We got there Friday afternoon and unloaded. With bikes safely lock away in the garage, Kurt and I went to check out the creek crossing. After parking in the wrong parking lot, we walked about 1.5 miles to the crossing. We got there right at high tide and it was ugly! The creek was not running straight into the ocean as I pictured. Instead, it turned and ran parallel with the shore then fanned out as it went into the ocean. The crossing was about a 50 yard crossing of salt water. So we watched as some stupid kid crossed it his new Toyota 4x4 and almost go stuck. It was not very comforting to see salt water being splashed over the hood of his truck. After he crossed, he stopped and the hood came up. Their was no way we're getting across without a 4x4. And we didn't want to risk getting Kristy's Explorer stuck in the OP, what to do? So we talked to Ronda the ranger. She told us that Angellos towing service would take us across and bring us back. Angellos is the "official" tow service for the park. They are the guys that pull you out when you got stuck, for a price. I think they charged $100 to pull your butt out if you get stuck. So we called , and for $45 they would tow our trailer across and drop us off the pick us up. I'll tell you what, that was the best $45 we ever spent. We get across and don't risk getting stuck and get salt water all over our trucks. So we went back to the condo confident that we would be riding Saturday. Saturday we called and make an appointment with the creek. We got ready. The girls made up some sandwiches and pack a cooler with beer and sodas and off we went. Got to the beach and hooked up, money was exchanged. We asked the driver to pick us up a 4:45pm, about a hour before high tide. We wanted to be home in time to watch the hockey game. He told us it would not be a problem. Half way to the crossing the driver ask if we had flags. Uhh...no, do we really need them? He told us that the rangers would make us walk out and get some if we didn't have them. So after a quick U-turn and $10 later, across the creek we went. We went across at low tide. I could have done it in my truck, it was pretty low. Just as we entered the OHV area, it started raining, hard. "You guys don't mind if it rains" the driver asked as he was dropping us off. Uhhh.........no. What choice did we have? We were there and determined to make the best of it. We pack very light, just enough to ride for a few hours. Kurt and a rain coat, and I left mine at home so I wore a garbage bag to keep the rain off. So off we went, into the rain. This being my first time on sand and the rain made it hard to see, we went slowly at first. Kurt found a nice little dune and we railed it. Oh, this is pretty easy I though, let me try it from this angle. Watch that transition Kurt told me, I hit it too slow and the front end just buried itself into the sand. Kurt said it looked pretty cool. The back of the bike came up, and over the bars I went face first into the sand. After I stopped seeing spots, I did that a few more times before I got the hang of it. Need to stay on the gas and keep the front end light. Within 45 minutes, we found ourselves at the back end of the park, still raining on and off. "This suck" we said, and headed back to the trailer for lunch and a beer. Kurt lost that little mud flap the protects the rear shock from getting pelted by junk from the tire in our morning ride. Worried that the sand spray from the tire my pit his shock shaft, I cut the ends off a beer can and split it down the middle. It wrapped around the spring quiet nicely. A few zip ties at the top and he was back in business. The rain finally let up, and we had lunch. We did bring out chairs, so we sat in comfort. Some guys stopped by and ask if we would watch their rail while we had lunch and they went to get some parts. Finally, there was a break in the clouds and the rain stopped. We were both pretty wet and unhappy up to that point. So we topped off (only used about 1/3 of a tank) and had another beer while we waited for those guys to show up and get their rail. I got impatient and started doing donuts on the beach. Those guys showed up just in time, we were ready to go. As the sun came out, steam started raising from the sand as the suns warmth started drying everything out. Off we went, only this time at a much faster click the before. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. I found a long hill climb with a lip at the top so you could get some air on top. We found lots of unriden sand dunes in the back and we rode like mad men. Riding it the sand was very different. Never had to use the front brake, and I think I only used the rear a few times. Its very odd having to gas it just to go down a hill. Kurt roosted me, but I got him back in spades, Sid would have been proud. We were in the back of the park, railing and jumping and just plain ripping the place apart. We saw maybe 4 other bike and 1 sand rail the whole time we were out there. We were having a blast. I finally stopped to see how much gas I had left. The tank was 3/4 empty after about an hour of riding. Wow, we better had back or we may run out of gas. 3/4 of a tank is almost a full day at Clear creek, and I went through it in a hour at Pismo. We started head back and got split up. I went back looking for Kurt and got totally lost. I could not find my way back the dune I though Kurt was at, they all start to look the same after a while, so I headed back to the trailer. Kurt got pulled over for speeding on the way back, he was going 25 mph in a 15 mph zone but didn't get a ticket. We got back to the trailer around 3:30 and decided to load up the bikes and wait for our ride out. So we loaded up and got ready to go. We were ready to go about 4:00 and our ride was suppose to show up around 4:45, enough time for a sandwich and a beer. About 5:00 a ranger stopped by and asked if we were staying the night. Uhhh....No, s is going to tow us out of here, and he's late. The ranger then informed us the was busy pulling three stuck vehicles out of the now closed creek crossing. "We'll be opening it up about 9:00 tonight". Closed until 9:00!!! But were gonna miss the hockey game! Well at least we were dressed warm and had our chairs. So we waited. At 6:00 we finished our beer and had no food left so we decided to walk to the creek crossing a check things out. Their were a mass of trucks on both sides waiting to cross. I gave Kurt the keys to the trailer and walked across to call the girls to let them know that we were going to be last (I left the cell phone in the truck). I called and the Sharks were winning, all right! Drove up to the store picked up some beer and drove back to the parking lot, then hiked back to the trailer, still in all my moto gear. I brought the cell phone so we could get updated on the game. About 7:30 a ranger stopped by. We told him that were waiting to pick us up and three other guys that were on rented quads. He called in to make sure they did not forget about us, they didn't. So we waited, and watch the sun set. About 8:30 we saw headlight heading our way, it was Angellos coming to get us! They came out in two trucks, one to pick up the quads and one to get us. We loaded up and off we went. As we approached the creek crossing their was a mass of chaos. Their where about a dozen people running around on the bluff over looking the crossing. In the middle of the crossing the tide had gone down enough to expose a small island. There on the island was a guy jumping up and down a frantically waving his arms. In the middle of the crossing was his truck. A brand new white Dodge ram truck stuck in the salt water. He got stuck and the waves were almost going over the sides and into the bed of the truck. The water level was past the wheel wells. For a brief second I though that was my truck being eaten by the salt water. The thought of salt water in my crank case made me have a out of body experience. But I quickly remembered that my truck was safely parked in the parking lot away from the caustic salts of the ocean. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Angellos other truck with the two quads and passengers in the bed start across the deep end of the creek and head up a bluff. Suddenly all hell broke loss, the quads starting rolling out the back of the truck, passengers jumping from the bed of the truck and people running amok. We still had to cross. Not thinking that we could do it because the dodge was blocking the only route I could see, Angello gunned it and in a splash across we went. To my disbelief, we had make it. We had done Pismo and then some, all for $45. We thanked Angello for his crossing expertise and hooked up the trailer to my truck and found the nearest car wash and hose everything down. We made it back to the condo in time to see the Shark lose in overtime to the Dallas Stars. Sunday morning was sunny and clear but rained in the afternoon. If we had gone riding on Sunday we would have been sitting in the rain waiting to be pimped out. So all in all it was a good weekend. We did Pismo. Now I get to spend the next few week picking every grain of sand out of my bike. Ride
Word of advice, know when high tide is and plan around that.
Angello's tow service at (805) 481-0355
For more info contact:
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
576 Camino Mercado
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
California Department of Parks and Recreation
PO Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 942896
Latest update: April 26, 2004
Last update: June 12, 1998.