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One Way South

Shirtless man in board shorts standing outside a camper van

A one-way plane ticket, one 1977 Dodge Tradesman, one thousand miles of open road, and only ONE way home…

‘A’ ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia - No task is too big when done together by all

Hele - To go, To Travel

Bags are packed and tensions are high - pre-flight jitters pulsed steadily through our veins, trumped only by caffeine riffs from the half empty coffee I was still white-knuckling (Zach doesn’t drink coffee FYI). Surprisingly, for two people who travel as often as we do; Zach and I both happen to hate flying. Currently we stand in front of my house in Venice, petrified of the looming metal sky bus awaiting our arrival at LAX terminal 3. Somewhat unsettled we wasted no space as we wrapped our surfboards in sleeping bags and jammed them (along with all of our clothes) into a heavfty board bag. Spirit airlines extra $35 dollar ‘carry-on fee’ be damned, we’re just two millennials with empty pockets and big dreams. Taking a sip from my ice cold waiakea bottle, my nerves were temporarily calmed. We mustered up a bit of courage and wrangled our 70lb surfboard bag to the roof of the Prius we had hired. Arriving at LAX, we did one last gear check, crossed our fingers, and prepared to take the skyward plunge.

A few anxiety riddled hours later, we had arrived. The Great Green North; just as I had left it only but a few years ago. A familiar smell of foliage and family, as we were greeted by my oldest friend & local tour guide; War-dog. Piling into the back of his vessel, we set course due west and just like that the journey had officially began.

The Oregon coast featuring a forest and mountains

Makai - Toward the Sea; Seaward

The gargle of whitewash, ethereal movements of willows along the shores - the coast is calling, and we’re not the crew to send it to voicemail. We headed along a westbound route until we were met with visions of crumbly peaks. Parting ocean views greeted us from the end of the rolling forests, the Oregon coastline certainly did not disappoint. This is where we first met Sydney, the blue kissed 1977 dodge tradesman we’d be calling home for the duration of the trip. Love at first sight is an understatement; we were dumbfounded by her beauty (it’s Waiakea blue for christ sake!). Barrel of monkeys in the van and we’re off, this is the moment we knew; there was only ONE way south.
Tradesman 200 emblem closeup
Waiakea being held up against the Oregon sunset

Imiloa - Exploration Driven by Wonder and Imagination

The next 48 hours were a slew of moments we will both remember for years to come. It was; dawn patrols, roadside attractions, waves, truck stops, berries, hikes, directions, strangers, highs, lows, burritos. We exhaustingly explored every breaking ravine from; the uncharted Oregon coast, to the clearly labeled surf havens of northern & central California. Exploration was the focus, Wonder was the motive. Totally captivated by nature, plus the illusive freedom of being unattached from responsibility - we rambled down 1,000 miles of enchanted coastal highway. Zach and I laughed at every bend, grasping on to the feeling of pure imagination and constantly wondering what lay around the next bend. We surfed, we drove, we ate, we drank; and for a fleeting moment, all seemed right in the world.
Man with a surfboard surrounded by forest
Closeup of berries found along the Oregon coast
Shirtless man wearing a cap driving a van

A hui hou kākou - Until we Meet Again

Just like that, we’re back at home in Venice, CA. How fast the days (read:miles) flew by. The spirit of adventure still resides on the open road, so this may not be goodbye - more so just a pause - until we meet again.
Man in wetsuit pouring Waiakea water onto his head
Two people heading into the surf on the Oregon coast
Pacific Northwest forest

Check out Waiakea Ohana Ben and Zach on Instagram at @streetveggies and @heyzachwilliams.

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