Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sand Dunes--Nature's Amusement Park

Sand DunesWe're back! We went up to the valley for the weekend to my parents' cabin and spent three and a half glorious days relaxing. The kids rode around on the four-wheelers and shot the .22 and floated the river but me? I read. And read some more. I'm afraid that riding the four wheelers has so lost it's thrill for me--I spend my life in a car and the kids can't grasp that to spend my vacation time driving a vehicle is just not it. But I'm happy to let them have the chance. I spent my time instead puttering around the cabin, walking down to the river, gathering cranberries and willow branches and remembering why I love Alaska. So for now let's just say I'm rejuvenated a bit, ready to tackle life for at least another week or two.

But before we left town for the holiday I went to the sand dunes. If you recall, last week I wrote about our secret beach we'd discovered a couple of weeks ago and last week one of my friends took me back to Kincaid Park with our girls' group from church to discover something else that was just about as fun and thrilling/unexpected (apparently I've completely underrated Kincaid Park until now).

Sand DunesIf you go to Kincaid and enter through the Dimond entrance you'll see the motorcross course (which is a treat in itself--it's beyond cool to see the bikes taking jumps and shooting fifteen feet in the air and doing their motorcross thing). Walking along around to the back of the course, you'll come to this large (as in BIG) hill and if you'll climb it not only will you be greeted with gorgeous views of the inlet and park but there's a surprise waiting for you at the top.

We got there just as the sun was dipping, as you can see from the above picture, but once we got to the top we saw that the other side of the hill is one huge sheer face of sand. We were above the trees with the cliff of sand below and the girls immediately took off their socks and shoes and stood there, staring over the side.

None of us exactly knew what they were supposed to do until Tammy explained it all.

"Jump off," she said. "The sand will catch you."

Sand DunesOf course no one really believed her and we kind of looked at her as if she were crazy but it didn't take long for Grace and the others to give it a try. They took a running start, jumped off the edge out into space and landed softly in the sand below.

That's all it took for them to get the picture and soon they were soaring off the edge and having a great time. The hardest part is climbing up the sand once you've landed, it's so soft and shifting, climbing up is a workout.

Over and over they jumped, running off together and by themselves and trying fun aerial stunts. Who needs an amusement park when you have the sand dunes?? I am definitely bringing the kids back, they're going to love it.


page2 said...

I love those sand dunes. I got to bring my family there last time I visited my parents in Anchorage. We spent a lot of time there when I was a kid. Great memories!

Scribbit said...

Ah, Tammy must have learned about it from the Christians! How did I grow up here and not know about this?? It was so fun. I wish I'd been able to give it a try but my knee won't let me.

CountessLaurie said...

That looks super fun!

Dolly said...

That looks like the best rush evah! I got more sand than I'll ever want in my 2 military tours to Saudi Arabia, but, your post inspires me to reconsider.

Inkling said...

I remember going to the dunes in Indiana and Michigan when I was little. We would roll all the way down and then climb back up for more. It was so fun.

controllingaspicyuniverse said...

I did this with Xander last year! He was filled with sand: between his toes, in every strand of hair, underneath every fingernail...so fun, though. It was a great way to spend an hour while my husband played Ultimate Frisbee.

GR said...

Memories of White Sands National Monument eons past. We cart-wheeled, roll raced, sledded, tanned, devoured gritty hot dogs, and smooched while Ranger Rick gave the midnight nature presentations we'd heard a hundred times before. As to climbing back up the dune, an engineer friend decided to "test" the axiomatic two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back theorum. Seems it was actually 3.2x more steps to cover the same distance up a sand dune. He was strange that way. When you take the kids back, take more pics, if you can see through the fog!