Pismo Dunes!

Does anyone need a couple of pounds of clean beach sand? Just come vacuum out my Jeep! This run almost died due to member attrition, but Lupe, her father Frank and I met up at her house about 1pm on Friday and headed south on 101 - into a massive back up due to a grass fire. It delayed us about an hour, and took it's toll on the clutches driving stop and go up a hill in hot weather. But we had smooth sailing once past the fire, and still arrived in time for a fab sunset. We opted for dinner in town at Splash Cafe, and had some really good clam chowder an salads. Back to the sand for a campfire, and it got cold and very very damp. It was raining inside my tent.

Saturday started out overcast, but we got breakfast put away as CJ showed up with his friend (oops, should have written down his name:- { Out into the dunes with sand 101. Up dune, down dunes, and airing down. Soon we were playing follow the leader out into the deep dunes. About 10am, the wind picked up, and by 11am the overcast just started to clear when we headed back for lunch. The sand was flying and the wind was howling. My tent was full of sand, blow in under the rain fly and through the mesh! Since Lupe was still having problems with her Jeep slowing down going up some of the dune climbs, Lupe & CJ got out the owner's manual and figured out how to turn off the traction control! Really? Traction control?? After securing the tents and covering everything we could it was back out.

More dunes, and then we spotted a limping pick up way out in the dunes. Tire off the rim. I radioed to CJ to ask if we should render aid? And he headed straight over! So, Lupe was treated to a demonstration of how to remount a tire. It took about 20 minutes, and we were back on our way, the driver having offered the usual beer bonus and the praise "You Jeep people are the best!" CJ picked up a great flag out in the dunes.

The wind was still howling, so we headed back to camp to see if the tents were still there (mostly) had a quick snack (Lupe has pictures of us huddled in the wind shadow of the Jeep) and took a quick walk around looking at the toys. Then a couple more hours lost in the sand until the sun started sinking. We went back to camp, cleaned up a bit, and then headed uptown to McKlintocks. CJ's compressor and tank filled Lupe's tires up to 20# in nothing flat while we watched another great sunset. The up through town.

We put our name in and were were told "45 minutes". We spent about 30 minutes in the rest rooms de-sanding as best as possible (by now, I had sand in my shoes, sand in my hair, sand in my ears...) and got back to the lobby only to find it was going to be another 45 minutes. CJ's local expert suggested Mo's BBQ back in town, and we headed back. No wait, great Q, garlic fries, Tri-tip and home made potato chips. After deciding not to pay $2 for a nacho cheese flavored cricket, we stopped for frozen yogurt with an impressive array of toppings and sat in the nice warm store until they closed. Then split up and headed back to the beach. After another campfire that Frank miraculously lit in the windstorm, we went to bed. At least it was dry.

Sunday AM: We got about an hour of perfect Pismo weather: mostly clear skies, a gentle breeze and warm sun. So we started to pack with the idea that we might get a some time on the dunes in the nice weather. No such luck - the gale force wind came back and made packing unpleasant. Since it was 11 when we finished packing we decided to head home. We almost didn't get off the beach with the trailer and aired up tires, but made it back to pavement. It was noon by the time we got gassed up and aired up, so we took to the highway, met up with CJ in SLO and caravanned home. The drive was uneventful except for the headwind, and occasional sideways gusts making driving straight a challenge.

I have to say, Lupe's Jeep is VERY comfortable. The seats are very cushy, soft and supportive.

By the way, I still have sand in my ears! Thanks for a great run, Ellen