The Play Journal remembers Weird Pismo Beach, California, and other wanderings.
It’s funny what I took pictures of in California. Not the sunset over the Pacific Coast Highway, not any of the classic shots of natural beauty. We saw Carmel; Big Sur (Ragged Point was my favorite stop); Monterey; Pismo Beach; Cayucos; Avila Beach; Paso Robles; and the Port San Luis Pier. I think I knew I would be back, and I think I knew from experience that my camera wouldn’t do the scenes justice. I didn’t even try this time.
Central California is so beautiful with the contrast between the ocean and the hills. And it’s not crowded from Cambria all the way to Pismo Beach (at least in November).
Well, I tried one “nice” shot at Port San Luis.
Instead, I snapped things that made me laugh. Human seagulls at Pismo Beach.
A dog who has the look of a Dad waiting for his child to get out of class.
Lazy seals on this dock.
A gas station with caution tape – daring me to enter.
Pismo Beach had a classic old California vibe to it. Nothing fancy here, some downright gritty aspects to it, but my overall sense was vintage cool. I think Pismo Beach is to California what Tybee Island is to Georgia. Got to see some surfers. Part of what is so much fun about being somewhere else is you don’t know what you’re going to get. An old man at breakfast chatting me up. Asking where I’m from and then talking to me at some length about Jimmy Carter. Asking me if I’m a student (I’m 38 years old). I loved him so much. Next time, we will be fancier and see Santa Barbara; Malibu; Santa Monica; and Los Angeles.
Entered the old Mission in San Luis Obispo and lit a candle. Tried to say a prayer but it had been so long. I couldn’t even think what to pray for anymore. I vaguely muttered something about keeping me safe in 2019. I guess mostly my prayers had already been answered, and I’ll take that right now. But you have to keep lighting your way.
Travel. Write. Index. Buy Stealth Journals. Repeat — Jamie Whitmer