Bloggers Log

Making the Dunes sing to your

Pulling into the Visitors Centre (not appreciating that post Labour day the opening hours change) it was getting late but despite having to wait while the person in front of me was sworn in as some kind of Ranger I managed to ascertain if we were quick pitches might be available.

 After a bit of confusion we worked out that a number of slots were indeed free & nestled Martha into one. Realistically we knew that climbing to the top of the dunes was probably not sensible as during the day it would be too hot & we didn’t know the area well enough for long distance night hiking especially given the mountain lion warnings. 

Taking a short exploratory walk around we headed back for supper & a beer where upon the notion of watching the sunset from one of the lower dunes struck us. Flinging the flute in the back pack we set off across the dry river bed & headed for the smaller mounds of sand.

Attempting a tune on a dune

The sunset was indeed beautiful which was probably more than could be said for my flute playing but we had a laugh given how windy it was & we only had phones to record the noise I was making on. Concluding ‘westernised’ music was not conducive to the surroundings trying to play the examples of native songs in the dark with no idea what they should sound like was more than challenging.

Like many ancient cultures the music originally would not have been written down & I have come to understand ‘playing the scenery’ was an accepted way of composing tunes. That is my excuse & I’m sticking to it! Later sharing this tale with my guitar teacher  we concluded that this was a sound concept could be of use in any musical composition.

Heading back in the dark we picked our way carefully & amazingly found the track back using only our wits & natural moonlight. It truly was a magical place for as we traversed we were treated to calls of wild coyote that clearly were roaming in the mountains beyond the dunes not to mention other wild life that joined us at breakfast time the next day.


Pricey though the fuel here had been filling up lessened the risk of running out & meant we could get a head start in the morning. 

Bloggers Log

Down Devils Road looking for a bed!

Top travelling tip always check out any national holidays that might take place when you are visiting a country to assess the impact on your journey! Labor Day is an important date on the calendar that sadly we did not factor in when heading towards Californian coast. Blissfully unaware of how busy the towns along the 101 would be & it was a shock to find that all the Rv parks we had assumed would have spaces for us were full to capacity. Googling like crazy we revised the route as we went to try and identify a potential place to stay overnight. 

The miles rolled by & it became a bit tricky to concentrate on the amazing scenery for fear we would not find a suitable spot. Darkness slowly drawing in as we tentatively headed down towards Devils Lake the hopes of an overnight stop was dwindling as fast as the light. 

As our tired, strained eyes searched the road ahead an incredibly bright yellow board announcing the presence of a KOA site was wondrous sight. Gleefully shouting in the van the phrase ‘you’re never far away from a  KOA’ we pulled in. 

The kind people running the site listened to our pleas & found us a spot for the night. Waking at first light found that clearly we were not the last to seek refuge. For as I opened the door I was greeted by a lady peering up at me from under the duvet that she was snuggled under  in the passenger seat of the truck now beside us. 

An interesting conversation about the duplicitous nature of politicians on both sides of ‘the pond’ was had before we wished one another a  good day & set about having breakfast. 

Trundling up the coast we were treated to a number of wild & beautiful sights but we were on a mission to get to Astoria before dark so we could cross the amazing bridge that spans the mighty mouth of the Columbia River. It was on completion in 1966 the longest continuous truss bridge in the world & provided the ‘missing link’ in the USA highway system between Mexico & Canada. It was my turn to drive so I got the honour of taking Bertha across which was quite a thrill. Followers may have spotted my buddies liking for silo photos so not wanting to be left I have included pictures of the assorted bridges we traversed. You have been spared the video of the crossing as I was driving & my mates camera battery died so only the stills survived.

Back once more in Washington State we headed for a state Park campsite which was a beautiful location beside the sea.