Oceano Dunes and Pinnacle National Monument

Shipyard was pretty tough on me this year. In a lot of ways I feel like it took a little piece of me, maybe took some days off my life, or something. I haven’t ever to this day felt the stress or burden that I did during that period of days. I’m not saying that I couldn’t handle it, because I did, but what I am saying is that it wasn’t easy.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, when you experience a seriously stressful event like that the thing you lose is your sense of adventure. Your sense of the very thing that I celebrate here on this website, and over the last few days I’ve come to realize that I’m not about to give that up. To be honest with you, I’ve come too far to give up now. Many people wander through life going from one negative experience to the next, and I don’t want to be one of them. A couple of years ago I made a conscious decision to be the person that chooses to go from one positive experience to the next, and I’m not about to give that up.

In my effort to regain my soul, I decided to make a trip to the ocean. I knew that I needed to spend a night camped on the beach and I knew that there was only one place I would be able to do that. Pismo Beach, or more specifically Oceano Dunes OHV area. Oceano is a huge set of dunes and beach that are open to the public and they allow people to drive right on the beach. It’s a very special thing, and quite a sight to see.

The kids and I made the journey down, about a 7 hour drive from home, to the dunes. We didn’t make it down until after dark, which in a way added to the suspense of the trip. We were all set up, camped out when it hit me. We are camping RIGHT on the ocean! No matter how many times I do it I am still amazed at how soothing it is to sleep with the waves in the background.

The next morning we woke up with the sun, took some pretty solid pictures and stomped around on the dunes for a while. Even with all of those people the place still creates a sense of serenity.

After breakfast we took a look at some of the sand rails and atv’s as they blasted their way over the dunes. These machines are truly a testimony of the ability of man to conquer any terrain. There were so many high dollar, high quality rigs running around, it truly was impressive.

Once the sand toys settled down a bit we went just down the road a bit and had a look at the monarch butterfly habitat. The butterflies were pretty cool, but all the kids wanted to do was catch them! Since this wasn’t allowed, I quickly snapped a couple of pictures and we went on our way.

We decided after a while to hit the road and make a side trip on the way back home. My friend Tim told me about a place called Pinnacles National Monument that we should stop and take a look at on the way home.

The Pinnacles are a set of rock formations formed by fault lines coming together, and they reminded me of something I would have found in Colorado. It was a miniature version of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, would be my take on it. Really, the park was nothing more than a nice backdrop for a bbq, and maybe a good place for a hike or two.

I made it


The ship finally sailed last night. It looked pretty good, but still had a ton of work to do when she left. It has been a trying few weeks, but I think in the long run it’s all going to be for the better.

Life on a ship….. It certainly is interesting.