The boys love going up on the dunes, and they’ve had a few opportunities in the past to get up on the dunes with other campers, but this year we decided to try something different.
We signed up for a Jeep Tour with 2 extra hours of time on our own. When we were signing the contract before setting out, we were surprised to learn that Bryce would be able to drive the Jeep, too . . . we had thought that drivers had to be 18 . . . so he was suddenly VERY excited about going out!
They lined the Jeeps up next to the building, and we had a short drivers’ meeting before headed towards the OHV Staging Area.
Tom was driving first, and the boys were ready to go!
From the staging area, we drove onto the sand,
and towards Test Hill. The rental Jeeps aren’t allowed to go OVER Test Hill, but we were allowed to go UP it.
Each of the Jeeps drove up the hill as fast as they could, and about 3/4 of the way up, our guide told us to turn in an arc and head back down the hill. He called it a “Parrot Rainbow” . . .
some drivers did better than others!
With all the Jeeps back off the hill, we drove around on some of the smaller dunes. From the top, we could see Lake Michigan.
Even the DNR has fun vehicles for on the dunes – a Ford Raptor!
We climbed the “Big Hill” (no, it’s really not part of Test Hill, because we’re not allowed to go there!),
and stopped next to the pedestrian area to take some pictures.
Our “Family Photo”
Back at Test Hill, it was getting more crowded!
We drove all the way to the top of Test Hill . . . and stopped!
What a great view from up here!
Well, it was time to get down, but we couldn’t go over the crest . . . and you’re not allowed to turn around on Test Hill, so we were going to have to back down the hill!
We were the last one to make our way down!
Looks like we got off the hill just in time!
That was the end of the tour, and everybody else had to return to the rental office, but we had 2 more hours of playtime left!
Tom drove us through some of the trails and down to the beach.
Tom and I decided to take a break and walk the beach for awhile, so the boys went out on their own . . . Nicolas was driving . . . Bryce will need either Tom or I in the vehicle when he drives!
The beach is a pretty popular place for people to hang out, and on busy weekends, they can be parked 4 vehicles deep!
There’s quite a bit of standing water around still, and like many other places we’ve been on Lake Michigan, the beach has shrunk!
We watched these guys for several minutes . . . we weren’t sure what possessed them to bring a car out on the dunes . . . and we weren’t sure what they were being pulled over for either . . . I don’t think they issue tickets for stupidity out here, but maybe they should!
The boys came back to pick us up, and it was Bryce’s turn to drive
He had a lot of fun, even though he had a couple of backseat drivers the whole time!
He did a good job, though, driving us up and over some of the smaller dunes. When he’d had enough, we stopped at the bottom of Test Hill to watch the action,
and Nicolas got back in the driver’s seat to take us over the big dunes a few more times before our time was up.
The day was definitely a highlight for all of us, although the boys both said they thought they liked the wide-open area of the Oregon Dunes a little better . . . it was a fun day, though, and very exciting!