For me Pismo started with the long drive from the South Bay Area, driving alone and arriving around 10 PM Friday night to find Sandman, Fidget, her daughter Debra (Cookie Dough) and niece Patricia (Bigfoot) who all had been there since Thursday. Once I unloaded my things, we went back to the stream crossing to watch the fun of people unprepared to handle the deep water from the high tide. Occasionally someone had to get towed, but although the water came up to the headlights, most just came right across once the decision was made to try it. While this was going, on, a call came in from somebody out in the dunes that a truck was on fire just behind Competition Hill and Sandman relayed the message to channel 9. We had camped south of mile marker 8 and the fire truck came by us around the end of the Snowy Plover fence on it's way out. Later we decided to go out and take a look in the dark. After driving around for a while some guys led us to it. It was a newer Chevy truck burned completely out, even the tires. Nothing but metal left, and still smoldering. After that it was back to camp to sit around the fire and then to bed around 1AM.
Saturday I went into town to the market to see if I could find a crab to fix for dinner that night. I found a nice big one and some fresh corn on the cob to cook on the grill. About 1PM, Cutri and Patti showed up after checking into their motel (did you get that? Their Motel. Look at me, I'm a camper!). We decided to cruise the dunes and right off Roostermobile 2 earned me a beer by pulling a new Range Rover off a sidehill. Pretty soon the inevitable happened and Cutri broke some- thing in the front of his jeep, so he had to limp back to camp in two wheel drive. I had taken my paddle tires out to see how they would work on Roostermobile 2 so we got to thinking that maybe Cutri could get around in two wheel drive with them, so we made the switch and went to check them out. On the first soft hill he got into a major stuck. It seems that if you stop, it's hard to get going again and the paddles try to dig you down to China, but if you keep going and only stop on solid ground, they work fine. After a while he really seemed to get the hang of it and was basically going anywhere the rest of us went. About 6PM we decided to go back to camp for dinner. At this point I think I should tell everyone that the weather at Pismo this year was about as perfect as it could be. This was the pattern: Cloudy in the morning, around 65 degrees; Sun out around 11AM, around 75 degrees with a gentle breeze all day long; Wind comes up around 6PM, but not bad; Wind completely dies around 9PM and temperature drops to around 65 degrees; Nights are around 55 degrees, perfect for sleeping. I've been to Pismo many times and this was the best weather I can remember. Anyway, Cutri had left his truck at the motel, so they drove the jeep to the south park entrance with the paddles on and walked to a restaurant. In the mean- time, I fixed my crab and corn (it was great!) while Sandman and Fidget and the girls ate in his trailer (Look at me, I'm a camper!). Cutri and Patti came back for the fire and later around 11PM, Sandman took them back to their motel.
Sunday was another perfect day. Breakfast and camp lounging until Cutri and Patti showed up in his truck around 11AM. Then out we went to try the dunes again. I think it is worth mentioning at this time that Roostermobile 2 owns the dunes, just ask anybody. Cutri got stuck again, but soon got the hang of it again. Sandman's big truck is generally unstuckable and ends up unsticking everyone else. Fidget was experimenting more and more with her jeep and after a while was making some pretty rough hills. She made one in particular just over from Competition Hill after trying a number of different gear and throttle combinations and practicing her backing down techniques. Shortly after that, I got thirsty so Roostermobile 2 earned me another beer from a stuck brother Wrangler. We went back to camp for lunch around 2PM. Patti went into town to get some steaks for her and Cutri and a bunch of corn for all of us to fix with our dinners. The rest of us went back out again. At Competition Hill some guy had rolled a Toyota truck and the tow trucks were in heaven. We went back to camp around 7PM to fix dinner. Even though we had a little wind, it wasn't too bad and dinner turned out great. I had four legged chicken as usual. That night we did a night run. Patti stayed by the fire and Fidget rode with me (ask her if Roostermobile 2 doesn't own the dunes). There wasn't hardly any of the normal fools at Competition Hill, apparently they were too tired from Saturday night. The stars were out and it was so pleasant, we stayed up late around the fire again.
Monday morning had the usual overcast with a slight breeze. Question: How long does it take two girls, one woman, and Sandman to set up the kitchen table in his trailer? Answer: Around 15 minutes. Question: How long does it take Sandman by himself to set up the same table? Answer: Around 30 seconds ( that is providing Sparky stays out of the way). The sun came out around 11AM and I packed up my things to leave, although everyone else was staying for another day. My trip home was routine, but all the way I kept thinking something was missing about the run. All of us there had a good time, but we all kept remarking how so and so would really like this weather, so and so would really enjoy this hill, and so and so would have fun watching these fools. In other words, we missed the rest of our group. Let's face it, Pismo is a whole lot of the same thing: sand. What makes the place so much fun is the people and how they relate to the sand. Even though we had fun as a small group, it wasn't anything compared to the fun we could have had if more of out friends could have shared it with us. I know that some who planned to go got caught in situations they couldn't change, and I'm not blaming anyone, but next year we have to plan this run so we can get more people in it and more fun out of it.