Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pacific Dunes

I'm not really liking Pismo Beach.  We're not having the awesome experience here that we had in Morro bay.  Pismo Beach is Morro Bay's more crowded, overpriced, touristy older sister.  I'm disappointed.

We can never find parking in town so today (Sunday) I became determined to walk to the beach from our RV park.  There is access at the back of the park to what I presumed was beach, but what I've learned is a mile of dunes before getting to the ocean.

The first day here I tried to walk through the soft shoe-sucking sand to get to the ocean and gave up.  Today I was determined to make it.  I'd checked on satellite and it was about a mile.  It would be a rough hike over high loose sand dunes, but I just wanted to get to the ocean, dang it!

Here is the Google World picture.  These dunes are gigantic.  I had to scramble on all fours to climb them, and climbing is tough.  Your feet sink in the sliding sand and it's hard to make progress.  Your feet are sucked by every step anyway.  It got exhausting in a hurry. 

I walked far enough out to not be able to see anything in front of me or behind me.  It would be so easy to get lost.  Eventually I did make it to the ocean, but it was a weird beach.  There's a two lane road right where the water meets land.  The whole beach is a parking lot.  Many people were towing Toy-haulers to bring their ATVs out to the dunes. 

I still enjoyed walking barefoot in the water for a long stretch.  The ocean waves gave me a second wind.  I had loads of energy and enthusiasm.

I saw two clammers.  The first one was an adult man who would not look at me for me to greet him.  I presume he's clamming without a license and wants people to leave him alone.  The next clammers were two little boys getting clams for their father to use as bait.  I asked them if they got any clams and they showed me their small white steamer proudly.  Then their father (who was fishing nearby) yelled at them not to talk to me, because I presume he was fishing without a license.  Like I really give two shits?

I started back with achey legs and I knew I just could not climb another avalanching 30 foot dune.  I saw people riding horses and followed them because there's no way the horses were going over those dunes.  They must ride out to a road.  Once I get to the road I can just walk my way back to the RV park on pavement.

But of course I got lost.  I'm at the edge of the dunes now looking down a 100 foot sheer drop to where people's houses are far below me.  Houses and an area filled with old bath tubs for some reason?  There's no way I could get down to the private property even if I wanted to, so I didn't trespass.

I skirted the edge of the dunes where the sand was hard packed enough for me not to sink.  I was trying my darndest not to have to scramble.  I kept finding the easiest paths with my only navigation tool being the ocean behind me, so the RV park was somewhere in the opposite direction.

Thankfully the park is so huge that I was able to spot it.  Hallelujah!  I wasn't going to die out here.  I was seriously praying and freaking out.  The dunes were precarious.  I could have twisted my ankle and be seriously screwed.  It was a stupid thing to try.

Oh...but it took so long to finally make it back!  And the last stretch was scrambling up steep dunes.  I was so achey, thirsty, and exhausted!  I was also grateful to have made it back safely. 

After I recovered I took my mom out to dinner because I was too exhausted to cook.  While Pismo Beach and Oceano (where the park actually is) kind of suck, Arroyo Grande is a really nice little town.  We went to a Mexican/Seafood restaurant and had a delicious meal that was reasonably priced. 

Then I got stupid again.

On the way back I went down Pier Street to drive onto the beach and show my mother this strange beach where there was vehicle traffic.  We paid $5 to drive on the beach.  The woman at the gate should not have let us in!  The tide had already covered the hard packed sand.  We drove on fluffy sand and got stuck!  AHHH! 

Then like an idiot I turn down the first guy who wants to help us thinking I can dig myself out.  I CAN'T.  Thankfully my mom gets out to push and more men come to help.  We promptly GTFO of there before the tide eats our car.  OH THE CALAMITY!!!

This is when I decide I think Pismo Beach sucks and I don't want to come back here.  Maybe this will change tomorrow.  I'm hoping Monday will mean less of a crowd and that I can actually get on the pier to fish.  That might just make me fall in love with this place...but only if we can find a parking spot!

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