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This is one of the guys that cranked out some spectacular jumps.

This guy was shredding...View All Sizes

JOURNAL : September 4, 2009

Ridin’ ATVs on Oregon’s Dunes

Oregon > United States

Series Ridin’ ATVs on Oregon’s Dunes
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Today I rented an ATV and tore up the sand at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area just north of Coos Bay and North Bend.

It wasn't planned at all. But after seeing a few signs along the road I had to pull in.

Sand, trails and trees at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

The Surreal LandscapeView All Sizes

Got Sand?

Most of the time I had the throttle wide open and an iron grip on the handlebars. As a street rider this was a unique opportunity to shed the hard asphalt, road signs and lines, rules and regulations, and just cut loose. Taking a dive from a quad at top speed is alot less dangerous than hitting a solid stationary object with a crotch rocket at 140 mph. It is this reassurance that prompts one to take more risks and have more fun.

The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge escorts Highway 101 over Coos Bay just north of North Bend, Oregon.

McCullough Bridge and Coos BayView All Sizes

Maniacs in the Making

Way back when we were a couple of punk pre-teens my best friend Zeca had a Honda 3-wheeler with big fat knobbies. On my first ride I lost control of the vehicle and drove it into the shorebreak at Sunset Beach.

On each side of the long dune are lakes and marshy areas. This trail was very steep on each end and formed a narrow isthmus through a scenic marsh. I had to be very careful not to slide off into the water.

This narrow trail bisected this marsh.View All Sizes

My first vehicle was a dirt bike — a 1987 Honda CR80. For a 15-year-old this is the best investment conceivable, yielding a high rate of freedom. From our house in Mokuleia I buzzed up the slopes of Mt. Ka'ala, or followed the cane roads into Haleiwa and on up the lush slopes of the Ko'olaus. About the same time Zec' had a Kawasaki KX80 and we'd ride red dirt trails of Pupukea. Good times...

But I'm getting sentimental here. ‘Nuff of that.

We buzzed up and down this hill for awhile. Some of them caught serious air.

A Group of Riders on a Huge HillView All Sizes

This is me on the 2-stroke Polaris TrailBlazer 250 rental. Too much fun!

I was havin’ a blastView All Sizes

Campers brought their RVs, ATVs and gear and set up camp for days of fun at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Camping out on the DunesView All Sizes

Fishtails and Rooster Tails

Today was a freakin' blast! Screamin' down slopes, jumpin' berms, doin' donuts, shredding across the hilly expanses and tearing through trails...

At first I took it easy, familiarizing myself with the quad and the novel terrain. At the apex of a steep hill I hesitated once when the other side suddenly dropped into a steep cliff. But after awhile my inner maniac — long subdued by the laws and consequences of the highway — was set free and raged at full speed.

Everywhere riders blazed along in reckless sprees. Despite the madness and joyous frenzy they exercised good sense and caution with regards to proximity. The vast, open landscape and high visibility also reduced the chances of collision.

One of the many enthusiasts tearing around the dunes that day.

Hey, Nice Quad!View All Sizes

After awhile I met up with other riders and seized the opportunity for some action shots. One fellow (on a nice 2-stroke Honda 250R with a rear paddle wheel) cranked out some spectacular jumps. I would have gladly traded my bulky 2-stroke Polaris TrailBlazer 250 for his limber toy. Despite having four fat tires and a less-than-agile frame I managed to catch air a few times. But the adrenaline rush was fairly evenly spread throughout the whole thrilling non-stop experience. Hana hou!

Actually, this huy was landing after a high jump and his rear paddle tires kicked up some rooster tails, which are normally the results of spinning out the rear tire from a stationery position. In this case the result was the same.

Rooster TailView All Sizes

After this adventure I needed a shower and a cold beer.

Sand Dunes near North Bend

The Smith River

The next day I continued up the Oregon Coast and veered inland to explore the Smith River...

We buzzed up and down this hill for awhile. Some of them caught serious air.

About this day

Ridin’ ATVs on Oregon’s Dunes

September 4, 2009

Oregon > United States

Tags   Motorcycling · Beaches · Favorites

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