Biking teaches me something new every single day. I didn’t really know about dunes before embarking…only that on New Jersey and NYC beaches, certain sections of the sand are cordoned off. There might be a sign that says, “Dune Restoration Zone” but there is rarely more than one species growing, and it’s usually just grass. In California, I started to see dunes with structure. They became bigger and bigger as I rode up the coast. They also became more complex, and displayed much more biodiversity. In Oregon, I camped at Honeyman State Park and had the opportunity to witness enormous dunes. Forests on dunes. People actually rent sandboards and ride down the dunes. ATV’s roar in the background. You can find yourself lost, surrounded by towering dunes on all sides, with wind throwing sand into your eyes. The dunes I have seen have all been interesting and phenomenal, but were each pretty different from each other. Here is a sampling of the West Coast’s dunes.
Later, we found ourselves in Bodega Dunes State Park. The grasses grew like little hairs sitting within a balding man’s hairpiece. The wind threatened to expose bare beach but, in the end, naturally made the grasses conform to the contours of the land.
In the center of the photo, you can see a tiny black speck of a person walking up the hillside with his sandboard. He will then attempt to ride the board down the hill. (I don’t think anyone is very successful at sandboarding.) This image might help understand the scale of how enormous these dunes are.