Dune Jumping - 2003/10/19


I got a call Saturday night from Katie and Nikia inviting me to go "dune jumping" with them. For those of you who aren't "in the know", dune jumping involves running off the top of a dune as fast as you can and hurling yourself into the sand below. If you think that's crazy, you're right.

I drove out to Grand Rapids to pick them both up because both of them were having car troubles. I think they got my car sick as well because it broke down the next day, but that's another story. ;-)

After picking them up we started out in our journey. We first stopped at Amon park which had great hiking trails. It had lots of steep hilly paths, as well as a nice river to boot. I left my camera in the car, so I don't have any pictures, but let me tell you that the area was beautiful with all the fall colors.

After a bit of hiking, we got back into the car and made our way to Lake Michigan's coast. The first park we stopped at didn't have large enough dunes so we continued south to a park in Saugatuck which was excellent.

The woods

There was a hike out to the shore which in itself was great. Lots of rolling landscape with many tall trees. A great place to spend the day.

Shoreline

We finally made it to the coast where there were several great dunes. I always feel good when I see the great lakes. If you've never seen them before it's something you should do before you die. It's certainly a wonder to behold. Much like the ocean, there is water as far as the eye can see, but unlike the ocean it's fresh water. Thus, your eyes don't burn, there isn't that icky salty feeling after you get out, and best of all, no jellyfish!

With it being such a nice day, there were several other people at the shore as well, but we were the only ones crazy enough to be leaping off of dunes.

There were some great dunes here and each of us got some nice jumps. This was my first time dune jumping and I had a blast.

Me Katie Nikia

Of course, there is one problem with dune jumping. You're landing in a huge pile of sand, and the nature of sand is that it gets everywhere. These next two pictures are what not to do. Don't fall over or you'll be spitting up sand for awhile. I got sand in places I didn't even know I had!

Me Katie

Big Dune

Our last dune was a doozy. It was really tall! It took all your energy just to get up to the top, but the jump was great. When you land you would slide several feet in a miniature landslide (the landslide will bring you down, heh heh). As you can see from the picture, it's a long way up.

After that tall dune we were pretty much out of energy to do anything else, so we went down to the lake to clean off.

Katie getting cold

Here we see Katie wading out knee deep in Lake Michigan in the middle of October. Don't let the sun fool you, the water was freezing. I wasn't even able to go in past my ankles for fear my feet would fall off.

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We then started making sand art. Nikia, being the best artist of the group, made a very nice pattern in the sand, but me being my web site's pimp, decided to carved its URL into the beach. Nothing like free advertising! And again.

Then, we decided to go and get some dinner. We traveled back through the woods to the car, and drove into town. Everything was closed except for a bunch of bars. So, we went back to Grand Rapids. There we hit Big Boy and supped on supper.

After dinner, I dropped the two ladies off and began my journey home, quite sleepily. I went to bed and awoke in a bed with lots of sand in it. Whee!

Life