31 January 2017

Samoa Dunes

Bureau of Land Management

There is one more section of dunes to visit along this long spit of sand. I figured it would be quite interesting to visit the very end of it where jetties keep the channel open for entry to Humboldt Bay. This area is actually an open area for off road vehicle travel but also sees a lot of hikers. Signs have recommendations for how to reduce friction between these two user groups. Today, there is plenty of off road travel, but it is almost all directed at getting surfers as close to the end of the jetty as possible.
picnic area with rows of trees
A nice picnic area on the bay side of the dunes. The big, apparently old trees are in lines boxing in each site. They were planted.

A clear trail leads up and down over the last row of dunes beside what would be a flat, sandy beach except that it ends in a wall rather than water. Water is splashing over one spot even though the tide is currently not very high.

the wall and the beach
Looking across the bay as the wall gets another little splash.
trail through the dunes
Following a well trod path on the dunes.

My trail widens and it is clear that someone was trying to drive on the section just ahead. They reversed out of the spot again. Even if a vehicle passes nearby, the sounds are slight against the background of breaking waves.

Coast Guard buildings
The US Coast Guard buildings are the only ones that can be seen on this side of the water.

driving on the beach
Another surfer arrives via the long beach of deep sand.

There is a bell buoy clanging. I search for it and find something far off that is probably the source of the sound. The shapes of a couple sea lions are draped over it. The bells do not bother them anywhere. The most noticeable noise over the waves is the tooting of fog horns on each outside point of the jetties. They honk together, then the near one goes, then the far one goes. As I get closer to the end, the near one completely drowns out the far one when they go together. There is a bit of a crowd listening to this serenade. There are numerous surfers and even a few stand-up paddle boarders plus a small audience.

SUP on the way in and a walker on the way out
A SUP finishes up for the day while a walker ignores the warning signs and strolls out onto the end of the jetty.

SUP and two surfers in the water
A couple surfers and a SUP await the next wave.

not just waiting, too
They do not just wait. Sometimes they catch a wave too.

After not too long, I head back across the grass and many roads produced by off road driving. A little further up the jetty is Samoa Beach. Stopping at it, the beach is a little different from the ones further north. This is also a big surf spot.

steep sand at Samoa Beach
A steeper beach is found at Samoa Beach.

©2017 Valerie Norton
Posted 1 February 2017

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