Falling Down in Sand: March 4-7, 2004

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Ah, yes, we will always remember this weekend as the first incarnation of Team Akimbo. Lin and I met Rick and Terry in Umpqua Lighthouse State Park on the coast of lovely Oregon and proceeded to fall down repeatedly in the forgiving white sands of the Oregon beaches and dunes.


After struggling to mount our sand paddle tires (yes, we had to have the shop do it in the end), and borrowing a rail-trailer, Lin and I left Seattle on Thursday evening and spent an all-too-brief night in Portland with Lori and Jonathan before driving the last 3-1/2 hours in the pouring rain to Reedsport on Friday. We stopped and bought our offroad permits (no sense being hassled by The Man while trying to pick up your bike before your friends catch up with you) and the required 9-foot pole with a red flag on top. The flags are supposed to serve as warnings for anyone who might be coming the other way over the dune you are climbing. They work.

Because the rain continued and the skies were swollen around the nearly-full moon, we were very glad that Lin had had the foresight to book Yurt #53 for us, as it had bunk beds, a futon, chairs, a heater, electricity, and, best of all, a roof! Eventually, we found Rick wandering through town and decided to fuel up with a hearty dinner. Thus...it began...

After dining amongst cleverly disguised celebrities and conducting an exhausting investigation of the bars along the waterfront in Reedsport, we returned to the yurt for some serious planning of the weekend's fun. Terry showed up later on, having had trouble with flat tires on the trip up. We got up at the crack of dawn and had breakfast in North Bend, OR, then drove to Horsfall where there was a great sand access area that doubled as a parking-lot style campground. The weather was threatening, but stayed dry so we suited up and hit the dirt. I mean literally, hit the dirt. Oh, well, that's okay, Rick said, you get the hang of it eventually. And he was right. Soon enough, Lin and I were racing up and down the beach like demons with our little 250's screaming beneath us and rooster tails flailing behind us.

Don't yart in the furt

heart rate: 120 bpm

Ready to go!

We had a few adventures that day, and one false alarm. A sneaker wave crept up and sucked Rick's rear tire down into the sand. We pulled him out but the bike wouldn't start so we worried that there was water in the engine. All was well eventually, though, and we were off again! Then I decided to roost Rick but good for once and in my enthusiasm, I buried my rear wheel past the axle. I had to get help out of that one!

Wha' happened?!?

Not the outcome I expected

look out behind!

Nothing was going to dampen our day, and the rain held off so we all had fun. Lin and I got better and better and spent a long time in The Bowl learning what to do and what not to do. Rick and I wandered off into the dunes where I promptly got lost...and then stuck by myself. It took a while to dig myself out and get back to the staging area. I was pretty tired by then! Later that afternoon, Terry borrowed my bike and they all took off again. I wanted to get some quality time with the waning tide so I wandered up and down gathering seashells and enjoying the fresh air. Eventually, we packed up for the day and headed to Hauser, OR, where the local RFD was having a benefit spaghetti feed at the elementary school. All you can eat for $5! We were SO there! It was delicious and really fun as we got to meet a bunch of the local people and see what their town was like. They were all friendly and we ate until we could burst. We rolled back to the yurt and fell into our beds despite the beautiful full moon that lit the sky. We were completely exhausted.

Happy Birthday to Mom

Can I keep it?

here they come...

Sleep healed our aching bodies, though, and Sunday morning found us right back at the Horsfall staging area, ready for another dose of sand! The weather was much better,with blue skies and puffy clouds. That made it nice, but also brought out the crowds so the importance of the little red flags was definitely driven home! We rode about 6 miles up the beach and called my mom for her birthday on my cell phone. Then we explored a bit further up the waterline before riding back to the parking lot.

Sunny day

Rick takes the Turbospoke
for a spin

The Bowl

We were just contemplating one more trip to The Bowl before leaving when we met The Blender. The guys who owned it were friendly and let us ride their quads for a while. I just couldn't get the hang of it, but Lin and Rick had a good time. When we got back, we asked if we could use the blender. The guys agreed, but were out of tequila, so we all chipped in and had Jim Beam/Diet Coke slushies and then vodka/cranberry juice slushies. No more riding for us! We tried to stay just one more day, but Lin's job required her to be in the office Monday morning. So we packed up, had a late lunch, and hit the road back to Seattle. We were worn and tired, but also proud of what we'd learned this weekend and grateful to Rick for his seemingly-endless patience as we went sprawling, arms and legs akimbo, through the dunes of Oregon. Here's to more weekends like this one!

two-stroke cocktails

gather 'round for the ring-ding

quads are fun, but

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