Eighteen-year-old Jakob Easton isn’t your typical teenager. This could be seen in his broad spectrum of hobbies — dance, longboarding, motorcycles and surfing — and also witnessed in his entrepreneurial business adventures in his later teen years, which included selling fishing lures he collected in local rivers and shaping and selling surfboards.
After graduating from Homer High School last spring, Easton didn’t take the conventional route of college like many of his classmates. Instead he began making plans for his biggest adventure yet. He called it, “A solo motorcycle surf road trip south with no particular end goal, end time or direction.”
Currently in Long Beach, Calif., Easton has tacked 4,400 miles onto his odometer since purchasing his 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 motorcycle and custom-built trailer. Easton describes the 185-pound trailer as “one of a kind” and uses it to sleep in and haul all of his belongings.
Easton left Homer Sept. 16, taking a detour to Fairbanks to have work done on his unconventional rig. He received warnings of snowfall, which didn’t become an issue until the morning after crossing the border into Canada.
“I woke up in my campground to snow and I thought I was done,” said Easton. “I drove through a snowstorm all day long and managed to drive fast enough, far enough and quick enough to get out of it.”
He said the motorcycle and trailer combination receives a lot of attention, and has had multiple conversations at stoplights with curious strangers.
Along his West Coast route, Easton has visited fellow Homerites living in Canada, Seattle and Oregon. Easton credits his small-town background as his inspiration for his trip.
“I would say growing up in Homer made me much more open-minded, more mature in certain aspects, more capable and not so cliquey.” He added, “Definitely growing up building fires, fishing and playing in the woods has helped inspire me to go on this trip.”
Easton said his parents, Gail Edgerly and Will Easton, were all for his trip.
“I love him to pieces,” said Edgerly. “I’m proud of him and very excited. Personally I get a real thrill when I witness someone stretch, and reach and go for something they want. I am thrilled that he’s doing that.”
Will Easton, who has done his own motorcycle touring around the United States and Canada, also was excited for his son’s first motorcycle road trip.
“Of course I was a little nervous ... but that’s not going to make me want to stop him from doing it. I just try to make sure he’s safe and he had everything he needs,” he said.
Jakob Easton said meeting new people and surfing has been the highlight of his trip. He described one experience where a pod of dolphins came within six feet of him. Easton encourages anyone seeking unconventional adventure to “just do it.”
“If you have the resources to do a trip like this I would say do it. You can’t rely on other people and you have to be able to make decisions. If you want to do something like this it is an amazing, scary, eye-opening experience that’s definitely worth it.”
Easton’s adventure for the moment has taken him to Long Beach, where he made friends he met in a parking lot after surfing. He recently bought a sailboat, his mother said, and is waiting to get permission to live onboard it at a local marina.
“He’s been surfing a lot, sailing a lot, delivering hamburgers and waiting to hear about a second job at a surf shop,” she said. “He’s decided to stay there for now.”
You can follow Easton on his travels at instagram.com/jakobeaston.