Initially I covered American Wayfarers Keith and Reina in their walk from the Atlantic sea board to the Pacific sea board ending their journey at Huntington Beach. As a result of a long time friend of mine becoming fascinated with their journey, I became aware of their important message to the entire world. By foot, they are challenging the world to recognize the importance of clean oceans and taking a stand against plastics and ocean pollution. 98.5 percent of the water on our planet is salt water. Water makes up 70% of the earth’s surface. The oceans direct wind patterns, weather and fresh water producing storms. There is no denying the importance of the ocean in sustaining the planet with weather that gives us fresh water to drink and nourish food bearing plants to the fish and marine life that feed people of the world. If we mess this up, the consequences for real living, breathing human beings are dire. That is why this is so important.
It didn’t take long to understand their motives and want to be a part of their important message. After their east to west journey, and learning of their coastal Mexican to Canadian border walk, I was hoping to meet this couple on their journey north. I figured since I spent much of my time from San Clemente to Laguna Beach that there was a real possibility that could happen. Friday at work was real hectic and I lost track of where they were at. I believed they would be in the Dana Point to Laguna Beach area today. I was right. Saturday is a day that work is put aside and I meet friends in the community to body board. Patrick Britton checked North Laguna for good waves and recommended that we check Aliso Beach so I decided to meet him there. Aliso had waves but they weren’t worthy of paddling out. We decided to head to Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Point. As fate would have it, I told Patrick that I would meet him at Salt Creek after picking up a cup of coffee at Starbucks in Dana Point in the Monarch Bay Plaza.
When I neared the entrance to Starbucks, I saw a cart that had me thinking that the American Wayfarers Keith and Reina were there. On their previous east to west adventure, they named their cart Larry. When I first saw the videos of their travels, I believed that Larry was another person attached to the journey. I was convinced based upon the videos produced along the way, that Larry was a caddy of sorts pushing their cart. It makes me laugh to think I got it that twisted and that the cart was named Larry. When I saw the cart at the Starbucks entrance, there was a doggy bowl with water in it next to it. Since people in Orange County pamper their dogs and place them in carts, I lost hope that Keith and Reina were in Starbucks. As I entered the line for a fresh cup of coffee, I had given up on the idea of Keith and Reina being there. I was disappointed but understood it was their journey and that my meeting them was far less important than the message their walk sends to the world. I picked up my cup of coffee and walked towards the door and there they were sitting at the tables on the left hand side of the front of the building.
When I saw Keith I was like, “Oh my God, there is Keith and Reina!” Their previous journey and videos gave me an idea of who they were as people so I was comfortable saying hi to them. I honestly have no idea how many people recognize them and understand what they are doing after their first east to west walk. My hope is that more and more people are aware of the importance of plastic and pollution free ocean water as a result of their walks. They were exactly like I expected them to be. They are salt of the earth type of people that are humble and good. They embrace people that believe in the work that they are doing and are good to them. Proudly, I am one of those people.
After meeting them, I surfed Salt Creek for an hour and a half. When I left Salt Creek, I wanted to see a couple of surf spots in Laguna Beach before calling it a day. I saw Keith and Reina walking on the inland side of South Coast Highway nearing South Laguna Beach. Knowing the sidewalk free area of our coast, I was worried for their safety. There is a narrow bike lane popular to cyclists running north on South Coast Highway, and cars parked on the side make walking with traffic a little sketchy. On the way back south, I saw Keith and Reina sitting on a curb on the coastal side of South Coast Highway in the middle of Laguna Beach. I was genuinely relieved to see them there because it meant that they successfully navigated the pitfalls of South Laguna Beach traffic without the benefit of the safety of a sidewalk the whole way through. I am sure they were happy to get through there as well.
I had a picture taken with Keith and Reina at Starbucks as they were kind enough to indulge my request. Paddling out at Salt Creek in trunks in December with 6-8 foot northwest swell was amazing but the highlight of my day was absolutely meeting these two ocean advocates who had inspired me with their journey east to west. I was a previous contributor to their journey financially and i will be doing that again this weekend. In their travels they are meeting people and growing a following for their inspiring work. Thank you so much Keith and Reina for a moment of your time today! I am so taken aback by what you are doing and am motivated to work harder to meet my own objectives for ocean pollution awareness here at Aliso Beach. It is a job that has no finish line of course, but it takes people like you to extend the message to as many people as we can so that our ocean waters are protected and preserved for future generations. I would love to stay in touch and my offer stands to help you along the way if you need anything from money to supplies on your journey north. When you get back home to Oahu, please stop by Wys Art Gallery in Haleiwa to pick up a token of our appreciation for the work that you do. I had a really good day today and meeting you was truly, truly amazing. Safe travels and thank you for the very important work that you are doing, I love the message that you are sending and it is up to us all to respond and help!