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sand chick

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Just got back from 6 great days of duning, ok well maybe 5, since we were hauler bound most of the day on Thursday.


We rolled into chilly Dumont on Tuesday evening around 6:30 pm ish. 


Woke up bright and early Wednesday morning to get our dune vacation started. There was maybe 8 other people out there. Our neighbors all had dirt tires, and headed out fairly early towards the little dunes, 4 quads and a regular truck? They were gone for the majority of the day. Not sure where they went, but it was an all day trip. But that's good, cause it meant they weren't in the dunes. Mike and I zipped on a early morning dune run at about 7:30 am and was it ever chilly! WHEW! It was like having an ice demon throwing little  icicles at you through the whole run. Even my riding gloves weren't doing any good on my hands. But we were literally the only ones in the dunes! PERFECTION! The skies were cloudy and dark ones loomed on the horizon. We cruised until almost the North Pole and turned around to cruise back. My new found confidence and the sturdiness of the Maverick has opened up much more dune acreage to cover. Back at camp, Mike wanted to adjust his tune a little, so I headed out with Razor in my lap to see if there was any wood to scavenge. Place was either picked clean, or everyone took their wood home with them. Did manage to get a little bit to add to what we already brought. I wished I had brought my camera or my phone, because there was some dude hanging, haha literally, in the ranger area. He had his hammock strung under the canopy and a huge army type tent on one of the pads, not sure if he was hooked up to the electrical or not, but he had a big shop type light set up as well. We had actually thought there were rangers there when we pulled in. Nope. Just someone camping out. I also noticed that several of the camps, were just ghosts with no one around. Pretty brave! I wouldn't leave my stuff out unattended. Kind of surprising. No wonder we were the only ones in the dunes!




After lunch we went on more runs, covering as many tracks as possible. We weren't in a huge hurry, we had 5 more days after all. The long trips are much more relaxing and take on a leisurely pace. We went on the sunset cruise and then back to camp as our friend's rolled in and set up. Once they were set up we had dinner and then checked out their new hauler. It still had that new hauler smell. We didn't have a fire that night as the breeze had started to pick up and it was a cold breeze, the kind that just cuts right through you. So we turned in early, especially since we were up so early.


We snuggled in and found a good movie on the satellite. Just as we were getting into the deep sleep mode, here came the rain. And it came in with a blustery vengeance! Pelting the roof and side of the hauler at 12:30 AM before settling in with a nice pitter-pat pitter pat of a steady rainfall. It was nice to drift back to sleep to. I was awake early again Thursday morning. I get up and hit the gym at 4:00 AM during the week, so I was still not in vacation mode yet. I lay there listening to the rain the roof and when it stopped at 5:30 AM, our dog pack insisted it was time to get up, so I bundled up and quietly took them out. They ran around and played for a little bit, doing the new morning ritual of "dune hill climbing" were I run up and down the finger dune, to get a morning workout in. The dogs love it too and it's become there favorite morning game.


Some photos from the day before's Dune Climbing routine...





Soon it was time to retreat back into the hauler and post up a "Latest Condition" ONE WORD was really only needed.... RAIN! :rain: As soon as I completed my report, it started to rain again. I made breakfast, and another fresh pot of cinnamon coffee. Put on a movie and soon Mike was up. I text our friends and said it was looking like it was going to be a Mexican Train Domino and cocoa kind of day. If they wanted to head over in an hour, we'd be ready to start the tournament. Mexican Train Dominoes is pretty much an all day affair, if you play all 13 rounds. Which we did, I kept looking out the window, It doesn't look like it's raining any more and then a few more visible drops would make everyone else say, yes it is. So we settled in with drinks and snacks and peppermint vodka and cocoa, a bit of warm Christmas cheer. :xmascheers: When we finally went through those 13 rounds, it was 2:30 PM and the rain had finally stopped. We made lunch and then ran out into soaked dunes. But wet dunes are better then no dunes at all. We made it to just passed super bowl, when our friend's razor lost the primary clutch. So we hooked up the Maverick to it and towed it back to camp to be fixed and sealed and set up overnight. Mike and I headed out on a quick sunset run. Mike took the opportunity to have some play time, but the lighting sucked to get any good photos. Shortly after we got back our California friends rolled up. We had some dinner and then made a fire, while waiting for some of our Utah Crew to show up.












We stayed up a little later while waiting for the Utah crew to get there. Once they rolled in, they were tired from the long drive from St. George and were ready to turn in. We woke up a little later on Friday morning. I was smoking a pork butt for Friday's camp dinner, so I had to make sure that 8.5 lb monster was in the smoker by 8:30 AM. I made sure to get a group photo during the morning "Dune Climb" By the time I was done with that and had breakfast made, it was time for coffee and camp visiting. I had prepped the pork butt the night before, so I took it out and got it in the smoker. It was Aaron's smoker, so he said he would monitor it and get the temp set while we went on the morning dune run. Those dunes were weird, part dry and part wet. They had patches of both all through them. So it was slide, then stick, slide, no wait stick. We still had a blast ripping through them. We stopped at the North Pole and I grabbed my bags to collect the letters to Santa, but someone else had already taken them, it has become a tradition, to collect the letters and read them out load around the campfire, so I was kind of sad that someone else had already collected them :( I was not wanting to go back to camp, but I knew I needed to get back, it wasn't right for Aaron to be monitoring my dinner. Also Mike had given me a power steering unit for my Maverick, so they were going to install it, since I needed to stay in camp and monitor my butt :laughing: Once they were done, and the butt was holding steady at 250, I was able to go test out my new power steering! AWESOME! :headbang1: How the heck did I ever dune without it?!??? Back to camp, more butt monitoring and camp visiting. Soon the butt was done and it was time for a delish group dinner. Smoked butt, baked beans, corn bread, and jalapeño poppers :eat: Then we hung out in the Utah Crew's hauler visiting and watching Sully before turning into bed. It was too breezy for a fire.




The rains had returned in the night on Friday, with a forecast of 30% on Saturday. But when we woke up on Christmas Eve, it was cloudy, and partially sunny. So breakfast, coffee and morning run! On Thursday, our rainy day, I had planned to keep up with my exercise regiment, by being dropped off at the North Pole and hiking back to camp, with 2 gallon bags filled with sand in my back pack. Well since it rained all day, I still needed to make that up. Today seemed as good a day as any of them as Sunday was gearing up to be the best dune day, with no chance of rain and clear but chilly temps. So after the morning run, I geared up and had Mike drop me off at the North Pole. While Mike duned my Maverick back, testing out the new power steering. The sun came out, just as I was leaving. Duners are the nicest people ever! I had several groups stop to make sure I was ok. Yes I am, Thank you, I am just a crazy ass chick who's getting her exercise in by hiking back to camp from the North Pole! The dunes are a peaceful place to take a hike when there's barely anyone out there, it was almost surreal. 5 miles from pole to camp by br #3, just under 2 hours. By the time I got back, it was getting chilly and cloudy again and I had been trying to stay in front of a dark ominous cloud. I was ready for a hot shower and my Christmas Eve tradition of watching "It's A Wonderful Life" As soon as the movie was over it was time to make mashed taters and broccoli for our Christmas Eve dinner contribution. Smoked Ham, mashed taters, broccoli, brussels sprouts, rolls, apple and sweet potato pie! YUMMY! You just can't have Christmas without all the trimmings! After dinner, it was a nice enough night to have a big fire and Christmas cheer cocoa around the fir to keep toastier. 






MERRY CHRISTMAS! :grinch::xmascheers::xmashat:

Christmas is chock full of traditions. And for us it's the same way. They are just different then your standard traditions. But I still like to keep some of my old family traditions, like watching It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning always brings a traditional breakfast of cheese blintzes. Crepe pancakes wrapped around a mixture of ricotta cheese, eggs and sugar. Then I warm up simply fruit jam and fresh blueberries in to a syrup and drizzle that on top and a light dusting of powdered sugar. Even though I am eating healthy, I still had planned to indulge in this tradition. There is also the tradition of staying in our Christmas pj's and santa hats all day. Even while duing! And we take a traditional Merry Christmas from the North Pole photo. Well because it's Christmas and there's something Christmassy about the North Pole. Christmas was a beautiful day. The sun came out and stayed out, at times we were even able to take off the sweat shirts and jackets. It was a more chill day of hanging in camp around a fire and visiting with our friends that are family. We only went on the breakfast run and the cocktail run. It is also my old dog Shasta's birthday, she's 14 and I am not sure how many birthday's she has left in her, so I wanted to spend the day with her too. It was a perfect day, with a perfect mixture of weather, fun dune runs, our campfire was warm, our drinks toasty and our friends full of laughter! And our neighbor's had a Christmas Tree!

It was sad when I started packing stuff up before going to bed. But we were up and packed up ready to leave by 11:30 AM. 

Until next year Christmas week dunes... until next year...







Edited by sand chick
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Excellent! Great report and pics.


Good job on the hike. I bet that was nice to be out there in the dunes all alone for that long. It's something most people don't understand until they finally do it. It's so peaceful out there. 


It's too bad about the rain, but it just makes you enjoy the other parts of a dune trip. ooks like a fun trip. Good to see @NE14SAND back in the SAND. 

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