Jason dropped in and we headed up and to the right towards “buttercup”, running through a tight trail that leads to the sand groove that runs up and into “buttercup”. About halfway up we ran into thick, wet, coastal fog. “Good time to turn around” he says, “for sure, I thought my goggles were just fogging up bad,” I answered.
We headed out through the trails and made the climb out of the valley and headed further south to a big 3/4 bowl, and made a couple really good high marks. The sand didn’t seem too loose or that “fluffy” here. We had good traction and no breakaways even on a high speed steep sidehill. We headed to another big climb and made it right to the peak before the sand won. Someone came up on our left and capped the dune. Judging by the amount of wet sand we both ate, they were running paddles. We backed down, ( I made a slight adjustment to his MUZZYS DigiTuner) and made another run at it, topping it with ease, as we headed down the backside there were drops with kicker humps and double kickers with sharp edges. I have never seen the dunes this ugly, rough on the backsides of the dunes, and as we ran towards some of the transition flats I notice the incredible amount of standing water and how rutted and rough the flats were. As a veteran of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
I have seen a lot of weird conditions, but nothing quite like these conditions.
The rain was starting to cause some visibility issues and we started to head back. Spotting one of our comrades pulling out a tow strap we headed over to check and see what happened. Turns out my volunteer video camera man had knocked the air filter loose ( it sticks up between the seats) and got his jacket sucked into the intake, flooding the engine so bad it wouldn’t start. He had a tow vehicle lined up so we headed back.
The trip back through through the flats and small dunes was a great high speed run, with Jason masterfully dodging a couple water hazards that appeared on short notice, and ran through a section of trails, on the west side of the dunes area, that are always fast and fun with high banked corners left and right, the only downfall being how badly most of the straight stretches were whooped out. We exited the trails, made one more speed burn ending almost at the entrance road, and as we slowed down, we reveled in how strange some of the sand conditions were and how whooped out the entrance road was.
Returning to camp and jumping out, we got a hearty laugh at how covered we were in wet sand due to the roost job from a yet unknown source, and how wet we actually were, head to butt, from the rain.
Although the sand conditions were not perfect, it was great to get out in the dunes, and provided me with a reminder of just how treacherous the conditions in the dunes can be, and how important it is to look BEFORE you leap, especially in the ever changing dunes.
Special thanks to : Jason , Save The Rides Dunes, Discovery Point RV resort, and all the GOONS in the DUNES !