Tuesday, August 14, 2007

For a wheelie good time

Zac Efron is not the only SLO County stand-out to make the Washington Post this week.

The Oceano Dunes -- and specifically renting an ATV to cruise around them -- star on the front page of the Post Sunday Travel section.

Judging from the crowds out there every weekend, a lot of people already know about the vehicular playground that is the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area, the only beach in California (and one of only two in the country) where you can take or rent all manner of ATVs, motorcross bikes, sand buggies and tricked-out trucks.

If you're not one of those people, here's just one tiny taste from the Post article:

Miles of bright blue waves crash on a shore that curves around a cove sheltered by rumpled green hills. A broad, flat beach extending about 100 yards from the surf line serves as a camping area, with tents, trailers and RVs. The sand then suddenly curves upward into rolling hills with wavelike crests. The undulating dunes are up to 80 feet high from base to crest. From the tops of the first rows of dunes, you see the ocean in one direction and, in the other, nothing but more towering dunes, some with sheer vertical drops.
The article is eager to point out that commanding an ATV across these dunes is not just for testosterone-fueled boys and grown-up boys. The self-professed "middle age" author, her teenage daughter and her friend caught the thrill as well, even if they started out a little more timid.

If you've been a bit timid about tackling the dunes yourself, author Cindy Loose even provides some tips based on her own experience. Now get out there, and have a wheelie good time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(I can hear the cries of "wet blanket" and "tree hugger" starting already...BUT...)

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (http://www.slocleanair.org/air/data.asp) has issued a report identifiying the Nipomo Mesa as having a very serious silica particulate problem (think sandpaper in your lungs.) The same report indicates that off-road vehicle usage in the Dunes is the likely source of the silicates (you can imagine the plume of sand rising from spinning wheels, etc.) Worse, there is apparently a plan under way for the State to purchase this land from the County. It's unknown whether this purchase would make the pollution problem better or worse, but I would suspect worse.

I don't see the media talking about the pollution and health aspects of this usage of the Dunes. Maybe the Dunes were just made to be walked on, not pulverized by (gas-burning) vehicles?

Nipomo resident