Jesse Honeyman SP Sand Dunes, Florence, OR: I checked out the campground map looking for trails and things to do. I couldn't remember what the feature was for this state park when I booked it. We've seen lighthouses, cliffs, rock outcroppings, giant waves, seals and gardens through our Oregon coastal roll. I figured we were close to the ocean though I could not hear the ocean's roar, smell the salt air nor did I see peak-a-boos of the blue Pacific as we drove Hwy 101 through the dense forest.
After a bike reconnoiter of the campground, I saw ATVs scrambling as I stood in a sand dune valley. You'll see this in the first couple of photos. I needed to get across the valley, through the tree line and to what I'm sure would be the ocean just beyond. Abandoning the bike I trudged upon the deep, powdery sand, wandered through the tree line and came to a giant sand dune going straight up. I must be going in the right direction I thought, though there were no clear trail markings, but that was one steep and tall sand dune, dudes.
I huffed and puffed and climbed the dune slowly, finally chose to climb it at an angle to reduce the steep grade. I'm sure the ocean would be right on the other side I kept telling myself. I finally reached the top and to my shock all I could see for a mile was sand. Sand and more sand, dunes upon dunes and a faint tree line and what looked like the ocean two miles away. I have never seen so much sand.
What a perfect place for those all terrain vehicles, quads, dirt bikes and dune buggies I recently saw. Wait, they were every where. So that's why all along the 101 there were tons of ATV perched on the road side curb with "Rent Me" signs. That's why so many RV's had trailers with their quads on board. That's why I heard that buzzing of engines as I approached the dunes. Wow! Some people were having all the fun. Not me.
Patrick, if you were here with us on this trip, you and I would be revving the throttle, kicking up sand and scrambling all over the damn dunes dude. But alas, I am all alone. Grandma is crocheting and reading her book. If no one could report my shrieks of joy while riding the ATV, I would not ride alone. So, I grabbed a few snaps and trudged across and down the deep sand back to find my pedal mode of transportation. Along the way back, three punk kids where having a blast charging up the dunes and rolling back down like it was nothing, mocking the old man as he sunk into another deep sand step, grunting and grimacing his way back to the camp. Ocean, what ocean?