Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Oceano Dunes

I couldn't say no.  After all, I drag my travel buddy to many many places he'd just as soon avoid like old missions and art museums.  So a few weeks ago I found myself roaring down the beach (well, as fast as we can roar in a Honda Odyssey) along with all the other testosterone-fueled baby boomers in their trucks and SUVs.  I didn't see a heck of a lot of women.  Wisely, they were back at the cafes sipping lattes and munching on croissants.  This sounds extremely sexist, and you know what?  It is.  But I just don't get it.  Probably never will.  Why anyone would want to race on a sand-packed track, scaring the sanderlings and gulls half to death, stinking up the air and creating so much noise you need earplugs, is beyond me.  Chances are, most of them will get stuck and have to pay someone a hundred bucks to pull them out.  There were a few entrepreneurial types waiting on the sidelines with homemade signs:  Air.  $10 per tire.

This stretch of beach, open to vehicular traffic, is one part of a system of coastal dunes that stretch from Pismo Beach to Point Sal on California's Central Coast.   I negotiated with my buddy.   A morning of rip roaring adventure for a future walk out to the point.  Point Sal State Beach can only be reached after a strenuous ten-mile hike, but pristine beaches and unexplored tidepools await you at the end.

"You got yourself a deal," he said.  Grinning from ear to ear, he took out his car keys and started the 'ole girl up.

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