Friday, November 7, 2008

My First Motorccyle Camping Trip

Two weeks ago I went on my first motorcycle camping trip. I packed up my bike, and took off north on the 1. I headed past Santa Barbara for about 2 hours, and I camped at Pismo State Beach. Packing up the bike was not trivial, but since my camping gear was chosen for ultralight-weight backpacking, most of it fit pretty well in my saddlebags. I ended up tying the tent and my sleeping pad to my seat, along with a small duffel of clothes and a soft-sided cooler. The load didn't seem to affect the bike's handling while riding.

My camping site at Pismo Beach was pretty standard for a state park. That is, I had a parking spot, a picnic table, a food box, and a decent spot to pitch my tent; it was nice. The beach was a short 15 minute hike over the dunes. Nice beach, standard for a central coast sandy beach. (I guess I'm pretty spoiled since I can say that about the beach.) The only oddity about the beach was that off-road vehicles were allowed on the beach. I saw a few people camping out of their SUV's on the beach.

While at the camp, I met a fellow motorcyclist from Alaska named Tom. He was traveling from Alaska to San Diego (via the 1 in the US) on a Kawasaki Voyager pulling a trailer, with a dog travel cage. He pulled into his campsite around sunset, and I saw a dog tied up at his site. I noticed the dog, since it made absolutely no noise; the dog never barked all night. It wasn't until I met Tom the next morning that I learned that he was traveling with a deaf dog. We talked for more than an hour; mostly he told motorcycle stories and I listened. I hope he got to San Diego without mishap.

Ride safe.