Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- Coral Pink Sand DunesBy: D. Gary Webb With the Beach Boys rocking in the background mostly for the use of the older boarders kids in baggy shorts and all manner of ocean gear took their turns at hitting the perfect wave.
In this case, the perfect wave was a 40-foot wall of sand, whittled away from the surrounding sandstone cliffs by millions of years of snow, rain, and in this case, boy scouts.
For Troop 346, right up there with Ali as The Greatest, only in different circles, made the Coral Pink Sand Dunes a yearly at least trip.
The Dunes are within a couple of hours of everywhere, but for the uninitiated, take the road marked Lake Powell out of Kanab, but dont go as far as the Paria River. Its 30 or so miles from Kanab, and another dozen on a good dirt road.
Hey, were talking sand dunes; dont get hyper if you get a bit dirty. There will be sand in your shoes, socks and hair; but hopefully none in your eggs.
While the area is now full of 4x4s and motos, there is still enough of the old area to remind an old scout of the old days, and old surf boards.
For a month beforehand we would carefully craft our boards, which generally resembled regular surfboards. Some guys made the edges round, trying to gain an edge with less resistance.
The object of the event, of course, was to beat your opponent. No clock; the winner simply went on until he got beat, and after a full day of sliding down the hill only to have to walk back up, I realized the prize wasnt worth the climb. Besides, I always had a good stash of scout-worthy goodies.
We had long boards, short boards, wide boards and skinny ones. It didnt take me long to discover that long and medium were the answer depending on ones weight, of course and that the kind of linoleum and wax didnt matter.
Some times a board would go faster depending on who rode it. Must be something to do with weight, right? So, we weighted them, lightened them, curved and straightened them. Again, it depended on the rider more than the board.
We had no iPods, no tunes of any kind, so abbreviated versions of the Beach Boys were always in style. Crashes were not only predictable, when a kid goes fast downhill and eventually stops rather suddenly, but some scouts made an art of flips, crashes and the like.
About the only thing we could really count on was that Dirt Mouth would always have a dirt ring around his nose and mouth, that it was farther up the hill than back down, and that the scout leaders would have great meals all lined up.
Life, like all things, has changed the Dunes. There is a price if you go all the way into the bathrooms and camping areas, which are nearer the biggest bowl area, and it doesnt have all the great camping spots anymore.
Where only side-winders and bird tracks dotted the area along with the occasional cat, there are few snake trails and even fewer birds now.
The sand, forever red and forever in my adidas and carpet, will be there long after Im gone, though.
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