My Favorite vacations... Part 1. Sandrailing in the Oregon Dunes

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) DRE# 00809499
http://actvra.in/4m5r

After 30 years, I finally got it right. It's all in the pillows. Five of them.  Lined up long-edge to long-edge and positioned right underneath my mattress pad. On top of the hide-a-bed mattress. Which is on top of the expando bed platform.  All covered up with my flannel sheets and down blanket. That's how I sleep in my tent.

Sandrails and quads lined up on the Florence Oregon beachAnd if there's even a single pea that slips in under the mattress, I'll know it. And complain.

My daughter's have labeled the blue bucket that houses my camp pillows with swirly flowers and "The Princesses Bedding".  I scoff at them. "How many 58 year olds do you know that will still sleep in a tent and don't bitch?"  Much.  It's all in the pillows.

For 3 decades the entire Dunbar clan has taken our dune buggys to Oregon, just south of Florence, to the same campground.  First week of August. For 20 of those years, we've even been in the same site.  Our favorite sandy site, surrounded by huckleberries and salal bushes.  Just room for our 5 or 6 tents, a few dozen camp chairs, 2 honkin wood camp tables, and the 6 that we bring.  Those make up our kitchen... the one that rivals that in the Waldorf Astoria. We share our site with Sister Dunbar and hubby, and feed the whole tribe most nights.  So we NEED all that.  Really.

Pineapple upside down cake from a dutch ovenAnd the menu?   MMMmmmm.  That rivals the Astoria, as well. We've taken camp cooking to a new level.  Bacon wrapped pork loin with a maple glaze, beer batter halibut, fresh-caught salmon with Thai chili sauce, bar-b-qued oysters, Chicken Adobo,  chile-lime corn, basil-pine nut green beans, asparagus with oyster sauce and garlic.... We eat like kings.  Then comes dessert.  Pineapple upside down cake, carrot cake, berry pie, apple pie.... all from scratch.  You name it and my oldest daughter, Roxy, bakes it in our dutch oven with hot coals. 

And the bar.... don't ask about the bar.  It's embarrassing.  Suffice to say we had to change the shopping list to 5 handles of Curevo Gold this year.  Four didn't cut it.

Every year my hubby says..."Let's pack light this year".  And I look at him like he just asked me to leave one kid behind.... "which one should we leave?" He never has a good answer.  "Just make it light."  HA..... I have the same list every year.  It's evolved over 30 years of perfecting.  Right down to the lemon zester we can't live without.  And oyster shuckers. And the 5 handles.  It's perfect.  And it takes me 3 hours from start to finish to get ready. I got it down to a science.

A game of spoonsWe go with my hubby's entire family... 3 brothers and a sister plus the accompanying spouses, kids, dogs, friends, once a parrot, and one time a cyber buddy.  That was weird.  There's usually  35 to 55, plus a gaggle of buggies and quads. OK so the 5 handles has to stretch a long way.

And games?  Yeah, one bucket is composed entirely of games.  And we're relentless. Sun-up to sun-down, there's someone gaming.  Rummikub, Hearts, Spoons, 6-way Solitaire, Poker, Texas Hold-em, Trouble, Rummy, Spite and Malice, Jokers and Pegs...  even slack-lining.

But our favorite is Washers.  Kind of the trailer trash version of horseshoes.  Two plywood boards with a hole exactly the size of a metal washer.  From 8 feet apart you toss the washer into the hole.  Or not.  We have tournaments. I usually suck... I'm about two thirds up the talent pack.  But this year..... I perfected the thumb twist to sail that little hunk of metal perfectly flat, so it hits the board just right. I'm dead on.  I make it to the semi-finals. I cream my nephew.  Ryan's in shock. "YOU... Aunt Sally?...  But you SUCK...."  He's incredulous, but gracious. I get a high five.

Frank beating Ryan at WashersI take on Frank in the finals.  "Piece a cake" he thinks. "It's in the can." He knows he'll get the leaf crown to add to his collection.  It's only Aunt Sally after all. Frank was the Alaskan State Bowling Champion in 1993, or something. He's got the arm-swing down pat.  He's dead on. He creams everyone.  He does beat me.... 18 - 21.

But the shock has set in.  "Aunt Sally got good!!! How'ld she get those 18 points?"  I know he'll be practicing - he'll set up washers in his living room. Tossing that hunk of metal throughout the winter.  Just to keep that leaf crown.  Me, too.

So why do we do this, you might ask?  I ask my self that frequently, right around February when the hot sun of a Hawaiian beach calls my name.  OK, screams it.  But each August 1st I remember, when my foot hits that throttle for the first time.  The engine screams, the seats vibrate as the little rocket approaches a steep sand mountain.  "Crap, I'm gonna fall off..." I think.  "I'll roll for sure."  The first wheel starts up. I gun the accelerator. Christy on a stick, on a quad in florence OregonShoot up at an angle, sand flying in a rooster tail behind. Traversing the slope as the deafening roar drowns out the screams of my passenger... or is that me?  A little tug of the left steering brake and the front end lifts towards the top of the dune.  Near the crest, I veer right to deftly roll over the top and fly down the other side, in pursuit of my next conquest.  Thrilling.  Exhilarating. Indescribable.  Nothing like it.  Not even a Hawaiian beach. And to say that after 30 years is something!

Some might snicker at the idea of tent camping for 30 years in the same place as the definition of a perfect vacation.  A little monotonous.  Kinda repetitive. Same ol, same ol.  But I beg to differ.  Look how different this year was...." Thumb cocked 20% further to the right... full extension.... toss."  I'll get him next year.

 

Don't miss Part 2 of my Favorite Vacations Series... On Patagonia and my Capture Moment Experience.

 

(Over on the right, sitting on the quad is Christy-on-a-stick. She came in place of my youngest daughter.... and had more fun than anyone)

Our Dune buggy with 86 year old Pat

(This was Pat's last year in Oregon, after coming most summers since the mid 80's. 85 and deep into Alzheimers, she remembered to bring her goggles, and insisted on a good ride... "No old lady ride for me..." she said.)

 

Posted by

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Gold River, and Roseville - all CA, of course.

More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at www.sallydunbar.com to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.

 

 

 

Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, SDunbar@GoLyon.com "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Jim Hale 08/21/2009 05:59 PM
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Ambassador
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

No old lady ride for me either (LMAO). I love this. Great stuff!!! :-)

Aug 21, 2009 12:31 PM #1
Rainmaker
214,781
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Thanks, C.... you stop by and I'll give you the ride of your life.

Aug 21, 2009 12:41 PM #2
Rainmaker
609,035
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Camping is not my idea of a vacation, but you guys shore look like you know how to have fun!  This is a great tradition and I'm so happy you enjoy it!

Aug 21, 2009 02:42 PM #3
Rainmaker
545,610
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Sally, Sounds like a great time. As to why go to the same place for 30 years? if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Aug 21, 2009 02:58 PM #4
Rainmaker
259,115
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

Susan the Oregon Dunes are GREAT!  I love renting dune buggies and riding the dunes.

 

Aug 21, 2009 03:13 PM #5
Rainmaker
214,781
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

susan - I know camping isn't for everyone, but we sure love it.

Barb - Yeah... it ain't broke.....

Melina - If you ever want to stop by, give me a call... First week in August.

Aug 21, 2009 03:41 PM #6
Rainmaker
259,115
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

Does that mean I'd have to learn how to throw one of those washer thingies?

Aug 21, 2009 04:52 PM #7
Rainmaker
596,612
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Sally:

 

Couldn't resist re-blogging this for the home county connection...and the great writing and pictures.

But I'm not sure why you still make the trek every year...now that there is no longer a Lawrence of Florence.

Aug 21, 2009 06:04 PM #8
Rainer
231,288
Marcia Hawken
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. - Naples, FL
Naples Luxury Specialist

Sally, Looks like fun!

Aug 21, 2009 09:22 PM #9
Rainmaker
156,233
Kari Battaglia, PA
RE/MAX Alliance Group - Venice, FL
Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group

Sally - What a B L A S T!  That does sound like the perfect vacation.                        

Aug 21, 2009 10:32 PM #10
Rainmaker
156,233
Kari Battaglia, PA
RE/MAX Alliance Group - Venice, FL
Venice FL Realtor - RE/MAX Alliance Group

Sally - What a B L A S T!  That does sound like the perfect vacation.                                 

Aug 21, 2009 10:32 PM #11
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Andrea Swiedler
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Sally, I died laughing here, great story, great vacation, I felt as if I was right there with you. Except for on that mattress of yours, LOL. 

Have a wonderful day!

Aug 22, 2009 01:04 AM #12
Rainmaker
214,781
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Melina - Damn straight you would.... I'ld have you slingin those washers like a champ.  I have the secret had position that only one other person has.  I taught it to my boss for our Hillbilly Olympics here in Sacramento, and he won the tournament!.  The only problem is you nails get kinds of screwed up digging in the sand for the wild washers.

Jim - Yeah, look at you in springfield! come on by some time.  and Lawrence of Florence... his passing was a loss to all.  We laughed everytime we drove by.  That was a camel concession on the side of the road where the dunes crept up to the highway.  You could have your picture taken on him.  A crack up.  thanks, Jim.

Marcia and Kari - It is a blast.

Andrea - Don't knock the mattress. It's actually gotten pretty good. But not at good as my Temperpedic at home, I must admit.  But a little Benadryl has me sleep through the night, AND clears up any allergies festering with the cool, foggy Oregon air.  A double header!

And, Andrea... as my sister, you get to pitch a tent right in our mega camp.... we got room, girl! Just bring your goggles.

 

Aug 22, 2009 01:14 AM #13
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Sally:  Your family really knows how to camp!  I have never been camping in my life.  This sounds like a blast.  And I can just picture you on your duen buggy.  You are really the coolest person I know.

Aug 22, 2009 03:38 AM #14
Rainmaker
214,781
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Chris ann, I doubt I'm the coolest, but I do have cool vacations.  Stay tuned for my next one on a trip to Patagonia and a peak moment of my life.  My third post will be another peak moment in Cairo.  My don't I sound international?

Always love to see your face in my comments.

Aug 22, 2009 04:21 AM #15
Rainmaker
342,430
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Sally ~ Sounds like you know how to party! Really it does sound like an absolutely wonderful vacation.  And I love your checklists - my father has his for camping too but it sounds like you've really perfected yours.  Started me thinking I need a similar list for open houses - I just know I'm going to get to mine and have forgotten something...

Liz

Aug 23, 2009 02:28 AM #16
Rainer
332,782
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

Sounds like a wonderful time, Sally. I went tent-camping recently too and support your pillows and mattresses! "Roughing it" is a bit different once we're on the far side of 50... You get snaps for just staying in a tent.

Aug 23, 2009 03:14 AM #17
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Sally Dunbar

Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale
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