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July 28, 2017

Morro Bay, Pismo, and SLO Town

This morning, I wake up and get some work done in the hotel. I'm working remote today, it seems. So, I get my work done, and then I decide to go to the SLO-Town Chamber of Commerce and get a sticker for my bike. I really like SLO Town. It's one of my favorite places in California. So, I go in there to get my sticker. The girl remembers me from last night. I don't remember her, but I digress. So, I get me a sticker and put it on my bike.

I really don't want to be here any more. I really want to be anywhere but here. Like..I want to get on my bike and let it take me whereever it takes me. And I don't care at all where that is. I just want someone to stop the music. Stop the train, I want to get off.

I leave SLO and drive to Morro Bay for lunch. Morro Bay has a closed power generating station. I used ot think it was a defunct nuclear power plant, but apparently, that's not the case. Apparently, it's a decomissioned power station, but not a nuclear one.

I'm rolling through town. It's a touristy little town with a lot of development along the water front. Heavy fog rolls in across the bay. It's a scenic little town, but the boss calls and now I have to go back to the hotel to do some more work. Ugh.

I spend the rest of the day in the hotel in SLO, getting some work done remotely. At 6:00, I go down to the farmer's market at Avila Beach. It goes from 4:00 - 8:00. Someone told me about it at the farmer's market in Pismo. I forget who.

I head down to the farmer's market at Avila beach, without my riding gear. And, after I go a mile or so, I realize it's going to be way too cold. So I turn back and put on all of my riding gear. The fog rolls in and the temperature drops. Now, I'm rolling down, and the traffic is all backed up due to a wreck on CA-1/US 101 (they're the same at this point).

I exit for the Avila Beach road, and now I'm on a road I've never been on before. Nice little road twisting down to the beach, past a river/estuary. Find the farmer's market.

The farmer's market in Avila Beach is nice, as it's on the waterfront. But, a much smaller affair than the SLO-town farmer's market.

My problem is that, you can only eat so much. And, if money doesn't matter, then you really sort of end up trying to moderate your eating because, once you're full, you can't really eat any more. So, you don't want to get satiated too soon, I think.

The crowd at Avila Beach is much older than the crowd at SLO.

SLO is a bunch of college kids. Avila Beach is mostly retirees.

After Avila, I decide to roll down to check out Pismo. At Pismo, they're building some new condos/apartments downtown. I go through town, but I don't really stop. I roll south on 101 for an exit or two. Then, I try to drive towards the beach. I end up at some random place on the back side of the dunes.

Then, I try again, and I end up at an entrance to the beach. I never realized before that there are multiple entrances to dirve on the beach. Now, I know that there are at least 2 entrances where you can pay to drive onto the beach.

It's Friday afternoon/evening, and there's just this insane line to get onto the beach. So, I drive to the front like I own the place. I've saved my little receipt taped onto my windscreen, and as I get ot the front of the line, I just point to it and they just wave me through.

Now, I'm driving down the beach, and this time, I decide to try to go a little further down the beach. I end up driving about 2.5 miles down the beach.

It's sort of a surreal experience...it's the only place in CA where you can drive on the beach, to my knowledge. And, these people are all down here camping on the beach with campers, American flags are everywhere. They're riding dirt bikes, ATV's, dune buggies, like...this is far as you can be from California, and still, somehow, be in California.

Like Mad Max. Like a little Baja in California.

People are all waving at me. Giving me a thumbs up. As I roll by. Like...this is not easy. I'm not on a dirt bike, really. My bike is clearly set up more for the road. Everyone nods as I go by. WHich is kind of fun.

I saw a guy on a Suzuki yesterday in Lompoc, and I said, "where you headed?" to him at the light. He said, "why?".

So, what this means is that he's not going anywhere. He's a loser. He's poor as shit. And he's riding a suzuki because he can't afford to pay for gas in a real vehicle.

But now that I'm in Pismo, it's a much different scene. Everyone waves. Everyone gets what you're doing. Pismo is a world away from Lompoc.

As I'm riding down the beach, the sand gets softer and softer until, finally, the bike very nearly goes down. Somehow, I keep it up, but now I'm turning around. The sand isn't packed enough at this point. I turn back, and open the throttle, to take the weight off of the front tire.

Somehow, I make it back off the beach. Then, I ride towards Pismo a bit, and then I discover the 2nd entrance to the beach. There are at least 2 entrances.

I think that the first time I drove to Pismo was when I came down from SF in a Honda Prelude and drove that car down the beach. It never was the same after that I think. It made a grinding noise when I drove it and I sold it as soon as I got back to San Francisco. That was when I worked at Genentech in South San Francisco. I think that that was the first time I ever went to Pismo Beach.

I roll back to SLO at dusk, and look for a bar on Higuera Street so that I can sit down and drink a beer or two. I end up at Marston's Bar & Grill.

It's always interesting to see Higuera street in the daylight when it's not all blocked off for the farmer's market. It's a lot different then.

I'm not sure where to go tomorrow. I can't really go any further north. I could, however, head east. I haven't ruled that out yet.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 28, 2017 at 10:06 PM


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