Old Diary

Fun on the Dunes

I’ve  talked about recreating here on The Dunes,  so today I wanted to share a few views of what that looks like.  It’s a Saturday as I write this — I’m obviously writing a couple days ahead of publication — so we are still in the middle of the 4th of July weekend.  And recreating goes hummingly along.

This shot is from Horsfall Beach — a smaller mixed use area that sees about 30 ‘campsites’ and a bunch of day use sites all crammed together on a hot piece of asphalt.

Dunes Scenery-001For OHV’ing this is all you really need to have fun.  The OHV trailers are some open and some enclosed, some holding a single quad and others holding as many as half a dozen quads and motorcycles and sometimes a complete machine shop!

OHV’ers come in single RV’s, pairs, trios and more.  It’s not all that unusual to see 4 full sized RV’s, pull behind trailers, or 4th wheel trailers corralled like conestoga wagons on the prairie with half a dozen or more pickup trucks and as many quads all crammed into 3, 4, 5, or more adjacent painted rectangles on an asphalt field.  It’s really kind of bizarre.

There are miles and miles of dunes out there.  The “Dunes” recreation area extends over 40 miles North and South and a couple miles wide in places.  There’s plenty of room but having said that there’s a certain male testosterone factor that sees a lot of folks roaring here and there in front of their parking lot audience — showing off how fast or steep or noisy they are.  Occasionally someone will attempt to show off and flop — and we’ve watched a couple kewl looking trucks go slinking off in embarrassment.

All the recreation here isn’t NOISY!  There were people on the beach when we were there — I liked these instances of just a few folks on a wide open beach.Dunes Scenery-003 The winds were fairly still today, less than 5 mph — a rarity lately.  1/4 mile down the beach is the end of the OHV area, so these beachcombers had no worries about being run over, and in fact over the sound of the sea you couldn’t even hear the OHV’s from that distance.

There were surf fishermen and shell collectors, dog owners taking their beasts for an afternoon constitutional and lovers hand in hand.  All the usual forms of holiday beaching.   Dunes Scenery-004
It’s lovely here this time of year.  Everyone says it’s the best time of year.  Our temps have consistently been in the mid 60’s and with the bright sun and the wind it’s confusing.  It sometimes seems much warmer than that.

Have a great day, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


9 thoughts on “Fun on the Dunes

  1. Years ago, we stayed at a B&B near the Oregon coast south of Tillamook. A dune area nearby attracted a lot of 4 wheelers. As dark approached, multiple sirens and ambulances zoomed past our place. Someone died that evening in a tragic crash according to the news.


    • Jim in IA, I have talked about accidents and fatalities before on my blog. We are only too aware of them here on the Dunes. I always thought of recreating as being something you do for fun and that fun didn’t necessarily include risking your life and limb at the same time. A few weeks ago a mother and 5 year old child were killed when run-into by an OHV overtopping a hill and hitting them where they could not be seen by the driver of the OHV as he topped over the hill. We make big noises about having 9’ flags on all the OHV’s but if you are out there walking and happen to be in a place where an OHV’er cannot see you, then you’re dead meat! In three weeks we’ll be having something called Dune Fest and the Forest Service will have a special use permit in effect for a group that annually rents one section of Dunes and they’ll have 30,000 people out there on the Dunes with music and alcohol and EMT’s LIVING ON THE PARKING LOT for the entire time just because of the dangers… but I”m just happy that they have a place to come to play and that I don’t have to do the same, or hear the racket — but I tell you — there are lots of people who pay no attention to the 93db noise limits!

      Such is life on the Dunes. 🙂



    • they are truly amazing, and in 50 years they will be gone — well, not gone gone, but no longer what they are now. The introduction of European Beach Grass in the name of ‘saving the dunes’ will prove to have been the dunes undoing. We are no longer able to control it and tree islands are turning into tree continents, wildlife is changing, and vegetation is filling in where it should not be (for the longevity of the dunes that is). I’m glad we are here now. And who knows… I’m sure we’ll be back again!



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