San Louie Oh Bee

Above protest scene at Malibu yesterday.

I never travel around California in the summer, so I was surprised and bummed by the tourist/zoo vibe in Pismo Beach. No thanks! (It can be deserted and restful in the winter, plus there are those cinnamon rolls). So onward, and the beach was everywhere overloaded, it being a warm gorgeous blue-sky California day. Knew I had to get inland.

   In all these years, I’ve never been into the actual town of San Luis Obispo, since Hwy 101 skirts it. It was a relief. No tourist madness. It’s a lovely town, a bit of Ojai, a bit of Santa Barbara, a bit of Santa Cruz. Cal Poly has always been my favorite of the state colleges. A tradition of hands-on. Architectural students have to learn how to draw (by hand).


   Got room at Best Western, and with some Google research, ended up at the storied Central Coast Brewing Company. Brewski-ites, trust me. Go there if you’re ever near San Luis. I had a pint of dark Bourbon Street Stout, an oat stout aged in an oak bourbon barrel for 3 months. Just an outstanding brewery.

   Got back to my truck and shit! Locked out with keys inside. I climbed in the camper shell, slid open window to cab, but couldn’t get both shoulders through far enough to reach the keys. I need a skinny person.

   Along came a mom and 2 daughters. English visitors. After some convincing, the 12-year-old reluctantly gave it a go, me coaching from the side. C’mon,get your other shoulder through, now reach over for the door lock. 6″… 4″ … 2″ you’ve almost got it…and she unlocked the door.

   More on San Luis to follow. I’m embarrassed to to be such a Polyanna (w. capital P.), but wonderful things are happening one after the other on this trip. I’m at the formidable Kreuzberg*CA coffee village (serving Verve coffee from Santa Cruz), getting ready to head north to Big Sur and visit the house I built there in the ’60s.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

5 Responses to San Louie Oh Bee

  1. Pismo is still a great place to get away to in winter. Whenever I'm in California (in winter) I end up taking a few days off and hanging out there. SLO, eight miles up the road, means you'll never run out of good food and drink.

  2. Needed a skinny person? gosh Lloyd, thought you looked PLENTY skinny… Must be a very small window, if you couldnt get through….

  3. Considered a move to SLO a number of years back, really like the town and the area – but then there's that nuc down the road….and earthquakes.

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