Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Dumont Dunes (Or How I Didn't Get My Hamburger)

When I arrived at the Dumont Dunes on Sunday, I was hungry and a little nervous. You've probably seen some Dumont regulars around Las Vegas: you know, all those pick-up driving, trailer-toting drivers with "Got Sand?" stickers in their rear windows. I do my best to stay out of their way around town, but the closer Highway 127 gets to the dunes, the harder that becomes. Dumont is one of the places ATVers travel to, along with thousands of their friends, to camp in a huge city that comes complete with law enforcement, medi-vac service, and the place I was most interested in, Hog Heaven, where a good, old-fashioned hamburger oozing with loads of fat, along with a yummy order of french fries, was just waiting to meet me. I had just finished a two-hour walk in the desert at China Ranch, and I was really, really hungry. Sadly, this is the story of how I never got my hamburger.

At the appointed rendezvous time of 2:00 p.m., I pulled to the side of the road to await my husband. He and our son were spending the day at the dunes, and I had come up with the idea to go hiking and then meet them out there. When I came up with this idea, I had no idea that getting to and from sand camp was such a pain in the rear. A long line of cars clogged the dirt road. Now, had I been thinking straight, I would have realized that this was going to throw off my original plans, which were for me to leave in plenty of time to drive home in the daylight. I had explained to my dear, loving husband that I cannot see well at night. (Did I mention the winding, two-lane highway?) However, as hungry as I was, I did not care. I figured it would all work out somehow.

Back at sand camp, my hubby's friend Mark was hard at work on his sand vehicle. All I heard was something about "double carburetors." I recall saying, "I would like a hamburger," but after about the third attempt, I gave up. "Would you like some fruit? Why don't you have some fruit?" offered Mark, which was very kind of him. (And in hindsight, I should have taken him up on the offer.) But after a two-hour hike in the desert, I didn't want fruit. I wanted a freakin' cheeseburger, which I kind of thought my husband should have figured out, especially after me saying, "I would like a hamburger" several times.

You cannot walk anywhere in sand camp, unless you want to be run over. I got as close to the dunes (on foot) as I dared. I wanted to get a picture of the vehicles crawling all over the dunes like ants in a giant's sandbox. Dumont is a great place if you are an ATV enthusiast. If you don't ride anything, like me, there's not much to do.

Late in the day, about two hours after I had planned to leave, we hit the road. Mark's sand thing never did get fixed. By the time we left, it was dark. I was ravenous. An ill-mannered pick-up truck driver tailgated me for about 40 miles down the two-lane Old Spanish Trail highway. By the time I got back to town, I hated all pick-up drivers.

And I stopped at Burger King and purchased one (1) hamburger before I went home.

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