Tuesday, November 24, 2009
SLO to Pismo Beach. Swimming in salt!
Day 39 17 miles
After seeing Dani take a fall, it was an easy decision to take an easy day today and only go 17 miles. We woke up in our hotel and decided to use the morning as an opportunity to post blogs and wash some laundry. We dilly dallied until checkout time at 11:00 and then headed out of San Luis Obispo toward Pismo Beach. I had heard of Pismo Beach before but I had no idea it is so small. It is a community of around 10,000 people, and I think all of them were at the beach. Between sunbathing, playing on the beach, swimming, or surfing there were a ton of people on the beach. I can't blame them, the beach in Pismo is beautiful.
We checked out the beach for awhile, but eventually we were lured in. We have been risding next to the pacific ocean every single day for over a month. Almost every night we go to sleep listening to waves crashing against the beach, but we have yet to set foot in the ocean. On such a warm day with such a nice beach I couldn't help myself. Dani decided not to swim because of her wounds from crashing, but I went all out. At first the water felt pretty cold, but I got used to it quickly. This was my first time actually swimming in the ocean. I kept getting further and further from shore until I was out where the surfers were waiting for the big waves to curl and break. I loved trying to jump over the waves but as I got further from shore the water was to deep to jump so I just let the waves crash over me. The current in the water coming into the shore and pulling back out are so strong. I could feel them pulling me in both directions at the same time. Finally a set of three big waves at once hit, but I could only see the first two. When the third one hit I was just coming up for air and I got a huge mouth full of salty Pacific Ocean water. It is so salty! At that point I swam back to Dani and the shore. We sat on a bench by the beach and ate a snack while I dried off.
After we left the beach we rode ten more miles to the town of Oceano. This was not much of a town. It seems as though the biggest industry is tourism based around off road vehicles coming to the local dunes and a state off road vehicle recreation area. We tried to find a grocery store, but in a town of almost 8,000 we couldn't. We finally inquired and we were pointed down the highway to a Mexican market. I am glad we went. I have been in Asian markets before, but this place was a trip. Most of the stuff in the store was labeled in Spanish, and there was a jewelry counter directly adjacent to the meat counter. (not joking at all). We bought the fixin's for, what else, but burritos for supper. We went back to the state park campground to make our meal only to find that they no longer have hiker/biker sites. They did away with them because they were being abused by the homeless. So, we had to pay $25.00 for a piece of dirt to pitch our tent on. At least the burritos were good.