. There were a couple shots of me catching waves so I thought I'd send them along! Some of them are from Cowell's Beach and others from Capitola. The waves were definitely bigger at Capitola and the surfers there were a bit more territorial. Luckily, I wasn't one of the participants that got scolded for "dropping in" when someone else had the right-of-way! Thanks for all of your support and for encouraging me to take this great adventure. [...]

Posted 2016-09-12T00:48:00Z

Sep 11

I made it back. What an amazing experience my FD trip was! There is so much to say, I certainly can't cover it all here. We stayed at Pigeon Point hostel - not to be confused with a luxury accommodation - but a really cool spot with an unbeatable view on the coast. We were packed 6 to a room on 3 sets of bunk beds. I met so many cool people. The participants ranged from a 20 year old guy from South Dakota to a couple of ladies who were friends in their late 30s with kids and families in Denver who had fought their battles together and lost a 3rd woman along the way. They were in Santa Cruz to spread the ashes of their courageous friend who had also planned to be on the trip. We laughed until we cried, we cried over the overwhelming experiences we have all had or are currently having, and we bonded. Sometimes it was while we sat around the coffee table coloring (see gallery wall above) and other times it was while we were having a sunset dance party. We ate like kings and queens. The food was AMAZING thanks to our FD chefs. The day started with cold breakfast and coffee and was followed by hot breakfast prior to departure for the beach. A lunch bar with ingredients for wraps and salads was spread out for us to pack lunches every day. When we arrived back "home" there was always a counter full of appetizers to welcome us (tapenade, spinach artichoke dip, veggies and hummus, pitas and soups). It was incredible. Dinners were hearty and delicious. Many of the meals were gluten free or had vegan components but all of them were show stopping. If you're interested, the FD Cookbook contains many of them! [...]

Posted 2016-09-04T01:32:37Z

Sep 3

Tomorrow I leave for a week long trip with First Descents. First Descents provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults (age 18-39) impacted by cancer. The program that I have selected to participate in is their surf camp in Santa Cruz CA. I am REALLY excited to go. I hope that I will meet some great people and make lifelong connections. In the event that this doesn't happen, who cares - I'M GOING TO SURF CAMP IN CALIFORNIA FOR A WEEK! They hire a real deal local outfitter to work with us and I'll be staying in a converted lighthouse right on the coast. [...]