Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Dumont Dunes - Oct.'07 - part one

Well it only took 5 months, but we finally made it back out to the desert – as a family. If I haven’t made that clear in the past, let me clarify that doing things as a family is really important to me. It reminds me of my childhood, and when my parents took my sisters and me on family vacations.

So this past weekend, the four of us went to the desert and met up with our off road club to do some riding. As it turned out, we only went on one group ride, but it was a long ride. We went all the way to the North Pole!

No, really; the North Pole. You see, at Dumont Dunes, there’s a destination at the north-most point called the North Pole. At this spot there is a pole, and fashioned to it is a mailbox labeled Santa. I’m not making this up, there really is a pole with a mailbox on it, and all the kids put their letters to Santa in it. We took group pictures to prove it. Here's one of Nina writing her letter to Santa:

I hope she's asking Santa to give her daddy a brand new quad, but I'm guessing she didn't. Here's one of Nina putting her letter in the mailbox:

After a few refreshments, we got ready to ride back to camp. We took one last picture of the North Pole by itself (you can see part of a dune behind it). This dune was tiny compared to where we were going next:As you may or may not know, Nina is a novice rider. She’s only been riding her quad less than one year, but more specifically this is only her fourth club ride. She’s never gone on a long group ride before, only short family putt-putts. To make things more challenging, there’s a lot of sand at Dumont (thus the name Dunes). So poor little Nina in her little 50cc quad struggled, and slowed the pace down.

On the way there, Brady zipped along at a faster pace. He and other riders would sometimes take side trails or climb up small sand dunes. Brady had a good time, because he got to hang out with his friend Joey. Joey, his sister Amanda, and their parents Butch and Patty, are very nice people. We only get to see them a few times each year, mostly at club rides. Laura and I hung out at the back of the pack with Nina, but bringing up the rear of our group was Butch and Patty in their buggy, and Pablo and Carol in their sand rail.

The trip back was even more challenging because we took a different route. We headed straight back to Competition Hill, where the expert riders take their quads and sand rails high up the steep face of the dune. Nina couldn’t make it this route without assistance. I brought a tow rope with me just in case (I’ve had to tow her back before). She complained that her thumb hurt her too much to continue riding. She has yet to build up some resistance for holding her thumb against the throttle.

Everyone else arrived at Competition Hill before us. I knew I still had a ways to go to reach our camp, so the three of us continued back while the rest of the group hung out there. Some of the more experienced riders went up the face of Competition Hill. Everyone else just watched.

Once back at camp it was time for lunch. The weather was great at this time. It was sunny and warm (probably around 82), and there was no wind. So we changed out of our riding clothes and in to shorts and T-shirts. We ate, drank, and were otherwise merry. I knew there would be a later ride to Sperry Wash, which is a great place to go riding. I will continue with that part of the story in my next post. Please check back for more of the story. Thanks.


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