The Oregon Sand Dunes are one of the largest expanses of coastal sand dunes in the world. They stretch for 40 miles along the Oregon coast and is designated as a National Recreation Area or NRA (the other NRA) as a part of the Siuslaw National Forest.
Within the larger park system, there are many different road access points, usage areas, and activities. Everything from horse back riding, to off roading, fishing and hiking. There are also camp sites and some have camping cabins (my favorite way to camp).
Even without all the added recreation options the dune are impressive. Some as tall as 500 ft and ever shifting with the wind and rain. They are dotted with trees and takes, tide pools and local flowers that are brave enough to grow in shifting sand.
We went down last for our anniversary trip in March, the weather could have been better. Dry and low winds but slightly cloudy made for the prefect day of walking around. And boy is it hard walking around on them, let alone trying to race up them. I didn’t win.
In some areas there are trails but in a lot of the park you just head out straight into the dunes. It feels other worldly and rumor has it they inspired Frank Herbert to write his science fiction epic Dune.
Wow, how is this already the third quarter of my Ireland hiking training!? In a year the trip will be over, how sad.
In other news we are officially booked with a tour group. We chose to go through a group so that we could save ourselves on transportation, hotel booking and from having to cart our gear around with us. I am the laziest hiker in the world, don’t judge, at least I am hiking. Next step we have to start figuring out flights, which turns out is not that easy going from a small town in Oregon to a small town in Ireland. Once we get more details settled and planned I will start sharing some tips on how to plan a similar trip.
As far as training is concerned it has been a slow summer, outdoor speaking. I had high hopes of being able to get out over the summer, which I mentioned in my prior training post. But as summer came to a close the wildfires in the area got too bad to really spend a lot of time outside. I am hoping for everyone’s sake that the fires get under control soon and Oregon can go back to being the outdoor wonderland it normally is.
Most of my exercise has been working out via YouTube video instruction. Between Jessica Smith’s barre, and weight training workouts and Adriene’s yoga videos I have managed to really focus on strengthening those knee, ankle and stability muscles as well as getting more strength and flexibility in my arms and shoulders.
I have also managed to find a couple decent routes to walk the dog, which puts us up to about 6-10miles a day (depending on weather). And I have bought my hiking boots and have started to wear them on dog walks now and again to start breaking them in.
(Quarter 3) – September through November:
- Continue daily strength and stretch exercises at home (15-45min daily).
- Weekly hikes getting longer and adding the daypack with realistic weight.
- Hopefully once the fires are squelched and the weather cools a bit we can get back to the woods.
- Daily walks outside with dog for 6-10 miles.