Sand Sport Journeys in Coastal Oregon

Soaring along the dunes of the Oregon Coast in Florence, I was strapped into my sand rail vehicle floating like the Osprey above.  The wind whipped through my shaggy hair creating a nest from the strands.  I was climbing, spiraling, descending at speeds up to 45 miles an hour around the largest sand dunes I’ve ever seen, some rising over 300 feet.  Amazing!

My guide Ward, from Sand Dunes Frontiers, exclaimed “This is way better than Disneyland!”  At least that’s what he attributes to the many junior passengers whenever they climb aboard for the ride.

I agree…this magical roller coaster swept me off my feet, taking me on a wondrous, 30 minute ride of a lifetime!  We passed bizarre (pine) tree islands that seemed to appear out of nowhere.  There was also a mirage campground of oversized RVs, which I found ironic in this sandy wonderland.

On the way back to “camp,” there were berries and mushrooms everywhere…for those of us that enjoy foraging.  Amidst my enthusiasm for the forest of goodies, I was quickly reminded by Ward “That for the few good mushrooms out there, there are hundreds of bad ones.”  Figures!

Just as I got my feet back on the ground, off we went again to skim the “slopes” of Florence, this time aboard a snowboard-type device.

While Lon, the owner of Sand Master Park, greeted and advised us, our instructor Becca outfitted us with gear.  “All you need is a board and an attitude for fun,” she cheered.

“Right on!” I responded.

So, off we went…to the slopes of Florence.

(Note:  While this sport looks a lot like snowboarding, which I fail at, it’s a lot more like surfing, which I quite enjoy)

So, Becca, with her kind patience and encouraging words, kept me climbing up our path to the top of the slopes (way better than being on the stairmaster, mind you) where we would meet to wax up our boards and buff them before we created our “ledge” and hobbled our way to the crest of the (small) hill.  She kept telling me to use my core and hunker down (squat)…well, if I had a core like this chica and was able to bend at the knee like a twenty year old, I may have displayed more grace.  Instead, I was more concerned about making it down the hill without falling.  The sand in Oregon is hard!  And, hard sand is good to find!

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