Cayucos pier and parking lots close, we need our beaches

March 31, 2020

Editor’s Note: The following series, “Life in Radically Gentrifying Cayucos by the Sea,” to be posted biweekly includes the notes, thoughts, and opinions of an original American voice: author Dell Franklin. 


They’ve attempted to close our beach. Our parking lots are blocked off. No longer can some of us old fossils and other locals with nothing to do but hibernate in our abodes and piddle away time as shut-ins, drive down to the 24th Street lot and watch the kite surfers on a blustery day.

This is what I just tried to do and have been doing daily. I was actually excited about it. You get to sit in your car and listen to sports talk radio or whatever you want in music and observe this breed of kite surfer execute their processes. It takes them a while to place their billowy kites and lines and harnesses down on the sand and slip into their wet suits while their dogs visit and sniff the lot-adjoining ice plants.

These are the most healthy looking, wholesome people in captivity.

Yesterday, I heard one rangy young guy tell a fellow kite surfer (from 6 feet away) that he board-surfed that morning and was now going out again with his kite. The virus certainly doesn’t affect these sportsmen.

They’re not breathing and sweating on one another, like basketball players. This beach ain’t no petri dish for the coronavirus.

Once in the ocean, on a day like this, there are sometimes 10 kites bobbing and swooping and soaring in the sky as these men and women skim along the surf, bouncing over waves, streaking so far out you can hardly see their kites.

It’s a rush. Sometimes, on all sides of me there are cars with folks just sitting like I am, studying their smart phones, or talking on phones, or bobbing to music, or, like me, just staring out at the sea; or following the path of a dog chasing a ball, or chasing the birds, or plunging into the ocean.

Mornings, this lot and the others north of here in town are near deserted, but afternoons and early evenings folks have been showing up with their dogs and kids and partaking of this huge swath of beach. The sense is, they’re coming from places like Paso Robles and Atascadero.

It is NOT that crowded. This expanse of beach is fairly speckled with beach goers. This is not Southern California, where millions of people clog up a beach and perhaps breathe and cough on each other and touch everything in sight, and the entire area is literally an incubation unit for the virus.

This is not Miami Beach during spring break. No necking or boozing or groping.

Is officialdom going to arrest me if I take my dog on the beach tomorrow, where fellow strollers and dog walkers skirt each other from afar, waving when we once gathered to trade pets of our dogs? We don’t pet each others’ dogs these days because we fear contamination. The dogs don’t understand.

They’re disappointed. So we give our own an extra pet to compensate. We wave goodbye.

Fact is, people who want to go to the beach will now park in the neighborhoods adjoining these Cayucos beaches. This afternoon, the kite surfers are parking behind the lot. They are parking down 24th Street and along Pacific Avenue, and right now there are over 10 kites bobbing in the sky while men and women, boys and girls, all in wetsuits, pad in and out of the empty parking lot carrying their kite surfing gear.

Those who want to visit the beach and use it as a sport or play, will not be denied. This is not LA, where the beaches have no parking outside of their lots and so many people that those wishing to use the beach will have to end up parking miles away to get to the sand, not to mention hauling surf boards and gear and changing in and out of their wetsuits in adjoining neighborhoods.

Our pier is closed. Possibly beach access points with stairs will be closed off. That won’t stop beach goers. Nobody living in Cayucos will probably report surfers and kite surfers changing alongside their vans as they prepare to chase their passions.

Maybe they’ll fine us. Or arrest us. Can we hang out at the seawall, separated by 6 feet?

It’s going to take some sort of SWAT team to get our local asses off our beach.


The author of this piece IS SIMPLY NOT GETTING IT…. just plain dumb to do this. This CV19 is a very BAD virus, and it warrants the attention we are giving it…do not be ignorant, spread this bug and HARM others in the process of pleasing yourself.


Coastal town boomer problems.


Come on folks really?….I give this two weeks till people say F it….and go back out….


Just what we need; a story about people who cannot follow the rules, nor do they care about their community. You remind me of Typhoid Mary: she disregarded the experts, rules, and confinement. To her dying day, Mary had zero remorse for those she killed. She also had an extremely low intelligence level.


They closed the parking lots at Montana de Oro so dozens of cars now park in my neighborhood to take the trails over. Big groups walking close together. Cue the ominous music…


Uh, no they didn’t. The campground is closed, parking lots and park wide open. Also, what neighborhood would they park in? Quit making stuff up.


Just in case you’re not up to to copy and paste…

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:

Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.

Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.

Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.

Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.


Selfish. Stay home.


That’s the spirit! To hell with everyone else. Patience is a virtue, will three more weeks kill you?

Jorge Estrada

My biggest fear is that people from COVID-19 infested areas decide to camp here. I think we should consider, as is done in agriculture, disallowing certain commodities into this county until they have be vetted. The lives of people have to be more important than fruits, nuts and parking lots.


My biggest concern?….fearful people rationalizing regrettable things.

Stopping Pecans are one thing Jorge. People are another.


Good luck with that.


Dell, by definition, to be able to enjoy our beaches, we need to be alive. Yeah, I’d like to be down there and enjoying the sun, the sand and the water. But right now we’ve got a major threat to our collective health and safety.

Until this CV thing blows over, let’s suck it up and stay at home for the time being. The beaches will still be there after this is all over. We just need to be sure that we are still “there” too.