I left Yosemite on a beautiful Autumn day, sleep deprived, but in my mind stoked to be alive and cruising in the sun. The ride down through Big Sur was about as good as they get – epic vistas on an ocean road, the lines of swell rolling and detonating into towering cliffs above the blue.
Came across some elephant seals – rather aggressive fat things they are…
But I like 'em. Others seemed a little more chill, happy to just float in the warm waters of the estuary making strange guttural sounds of contentment.
Whilst watching the seals alone, I saw a lone figure approaching - also dressed in motorcycle gear. Turned out to be Alex, who was just about to complete his moto-surfing circumnavigation of the states, also on a KLR. We had plenty to chat about, and laughed at how random it was to bump into a fellow surfer/rider.
Then out of the blue another figure walks up, a huge smile, comic’s disposition and a classic German accent. His name was Klaus and he’d just finished riding around the world on a 50CC (yes 50, not 500) motorcycle built decades ago for people with physical disabilities (complete with a homemade trailer thing).
Klaus was not disabled from what I could see, but he was funny as all hell, and to think the guy had just completed his round the world tour, putting along at a slow 30mph, made me feel that I was almost doing it too easy.
We hung out and traded yarns (good and bad) for a while, before splitting our own ways.
Although, I’ve got a feeling I’ll be seeing Alex pretty soon…
Rode all day, before setting up my tent in a parking lot of northern LA – camping’s not so romantic round there, but luckily over the next few days got to hang out with old friend Jaeson, who I hadn’t seen since many a jamming beach-feast of BBQ’d fish in Mentawai about 5 years prior.
Great to catch up again, go surfing, riding, and see the sights of Orange County. Even made it to some billionaire’s Halloween party in his marina-side mansion.
Awesome few days - thanks to the Plon family for being such great hosts and fun people to be around…
Before riding into Mexico, I had a few things to sort out – like swap out my tires for something more aggressive, buy goggles and a dust mask instead of sunnies, new oil filters etc.
Oh yeah, and start learning some Spanish…?!?
Luckily, was introduced to this fine gentleman and his lovely partner in crime Katie (second shot), They offered to put a roof over my head for a couple of days alongside Gaz and Teash who had been there a while already, in order to get the final things sorted before crossing the border..
Whilst there I got to check out and film a little of Jake’s amazing work with the Eco-flex boards he’s been producing. Even got to try a couple out on – they’re fast and sexy as hell.
Jake’s been shaping for a couple of decades now (along with running an organic farming business and a range of other creative pursuits), and has been leading the industry in high performance boards made from recycled and environmentally friendly materials.
Boards that don’t sacrifice performance or ethics I guess.
He’s got some beautifully wild shapes… functional too.
Check out the Eco-flex boards here, as well as his latest project – Aquatic Oddities.
In amongst the preparations, we had some dinners with other likely and inspiring folk, a couple of travelling and immensely talented artists joined us one evening for a spot of black light scorpion hunting.
We found 2 in the space of 15 minutes.
I got chatting with Celeste and Aaron who had just had an art show down in Mexico city, and after seeing a little more of what they get up to, found myself yearning to get behind the paintbrush again. These guys kill it.
Only a few days after I met them they’d already whipped up this mural in San Diego below…
Always stoked to meet passionate people…
Would’ve liked to have hung at the San Diegan ranch a little while longer, but I was hoping to squeeze in a bit of language study before a new and exciting chapter unfolded.
And so off to Mexico it was…