July 17, 2013

Big Sur Con Todos

Our caravan of three trucks pulled off the 1 and into the small parking lot.   The marine layer masked the sun’s orientation in the sky, giving the vague feeling that it could be anytime from 8am to 8pm. The parking lot was relatively empty, save for a GMC van with South Dakota plates.  In the world of  road trippers, the South Dakota, or SoDAk, licenses plates are a dead give away that the owner resides full time in their camper.  Pulling up to an open spot, I left my door unlocked and walked towards the rocks overlooking Big Sur’s rocky coast line.

The south swell that filled the beaches of Southern California like a Slim Aarons photo was marching north along the coast.  The waves weren’t as good,  but that didn’t matter. It was well worth avoiding the crowds.

“Oooh that looks, fun…Look at that left!” Trevor said pointing to a mediocre, waist high wave breaking off of a few rocks and then crumbling left for 25 yards before closing out on a shore break.

“Frickin’ Teahupoo out there right now…”

“If we don’t surf now, what are we going to do all day.  It’s…. 11:32,” I said pausing to check my phone.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m out there…” Trevor said, turning and walking back to his truck,  leaving Spencer (Trevor’s younger brother) and Alex Yoder to deliberate about the wave.

“The lulls are pretty long.”

“So we will just wait…Didn’t Lopez say, “you can wait on the beach or you can wait in the ocean?”

“Something like that.”

With a hoot,  Trevor ran past,  holding his fish in one hand. “You guys are blowing it.”

Alex’s rolling home.


Alex and his travel companion, Lucy.

South Swell

Drying rack.

Big Sur backroads.

The inside of Chris’ Econoline Van.

Triple decker.

T-Pee building.


Running back to the parking lot,  I grabbed my wet wetsuit and pulled the legs and arms through.  No time for a towel, I reasoned,  kicking off my jeans.  Just then, a bleached white mini van pulled into the lot, stopping awkwardly in handicap parking spot.  A family of European tourist piled out,  brandishing DSLR’s and iPads.  Caught with my pants down, I wrenched the suit over my heal and wiggled up to my waste line.  Well seasoned to similar acts of liberated self expression on their native beaches,  the Germans (by now I had overheard a few harsh-sounding sentences), didn’t bat an eye and were gone within seconds after snapping a photo of the coastline.  With the dregs of a bar of wax, I added to the dirty wax job on my Mini Simmons and headed towards the trail.

“Give the tourists a view of the natural wildlife?”

“Sure did.  Unfortunately they were more psyched on photographing the bridge.”

Chuckles were exchanged at my expense and we headed down the beach to join Trevor.


Here are some more links,

Square State (Alex Yoder’s Tumblr),

Tearevor (Trevor Gordon’s Tumlbr).


  • July 17 , 2013

    I like many of your photos Foster but that first one is going to be an iconic one. One that shows up in places years from now. Good flick man. And the story’s on point as always.

  • Emily
    July 17 , 2013

    Hey Foster!

    I have been following your stuff for a good year now and i love your adventures! I am about to go on a 3 week adventure to Big Sur and the surrounding areas. Where did you go on this last trip? Where would you recommend I explore? Im going to definitely check out Sand dollar beach at low tide as well as dive for jade at jade cove and shower with the hippies at the showers in southern big sur… am i missing any sweet spots? Also, this is my first time surfing north of slo and south of ocean beach. Im a long boarder (7′) and wondering were there is a good spot to surf, like a break that feeds into a cove or river or something. Do you know of anything?

    Happy travels senor,

  • Dev
    July 17 , 2013

    What’s the thing about South Dakota places? I Didn’t get it :/

  • July 17 , 2013

    South Dakota has special laws making it very easy to be come a resident without having a physical address. all you need is a PO box.

    Thanks for kind words. im flattered.

    If i told you, i’d have to kill you ; ). Willow creek and sand dollar both get fun.


  • plummtree
    July 18 , 2013

    Great photos, great site, please keep it up.

    Question: You take any especial security measures, or is good karma sufficiently guarding you?

    I’ve done months’ and months’ worth of this sort of travel in Europe and it’s always been fine. But over here there are people close to you all the time, and unlike the North American West there’s no guns or meth labs or weed farms, etc.

    But it’s all been good? I hope so, it looks like such a great experience.

  • July 18 , 2013

    Im pretty good about Security and keep a super soaker full of industrial grade bear mace sitting next to me at all time.


  • July 18 , 2013

    Cool, I was wondering about the South Dakota thing too

  • Dan
    July 18 , 2013

    I agree with Eric: the first photo is MoMA material.

  • July 18 , 2013

    Hey Foster,

    So I noticed you noted the Germans toting DSLRs. What do you use to shot all your photos that everyone following seems to love. (Nice shots, by the way.)

  • Belén
    July 18 , 2013

    That’s exaclty what I want to do with my life, greetings and from Chile :)

  • July 19 , 2013

    I’ve just recently stumbled upon your site and man, your photos as well as your stories just blew me away. I agree with everyone, that one right there at the top is gorgeous. Keep it up. Cheers, Foster!

  • July 19 , 2013

    I didnt figure out until i was in southern baja and half the cars have south dakota plates and asked a local.

    not even close, in my opinion.

    I took these on a mamiya 6 and a nikon fg,

    thanks for checking in!

    thanks for the kind words.


  • July 19 , 2013

    [...] Foster Huntington once again has me itching to get out of the office and into the wild with his latest post on a trip to Big Sur. A Restless Transplant. Big Sur Con Todos [...]

  • July 19 , 2013

    I’ve been following your adventures for a couple of months now. So many people wish they could’ve done this sort of thing in their lifetime. I think what you are doing is what life should be about ~ following your dreams. Your photos and words are wonderful always!! The triple decker hammocks are the best!!!!!

    Namaste ~ Wendy

  • July 20 , 2013

    Thanks Wendy. Deciding to leave my life in New York and move into my car has been the best decision i’ve made. without a doubt.


  • Jane
    July 21 , 2013

    Hey Foster,

    Love your documentation of life’s adventures. I am stuck out in the oil fields for weeks at a time and continually look through your photos day dreaming for the day that I can leave this job and adventure in similar fashion. How much would you estimate your monthly expenses to be? Just so I know how long I really need to save up for :)

    Thanks, Jane.

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  • July 24 , 2013

    [...] A Restless Transplant are the names of the creatives that disconnected and reconnected to the roots that connect us all. Check out a few photos from their latest adventure above and see the remainder of their footage HERE. [...]

  • WC
    July 25 , 2013

    Who is Chris, of “the inside of Chris’ Econoline van” fame? Have you any more photos of that inside? Best interior I’ve yet seen.

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