We estimated one hundred and fifty Land Cruisers and Toyota 4WD trucks converged on the sands of Pismo Beach for the:
Most people camped on the beach, others stayed in local motels, everyone enjoyed being part of this large gathering of Land Cruiser enthusiasts and their trucks.
It all started in 2002 when about 25 friends came together to camp on the beach, wheel the sand dunes and "talk cruisers". The following year, the group had grown to 75 vehicles as Cruiserheads from all over made the trek to Pismo Beach. Just about every make, model and year of Land Cruiser and Toyota 4WD truck was represented making SnT one of the fastest growing gatherings of Land Cruiser enthusiasts around.
The word was out, the informal, friendly and family oriented SnT was a blast! By the time Surf n Turf 2004 rolled around it was clear there would be more rigs than ever before. Past attendees were coming back and most were bringing more Cruiser friends with them. It looked like twice as many rigs would be heading to Pismo! The chatter on Internet Land Cruiser forums such as Pirate4x4, IH8MUD and the Land Cruiser Mailing List swelled with travel plans. Articles and photos published in the Toyota Land Cruiser Association (TLCA) Toyota Trails magazine generated additional interest as campfire stories of SnT adventures were told at TLCA events around the country. Several TLCA chapters had put SnT on their activity calendar. It was clear, there would be more individuals and groups heading to Pismo than ever before.
One reason SnT is so popular is the friendly and accessible environment. Everyone is welcome, from restored stock vehicles to heavily customized trail rigs. It's always a diverse group of vehicles and people with the common love of Land Cruisers tying everyone together. Camping and driving on the beach is fun and the wide open space allows everyone to camp together. This leads to plenty of impromptu "hood up cruiser inspections". It's easy to make new friends and put faces to familiar names. The large "Cruiser City" camp is a great place to check out a wide variety of custom modifications or simply gawk at rare and unusual Land Cruisers.
Between the constant "cruiser talk", great food, beach camping and rare vehicles, it's easy to forget about the unique wheeling opportunities at the Oceano Dunes State Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area (aka Pismo Dunes). The State park provides an impressive playground for off-highway driving. Wheeling the sand dunes and driving on the beach is a unique experience and long tradition at Pismo Beach. And it's accessible to everyone, you don't need specialized vehicles or equipment. The only necessary "mod" is simply "airing down" your tires. The Pismo Dunes are a large open area of rolling sand dunes, bowls and steep slip faces. There are no "trails" so everyone is free to make their experience as easy or as challenging as they desire. You can have an easy tour through the back dunes or an exciting big air launch after climbing a steep face. Just being out in the dunes and watching the action is fun.
Looking back, SnT 2004 was an amazing experience and I can't wait for next year. It will be a tough act to follow but I'm sure 2005 will be even better. The basic theme for SnT, simple and informal, seems to be working so we'll keep it that way. Thanks to all the clubs and individuals who have made SnT a "must do" cruiser event.
More pictures and stories check out Jim's Trip Report
For information about Surf N Turf contact: Jim Brantley