I paid dearly to get this photo. A few years ago, I drove down from Santa Cruz to sneak into Hollister Ranch, which is a sketchy proposition. This is a stretch of coast that is not only private and heavily guarded, but has some of the best surf in the state. To reach the spot, I had to put on my wetsuit, scale down a steep trail, paddle around two headlands, and walk about three miles up a jagged coastline. I had my camera in a backpack, safely in its water housing.
The waves were HUGE. When I reached the beach at Razor's, I knew I was in for a challenge. I stashed my stuff under the train trestle (mistake #1) and paddled out. After a long session, where I ran into some friends I know that own parcels (and have legal access), I took a wave in. On the beach, a friend asked me over to his car in the parking lot (mistake #2). I started to feel comfortable, despite the fact that I was most definitely trespassing (and could get arrested), so after chatting with my friends I hiked up above the train tracks to take this line-up shot (mistake #3).
As I snapped away, I heard someone shouting at me from the road nearby. It was one of the quintessential grumpy ranch locals, telling me to put my (expletive) camera away. As I assured him I wasn't going to publish it in any magazines, he started to grill me about who on the ranch I was visiting. I threw out some names, but just as I was trying to explain myself, the security guard pulled up.
Oops. BUSTED. The guard grabbed me and told me I was trespassing and that I was in deep you-know-what. "You idiot," he screamed at me, red-faced. "We've been watching you all day, and now we've got you." He reached out his hand while looking at my camera. "Okay, now hand over your film."
I looked at him in disbelief and shook my head.
"Listen," he said angrily. "Either you hand over your film or we go straight to the sheriff and your ass gets arrested for trespassing."
"Okay then," I said while looking him right in the eye. "Guess we're going to the sheriff."
After a very long ordeal, wherein they took down my name, took my photo, and got my driver's license number, they took me back to retrieve my board and camera housing. The camera housing was gone, and some friendly local had used it to put about 7 gaping holes in my board. Welcome to The Ranch. But I got the photo, suckas!