It's rather surprising to stumble upon towering (sometimes 400 feet!) sand dunes in the middle of the rolling prairie. Yet here they are, left behind some 10,000 years ago when ancient lakes in Idaho began to dry out and their sandy banks started blowing away, only to collect on the skeletal remains of extinct volcanoes, forming massive dunes. They're pretty impressive and so seemingly out of place.
But one should never say no to a romp in the sand dunes, whether they're in North Carolina or Idaho or Egypt. They're just too much fun!
Here are some of the little ones (Logan, Zoë and Maren) playing in the sand:
Logan actually did end up saying no to the dunes eventually and went to sit in the car with Grandma and Grandpa and Baby Arwyn, away from the wind-whipped sand. Alexander wasn't particularly fond of the dunes, either, but he powered through our playtime.
This particular dune was so deliciously steep that while tremendously fun to roll/slide down, it was incredibly difficult to make our way back up. Sand would wash away under your feet as you climbed. Zoë remarked that it felt like walking in the ocean. Here's Benjamin clawing his way up:
And here's Rachel sledding down, with Gavin and Uncle Morgan looking on:
I'm not sure what's going on in this picture but it's a neat shot of Miriam poised at the top of the dune:
Here she is a little ways down. Perhaps she was going to run down? I'm not sure.
Here's Gavin climbing up with his dad:
Here's our dad, contemplating a ride down the dune while Rachel attempts to wipe sand out of her eyes:
Here's Andrew struggling up the slope, with Rachel and Miriam at the crest, and Benjamin in the foreground:
Here's little Ogi before he went down to the car:
We think it's rather fun to have an Ogi and a Zogi around. Who would have guessed that Logan and Zoë would have ended up with such similar nicknames. Speaking of Zoë, here she is stomping around in the sand:
She was 100% uncooperative whenever I asked her to pose or stop or look at me, but then when we were going through pictures she kept asking, "Where's pictures of me?!" And I was like, "I don't have any nice pictures of anyone who wouldn't stop to look at the camera..."
Miriam will always pause to flirt with the camera.
It was so windy at the top of the dunes! Here's Andrew trying to regain control of his sled...
Here's little Maren enjoying some sand toys:
And Grandma watching over all the little ones, shortly before taking Logan to the car:
I make rolling down a hill look very attractive...
Here's Miriam going down:
Here's Rachel almost going down after us (I'm not sure if she ever did; I think maybe she did but certainly not this time (this time she chickened out)):
After rolling down the hill several times and becoming ridiculously dizzy and sand-soaked, only then did Uncle Morgan challenge Miriam and I to roll down the highest point of the dune. He definitely beat us both down, that's for sure. He was going so fast that he couldn't even tell when he was at the bottom of the hill. I tried to go slowly at first but quickly lost control. You certainly gain momentum rapidly heading down a hill this steep!
We got sand everywhere! In our hair and ears, down our shirts and pants, in our pockets... Here's an awkward picture of me shaking sand out of my shirt. I think it's just Awkward Picture of Me Day here on the blog (you can tell Andrew had the camera; he has no filter these days (but at least the pictures are all G-rated, unlike that one time I had a baby...just saying)):
Poor Zoë developed a bit of a runny nose and wound up with sand stuck all over her face:
Here are some kiddos (Gavin, Benjamin, and Miriam) playing on the dune:
Here's Emily and Morgan making their way up the dune with Mare-mare after sliding down:
And here's Maren catching a ride on her dad's back (Zoë and Maren had endless trouble getting back up the dunes, but loved going down):
Here's Andrew with Alexander near the top of the dune, hiding from the wind (which wasn't nearly as strong just a few feet below the crest):
Here's Benjamin and Zoë struggling up:
And here I am helping Zoë make it to the top:
Here's yet another picture of Benjamin and Gavin playing in the sand. I talked about how Zoë was uncooperative for photos but, come to think of it, neither were they. In fact, hardly anyone was. I think we were all too busy having fun to care much about pictures.
Except for me. I cared about pictures. But I was quite alone in this regard.
I tried to get Alexander to cooperate for a few pictures but, as it turns out, he's terrified of sand. So...
In his defense he was sliding down the hill, ever so slowly, which was surely disconcerting...
|"Don't leave me, Mom!"|
Here's Benjamin rolling down the hill, leaving his pink crocs behind him (which he wears shamelessly, thank you very much, because pink is one of his very favourite colours (I actually tried to get him to put them back into the box of hand-me-downs, saying that they had been Miriam's and I was keeping them for Zoë, but he put them on, declared them a fit, and that was it (his sisters have been defending him to playground bullies (or just rude-o's), saying that pink doesn't have to only be a girl colour and it's silly that it is because no one would tease a girl for wearing navy blue shoes so why tease a boy for wearing pink shoes; he has amazing sisters))):
Here's Rachel picking a spot to dig a really big hole (which we didn't get a picture of, but it was big).
Here's Auntie Emily getting ready to sled down the hill:
And here's Uncle Morgan cheering her on:
And here's Alexander, Andrew, and Emily:
And just Alexander with his daddy:
Going in for a little kiss (he's really loving kisses these days (Alexander, I mean, not Andrew (but I guess Andrew, too))):
He's such a sweet boy!
Here are a few more pictures of the kids playing:
Here's Zoë clambering up the hillside (she'd figured out how to do it by the end of our afternoon):
And here she is sliding back down again:
And more shots of the kids at play:
Miriam making a sand angel:
And our abandoned hillside...
But, we had so much exhausting and exhilarating fun that I'm sure we'll make it out there again sometime! Who knew we had such lovely dunes smack dab in the middle of Idaho?
Uncle Morgan, I guess. And Grandma.
But, like, I didn't. So...