We continued our trip up the coast of California, completing the drive up the windy hwy 1, through the Redwood Forest (Sequoia, for those who prefer the proper name). The day was foggy and drizzly as we passed through the forest, not inviting to hikers or cyclists. So we kept driving into Oregon. We stopped for the night at the Oregon Dunes State Park. The KOA we stayed at warned us that everyone there liked to ride their ATVs on the dunes, so it might be noisy at times when they come and go to the camping area. We found ourselves in a different world where the RVs are super-sized with hydraulic flaps that open at the rear where they garage their ATVs. One for mama, one for papa and one for baby too!!! Everyone rides, even kids from around 8 yrs old, as long as they are big enough to hold the handle bars. So what were we to do but try it ourselves?
We drove down to the beach to have a look at it first. It was a long stretch of blowing sand, perfect for a long walk. But Leon didn’t let me wimp out and I didn’t want to disappoint him, so we skipped the long romantic walk and rented ourselves an ATV each. After an instructional movie, a fitting for the surprisingly comfy helmet and making sure we knew how to run the vehicles, we were off for an hour of fun on the dunes (which average 250 feet in height). We drove to the dunes and as soon as we hit the first small hill, my ATV wouldn’t go any further. I wasn’t enjoying this very much. Leon kindly switched with me and it did get easier (hey if an 8 yr old can do this, so can I!). After about 10 minutes, I told Leon I wasn’t having much fun. He wasn’t too impressed either. We drove around the dunes, staying clear of the water, not climbing the big hills for fear of having an accident and watching some of the other drivers having a great time going up and down and faster than I would dare. We made sure to take a few pictures but gave it up after only 45 minutes. Honestly, it felt like a waste of gas to me. Maybe if we had been able to ride along the ocean, I would have appreciated the scenery anyway. But we were too far from the ocean to get there and back within our one hour allowance.
Conclusion – I am not a biker chic, I will not get a tattoo or any other of the accoutrements. I figure that $100 rental saved us $10,000 or more. This is not a family hobby we will be taking up in the future!